Hollyoaks spoilers follow from Wednesday's E4 first look episode (September 15).
Hollyoaks aired a dramatic exit for Brody Hudson after his four-year stint in the village.
The show's latest episode saw Brody killed in a hit and run incident, just as he was reuniting with his on-off partner Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) following their latest ordeal with vengeful Summer Ranger (Rhiannon Clements).
In a twist revealed in the post-credits scene, Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) was responsible for mowing down Brody in the middle of the village.
Digital Spy recently caught up with Adam Woodward, who played Brody, to hear more about his departure from the show and future career plans.
How are you feeling now that your time on Hollyoaks has come to an end?
"Mixed emotions, to be honest with you. I'm excited for the next chapter of my life to start. But at the same time, I've made some friends for life at Hollyoaks.
"One of the things that always make a job is the people that you work with. You couldn't really ask to work with better people than at Lime Pictures."
How did your departure come about?
"Brody's departure has been bandied about for a long time. Before COVID hit in March 2020, I spoke to [former executive producer] Bryan Kirkwood about storylines and where the character was going. We were discussing where to take Brody or whether his time was going to be wrapped up soon.
"Then COVID and the lockdown hit. I was extremely grateful that Bryan offered me another contract, which took me to where I am now. That saw me through COVID, gave me an amazing storyline and I suppose it gave Lime Pictures plenty of time to really plan how I was going to leave.
"I couldn't have asked for more from Lime Pictures, Bryan and Lucy Allan who's now the executive producer."
Was it always your plan to only do a few years?
"Yeah, as I didn't get into acting to just focus on one character. Being an actor is so up and down and it's a very unstable job. It's an amazing opportunity to work at Hollyoaks with a more stable acting career, which is very rare.
"But despite that, it was probably time for Brody to be wrapped up as a character and in such an incredible way. I'd much rather Brody went out with a big bang, rather than fizzle out and jump in a taxi.
"The idea of playing other characters also appealed to me more than just playing Brody for the rest of my career."
So are you happy Brody has been killed off, or would you have liked the door to be left open?
"I suppose the part of me that feels worried or nervous about the future likes the idea of possibly being able to come back and play Brody! But at the same time, throughout my entire life and everything I've ever done, I've always set the bridge on fire behind me in a blaze of glory.
"Never in a bad way, but if you do that and say to yourself that you can't go back, then it forces you to go forward in life. It means you can't look back with one foot in your old life.
"I also never wanted Brody to go out and not be remembered. Whether you loved him or hated him, he's had some fantastic storylines and he's had a journey. I wanted a big full stop to be put at the end of that journey, so it was final."
What was it like to film the emotional final scene for Brody and Sienna?
"That final scene was such an emotional day for both me and Anna. Obviously we've got such a close working relationship and we're extremely good friends.
"We film out of chronological order, so it wasn't the last scene we filmed, but there was still an atmosphere or energy in the air and we were quite emotional filming it. We both wanted to give it our all.
"One of the suggestions that I requested – and Anna said she wanted to do as well – was to do a scene where we didn't have to socially distance. We were tested a couple of times leading up to it, so for that one day, we were allowed to do a scene where we didn't have to stand apart.
"That was very special to me. I was really grateful for Hollyoaks accommodating me over that, because it wouldn't have had the same impact if we couldn't have that physical interaction."
What did you make of the final twist that Warren, rather than Summer, was Brody's killer?
"I love it! Summer would have been the obvious one to be driving the car after the storyline surrounding her, Brody and Sienna. The audience had already been told that I was leaving the show and Brody being run over was revealed to them in the Hollyoaks autumn trailer.
"So it's nice to just give them a little twist, a little surprise at the end."
What was Warren's motive for murder?
"It was because Warren overheard that Brody was going to the police to hand himself in for Cormac's death. He was never willing to let that happen.
"Brody and Warren's relationship has always been a funny one. They started out as enemies, but they formed a bond and friendship. Then their love of Sienna drove them apart to become enemies again.
"There's a weird thing, where I think Warren saw the best parts of Brody and admired him for that. But Warren was never willing to let Brody ruin his life and take him away from his kids."
Would you like Warren to get his comeuppance, or do you think he'll get away with another crime?
"I think it'll be another crime he gets away with! Rather than him getting his comeuppance, I hope it haunts him and he has to live with it.
"If I was going to be run over by anyone, I'm glad that it was Warren. I'm very good friends with Jamie Lomas and we get on brilliantly. I hope that it gives him some good material and storylines to work with moving forward as well."
Would you have preferred Brody's exit to be a surprise, rather than Hollyoaks revealing it early in the trailer?
"There's a part of me that wanted it to be a surprise, but I had to keep reminding myself that Hollyoaks is a pre-watershed show. It's on at a timeslot where people of all ages watch it.
"The stunt was done incredibly well, so I think it might have been a little bit shocking without a pre-warning for some age groups.
"Brody is also a bit of a love-hate character. People either really like him or really dislike him. I've already had some messages from some devoted fans of Brody, who are quite upset that he's going.
"I think if it was a complete out-of-the-blue shock and nobody saw it coming, it'd be a bit unfair to those fans of the show. So putting it in the trailer was for the best, ultimately."
Was it tricky to film the stunt in COVID times?
"Yes, as you've got to socially distance when you're trying to do the stunt! Kudos to the production team for doing that, because how they managed to make it look as good as it did, given the circumstances, is beyond me.
"But that was fun to do. I documented that day and took pictures for my own personal memories, because it was quite a special day.
"Again, I have to remind myself that the show is pre-watershed. We just have to say that all of Brody's injuries were internal, because I had a look at the trailer and he doesn't look too shabby considering he's been hit by a car!"
Who will you stay in touch with?
"Probably half the cast and half the crew! There'll probably be people I struggle to keep up with, but I'll definitely see Jacob Roberts (Damon) on a regular basis. We became very good friends and I think that came through on screen whenever Brody and Damon were together.
"There's also Jamie, Rory Douglas-Speed (Joel), Rishi Nair (Sami)... there's so many people that I'll stay in contact with. There's a group of us who go out regularly for catch-ups, so I won't be a stranger around the Hollyoaks people."
What are your favourite memories?
"I can't really knock starting in Ibiza, as that was pretty special. It was all downhill from there, to be honest with you! (Laughs.) I couldn't have asked for a better start on the show.
"I'd had other parts on other shows, but it was my first regular role. To be told I'd be flown out to Ibiza and Brody would be revealed from the water, with a week's worth of filming, was a little bit nerve-wracking.
"I had to make sure I was in shape and knew my lines. I knew I'd be heavily focused, so couldn't let anyone down. There was a little bit of pressure, but that was immediately washed away when I got to know everyone.
"I'd say it's between that and the Buster abuse story. They're the two highlights of my time at Hollyoaks."
What are your future plans? Are you planning to go out to the US at some point?
"I don't know what the future holds. Immediately after leaving, I decided that I wasn't going to put any pressure on myself to have to go out and have to land something else. I've been working since I was 15, so this is the first time since then that I've been unemployed, technically!
"It's a bit of a strange sensation, but I've been working on the show now for a solid period of time and for me it's not about churning out material. I don't want to just take any old role or anything that's paying out.
"I want to do things that excite me, things that I know I can do a good job with, things that I know people will watch and find entertaining.
"I'm just going to chill and wait for the right role to come along. Maybe next year, I might venture out to the US, just to see what opportunities are out there."
Would you do another soap?
"I don't think I'd do another soap now, but never say never! I've done a part on Emmerdale, I've done a part on Doctors and now I've done a fair old stretch on Hollyoaks.
"I've learned a lot from soap and I'd like to see if I can take what skills I do have to the next level, in some dramas and films."
Do you have a final message to the Hollyoaks fans who've supported you over the years?
"To all the fans, those who supported me and those who didn't, I just really appreciate them tuning in and watching. Everyone who's commented positively or negatively, interacted with Brody, or been affected by Brody, I appreciate every single one of them."
Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.
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