Matt Di Angelo talks about how his character deals with some harsh home truths, in next week's Ordinary Lies...
Matt plays warehouse stock picker Fletch in the BBC1 drama, a guy who’s seemingly ordinary life gets turned upside down when he uncovers some dark family secrets.
But Matt's best known for his role as EastEnders' tormented Dean, who sent shockwaves through Albert Square in 2014 when he raped Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter.
"I'd definitely say Dean is the darker character, Fletch is just reacting to a situation but there are some similarities between them,' Matt told What's on TV. "They've both got parental issues and chips on their shoulders, and problems with authority. But what they're dealing with and how they deal with it is slightly different."
Matt went to some dark places playing EastEnders' Dean, who raped Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter
In next Tuesday episode, Fletch is in crisis when his mum is suddenly taken ill and ends up in hospital in a critical condition. Worried that Fletch will be left with no one if the worst happens, his devoted wife Caz takes it upon herself to contact Fletch's estranged father, Patrick, played by Griff Rhys Jones.
In the blink of an eye, warehouse stock picker Fletch's ordinary life is turned upside down
"Unlike everybody else's episode where they've been keeping secrets and hiding stuff, it turns out Fletch's family have been keeping a secret from him," revealed Matt. "Fletch has been told all his life that his dad's a musician who left to travel the world – but the episode is about who his dad is, why he left and where he is now."
Matt added: "I wouldn't say it's a happy reunion but it's certainly a realistic one – happy wouldn't be very good TV."
Although their on-screen relationship is tense, Matt enjoyed working with his telly 'dad' Griff.
Fletch's first meeting with Patrick (Griff Rhys Jones) doesn't go according to plan
"Griff is fantastic, he really puts in a good performance," said Matt. "We did a whole day on one scene, it was seven pages [of dialogue] and a two-hander, so going back and forth with big monologues in the middle. It was a lot to take on and Fletch is in bits by the end of it after being given all these truths. So it was an extremely challenging scene to take part in."
And while the show's called Ordinary Lies, Matt describes himself as 'pretty honest'.
"As an actor, I suppose I lie for a living, taking someone else's words and passing them off as your own," he said. "I suppose that's as close to lying as I get. There's no reason for me to lie – if I want to say something to someone I'll say it. I consider myself pretty honest."
Ordinary Lies continues Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1.
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