Tonight viewers watched as Callum attacked Sarah at No 8 before Kylie dealt him a blow to the head with a wrench, killing him instantly. Kylie and David then hid Callum’s body in the garage manhole.
Read below Sean Ward’s final interview from the set of Corrie which was done before the live episode tonight (23rd September).
How close to the edge was Callum on the week leading up to the events of tonight?
On the run up to the Live, Callum had caused so many problems for so many people and he had a lot of people after him. He really didn’t know what was going to happen and deep down I think he knew that any one point everything could collapse around him. He was really trying to keep everyone at arm’s length and keep everyone above him happy. He was under immense pressure from Denton for the money he owed so in turn Callum was passing that pressure down onto the Platts. Cracks were definitely starting to show and he was trying to keep his head above the water. The Platts were the only people he thought he could really intimidate quickly enough into getting him the money he needed.
I told myself that it wasn’t going to be live and that it wasn’t happening.
What happened during the live was a huge shock…did Callum ever think that the Platts would manage to outdo him and that Callum would get his comeuppance?
No – that was the furthest thing from his mind. Callum always thought he would have the upper hand, but during his last few weeks he really showed his true colours and his actions proved how much of a coward he really was. He seemed to have this obsession with manipulating women, which was just him being cowardly. But no, he never, ever imagined that they might win the fight because of the amount of fear he’d put in them all over the past year. Callum always thought he would have them in the palm of his hand – how wrong he was!
Even though he knew what kind of person Kylie used to be, and even knowing what he knows about David’s past, he still never thought there could have been a chance he was playing with fire?
No. He didn’t have the ability to think about it in that way – he was so cocky and arrogant and confident that the Platts didn’t affect him in that way – Callum thought he was completely untouchable.
He turns up at the Platts and it’s just him and Sarah – what was he planning to do to her? How far do you think he would have gone?
I think at that point he was absolutely fuming and he lost control completely. The walls were closing in on him, David and Kylie hadn’t coughed up the cash that he needed and so he was slowly realising he’s going to be in deep trouble with Denton because he doesn’t have his money. At this point I think it began to dawn on him that he perhaps didn’t have the power that he thought he did and that he was surrounded by strong women who were prepared to fight him to the death! And they did!
Do you think he would have killed Sarah had Kylie not have come in?
“I loved playing Callum, and I loved playing him the way he was.”
Yes, I think he probably could have done. But I don’t think he would have done it there and then – he was always thinking fast, so he probably would have kidnapped her and used her as another tool, another pawn to get what he wanted. I don’t think he could have killed her there and then – he’s not a cold-blooded murderer, I don’t think he’s got it in him. He definitely would have done something tactically first.
Do you really believe Callum would have left the Platts alone had they managed to get his money?
It all depends on how easy it would have been to get the money out of them. Realistically though he didn’t have a leg to stand on – if people above him were demanding that amount of money then I’m sure he would have gotten himself into more trouble further down the line and who knows, he might have turned to the Platts again to get what he needed. Having said that, if he knew what was good for him he might have left Manchester altogether. He knew he’d upset a lot of people, so he might not have had a choice but to leave town. There’s no way he could have come good.
Let’s talk now about the day you found out about how this storyline was going to come to a climax. How did you react when you were told Callum was killed?
I got called up to a meeting with Stuart Blackburn, the producer. I thought I was in trouble! Then as soon as I walked into the room Stuart looked at me and said, “I’m going to tell you straight away – I’m going to kill him!” I was excited. Initially I didn’t feel that upset. Just before the meeting I had started to think that they were maybe going to try and turn Callum good, and I really didn’t want that because he’s not got it in him to be good! So I knew that realistically if he continued being as bad as he was at the time, then eventually he would have to go. I was realistic about it. That excites me as an actor, and it’s important to stay true to the character.
…And how did you feel about it on the run up to the live and now?
It’s bitter sweet. I’m going to be gutted to leave Corrie, but at the same time it’s completely right for the character and as an actor that’s the goal, that’s what makes me happy.
You say you didn’t want them to turn Callum into a good guy…why was that?
I loved playing Callum, and I loved playing him the way he was. He was really bad. He could have found purpose through Max and become a good father, but I think he would have really struggled to get out of the path that he was on and I think Callum would have struggled to break his way of life. As an actor I like to keep the character steeped in reality and I don’t believe he could have had a huge transformation from the man he was. And I don’t think he cared about Max or the Platts enough for them to make that change in him happen.
What response have you had from people to Callum? Have you seen a transition in people’s reactions from when you first started to more recently?
When I first started it was all about Callum’s look. Now, I get comments on my acting ability, which is what it’s all about for me. Coming from a place before Corrie where I’d lost my confidence as an actor, it’s amazing to receive those sorts of messages. The week before the live i’d missed a couple of episodes on screen but my twitter went mad with amazing comments. I wanted people to enjoy the storyline and react to Callum and believe in the character, so if I get people tweeting me saying they wanted to punch the television because of something Callum did, then that’s great! It means I’ve done something right and that the audience have had a response to him.
Do you think viewers will be shocked by this twist?!
I hope it was a big shock, I really do. You want viewers to have a reaction to it, so I hope they were shocked and that it was unexpected. Some people might be gutted to see the end of him but some might be glad to see the back of him and both are positive reactions to the character – it means he’s made a mark. It’s exciting for everyone involved – so we have all been excited and nervous about how everyone will react on the night.
“I’m gutted to be leaving Corrie!”
How did it feel being so central to the show for the entire year you were on it?
I never ever expected it. It’s been the craziest year of my life and also the best year of my life…I’ve learnt the most I’ve ever learn and I’ve had to grow up a lot. I’ve waited a long time for this so in a way I was ready for it, but in the same breath nothing can prepare you for being on Coronation Street and for playing the bad boy. To then be part of the live and go out in this way feels like I’m a part of making history, which is amazing and such an honour.
Did you enjoy playing an evil character?
Yeh, definitely. I think the writers really got behind Callum, which was amazing – they have told me how much they have enjoyed writing for him, which is an amazing thing to hear. He’s dark but he’s had some great one liners as well, which is great because so has Jack’s character David, so they’ve really bounced off one another. I’ve loved it. It’s been phenomenal playing Callum, it really has, and in his last few weeks on screen he was throwing the net out across Weatherfield by causing trouble for more and more people, which I really enjoyed playing out.
Were you worried about doing the the choreographed fight scenes during a live episode?
Definitely, but we had a fight arranger to help us called Kate Waters who was phenomenal. We all sat down and chatted about how we wanted it to look and we were all on the same page. We wanted it to look messy and quite animalistic. Even though it had to be choreographed, it was choreographed mess and we wanted to keep that element. Even though I knew I might have only had two steps to do a certain move for example, I wanted it to look like a proper scrap – animalistic and a fight for life, which is what it was. We did Coronation Street’s first ever bite. It was a slap originally, but we changed it to a bite. It was more realistic – it was Sarah’s sheer desperation to get away from Callum, it was feral and desperate. Sarah just wanted to get away from him and biting him was something she did in that moment of sheer panic. It was amazing to do as an actor, but as a human it was quite scary…I’ve been brought up by two women – my mum and my sister – so to then have to act this out, practically beating another woman up, goes against my nature. But it’s exactly what Callum would do and it was so important to make it look realistic.
And then you had to play dead?! How was that?
So much fun! At the point where Callum is killed, his adrenaline and therefore my adrenaline was so high – he is at his angriest point – so to then go from that to playing dead in the click of a finger was somewhat difficult! It was the biggest challenge. But then it goes to ad break, which gives me a couple of minutes to calm down – so I told everyone in that time not to talk to me or move me – I needed to stay quiet!
How hard was it to keep this storyline secret?
For me it was quite easy – I didn’t tell anyone apart from my immediate family. Even though I had known a while that I would be leaving, I decided not to audition for other parts whilst still here as I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want to risk anybody knowing that I was leaving in case this led to people guessing Callum’s fate! It also means I can now go into auditions as me, as a blank canvas, without Callum still knocking around!
Talk to us about your feelings as you were gearing up for the live?
I told myself that it wasn’t going to be live and that it wasn’t happening. Then I told myself that once we started the actual live, I would tell myself that it was just another rehearsal. I completely compartmentalised the whole thing.
How did you prepare for the live to relax?
Music, definitely. There are a couple of songs I listened to to relax me and calm my nerves.
Sum up your Corrie experience in a few words…
Utterly life changing. Educational, inspirational…and menacing!
Thank you so much to Coronation Street..
What kind of role would you like to play after Corrie?
I’d love to play someone world’s apart from Callum. I would love to be seen as a born and bred Manchester character actor. I would love to be in something completely different – I wouldn’t be afraid to play anything that’s thrown at me. I’d do dramas, films, independent films…I’d even love to try theatre…now I’ve done the live!
What’s the dream post Corrie?
I would just love to continue acting and to continue to grow as a person as well as an actor. I’ve grown so much over this past year at Corrie, and long may that continue. If I can carry on acting then I’ll be a very happy man.
Any final words?
Thank you so much to Coronation Street for the opportunity they’ve given me to play Callum for this past year, and also thank you to ITV for allowing me to be part of their 60th Birthday. ITV gave me my very first TV job years ago, Ireland at War, so it’s been amazing to work for them again on such a massive show.