Hollyoaks rapist Finn O’Connor is to make a shock return to Hollyoaks as he prepares to be freed from jail.
It is going to be revealed that Diane Hutchinson has been secretly meeting with Finn who is in prison for raping John Paul McQueen and attempting to rape Nancy Osborne.
Finn seems like a reformed character when Diane visits him, asking her for help with his parole, but is he being genuine and will Diane stand by him once again to the detriment of everyone in the village?
Here Keith Rice reveals all about reprising his role as the village villain…
Can you tell us a bit about why Finn comes back to Hollyoaks?
Well, Finn comes back to Hollyoaks because he’s soon up for a parole hearing. I think for Finn he needs someone’s help to put in a good word for him and that’s when he turns to Diane. Prison has been a hellhole for him and a horrible couple of years so he’s determined to get out of there.
What are Finn’s intentions?
Finn’s intention is to try and get out of prison as soon as he can. It’s been horrific for him inside. As the actor playing Finn, I have to try and salvage something from him, he’s a 17/18-year-old lad who’s scared and needs all the help he can get.
What are Finn’s feelings towards Diane?
The last time we saw them on screen Finn was screaming, “I hate you” at Diane so I think they’re both feeling quite anxious. However, I think Finn does understand that Diane will always be there for him, she’s very maternal and somehow she has the ability to look past everything Finn does. She has always looked after him and I think Finn latches onto that and he knows how to work Diane.
Does Finn think he will be able to win Diane round?
I think he does think he’ll be able to win her round but in those first couple of moments he worries about what he will say and what she will say! There is still a mother and son connection between Diane and Finn, which is what makes it so difficult for Diane.
What’s it like being back?
It just feels like home to be honest, I’d always call Hollyoaks my home. Everyone has made me feel so welcome from my very first day and I know it is quite a cliché but it is such a family feeling. For me, it’s just been great to be back and filming with everyone again that you’ve missed and they’re all brilliant!
Did you feel pressure returning after your huge storyline last time you were in Hollyoaks?
There’s always obviously pressure because you wonder how the audience are going to react and if they want to see Finn back on screen because of the horrific things he has done. But that’s kind of the risk you’ve got to take, and the backlash (if there is any) from fans. Hollyoaks fans only want to see the best stuff on screen and the best storylines, but I think there has been a lot left untold and there are still some questions to be answered so we will see…
What’s it been like seeing all the cast again?
It’s been brilliant especially seeing James Sutton. He’s such great company and we get along really well. It’s been so good for not only me but also James as well to get stuck into it all again.
How do you think the audience will react to Finn’s return?
I don’t know, that’s the scary thing! You don’t know how they will react; they could take to it well or badly! But personally, I think what we’ve done is really good and people will definitely enjoy it.
What have you been up to since you were last on screen?
It was quite nice to take some time off after Hollyoaks, and it takes time as an actor to move away from your previous character, especially because Finn was at the forefront of a big storyline. But I did do a film last year with Johnny Vegas which is now in post-production and set for release quite soon. That was good and I enjoyed doing something different. However, I still kind of play a bully, haha! I think I am set for a good 2017.
How challenging is it to get into the mind-set of someone like Finn, is there anything you do to get into character?
Everyone always says to me, “How can you play someone as vile as Finn?” and actually I don’t know! My girlfriend said to me, “How can you go into work and be Finn and then come home a different person?” and don’t get me wrong it is challenging, but as an actor it’s very complex and I’ve always been interested in the psychology of things. Finn is psychotic, but as an actor you just have to play both sides. He was a bully, and now he’s a little older and he’s been through a lot more whilst being inside, so there’s quite a big difference playing Finn this time around.
Who have you kept in touch with since you left?
Loads of people! Like I said everyone at Hollyoaks is like my family so it’s been good to still hear from Alex Fletcher and James Sutton. I worked with them quite a lot when I was last at Hollyoaks so you do keep in touch.