Steve Halliwell in-depth research for Zak's illness

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 9 May 2012
Steve Halliwell

Steve Halliwell

Steve Halliwell admits he had to "research a lot" while preparing to portray his 'Emmerdale' character Zak Dingle's slide into mental illness

'Emmerdale's Steve Halliwell "researched a lot" to get into the mind-set of someone with a mental illness.

The 58-year-old actor's character Zak Dingle ends up on the verge of a breakdown in the ITV soap later this week, and he admits he did a lot of work to prepare himself for the emotionally draining storyline.

He said: "I think men like that would never want to admit they have depression. They're just, 'Get on with it, get on with it.' He can't help it, he can't get on with it so he's having to face it. I think he's convinced the doctor - because he feels so ill - must have missed it so he convinces himself of what he has. He's already lost two sons, I think anyone would crack up.

"I researched a lot of the stuff. We were lucky to have an actor playing the doctor who had also worked as a psychiatric nurse so it was like having an unpaid advisor!"

However while repeating his lengthy monologues in preparation for shooting, Steve became concerned he may have been worrying his neighbours.

He joked on 'This Morning': "I was doing these pretty long monologues in my garden and I didn't realise I was freaking them out! They were thinking, 'Is he actually going mad?!' "

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