Bob Barrett, who plays loveable medic Sacha is set to marry Chrissie in this week’s episode. He chats to holby.tv about what’s in store in this series finale episode…
So we’re set for a Holby wedding – how’s the build up been to the marriage?
Chrissie asked Sacha to marry her, Sacha said yes and we’ve sort of got to the stage where when you’re together with somebody and you know you’re going to get married, there isn’t much discussion. So the premise coming into the upcoming wedding was that Sacha had upset her or thinks he has, then Sacha spent the last episode trying to say sorry to her. He’s seen putting loads of sheets together writing ‘I love Chrissie’ and dangling it from Keller but at the same time as Hanssen is doing an important press conference, which was quite intense!
What can you tell us about the wedding episode?
It’s a great episode written by Justin Young. It’s set over a week, Monday through to the Friday. And it goes through different stages of what happens and I think for most of the episode you assume that Chrissie will leave him at the altar!
The episode starts with them going to the registry office and Sacha being upset at that because, being Sacha, in his heart if he had the choice, he’d have a Big Fat Jewish wedding! This is the absolute opposite of what Chrissie wants! The mother in law gets involved and tells Sacha he should have this big wedding and Chrissie gets more and more scared!
Sacha’s children get involved, Sacha’s mother gets Luc to be his best man then you end up with the centre piece of the episode being Sacha’s stag do!
What’s the stag do like?
I always said when I found out Sacha was getting married that I would’ve like to have seen Jac be his best man because they’re great friends so Sacha would insist but because it’s not a proper wedding, we didn’t do that but I said if Jac couldn’t be his best man, she’s got to be at his stag do! So the stag do is in Luc’s campervan with Michael, Luc and Jac! To film it was one of the best things I’ve ever done as it was such a laugh.
I said to the writers Sacha needs to have a scene where he finds out just how many people have slept with Chrissie, so they choose brilliantly Jac to do it to Sacha at his stag do whilst he’s drunk. But Sacha doesn’t care, he still loves her!
Then Jac later has an altercation with Chrissie?
There’s a scene outside when Jac leaves the stag party where she sees Chrissie coming towards the campervan and you’re assuming she’s going to say she can’t go through with this as she’s just come from her hen night with Sacha’s mother, Chantelle and Malick!
Jac tells her that Sacha deserves happiness more than anyone she’s ever met and says if she’s going to do it, do it now because she doesn’t think he should marry her anyway! It’s left and then at the end when it comes to the actual wedding, I think on the day you assume she’s not going to do it but actually she swings it all round and it’s a magical wedding.
Do you think their relationship will last?
What’s lovely about it, from my point of view and Tina’s is that there are so many things they can do. I know the public perception will be that she will break his heart or have an affair but I know the producers are undecided about what they will do.
What I love about the relationship is it’s a very modern relationship. They’re not love’s young dream, they’re not soul mates – they’ve had this child together and made the best of that and out of that they’ve fallen in love with eachother. Sacha’s got an ex wife, children from a previous marriage; it’s a relationship a lot of people recognise. So I think whatever happens with them, they’ve got this child. They have this bond in Daniel, an absolute link whatever happens. Even if it does go pear shaped I can’t see it turning sour between them. They’ll continue to have a very interesting relationship. You can see seeds of the reasons why they may not be together but it’s very subtle and on the whole they are trying to make it work.
Would you like to see their relationship work?
I think from an actor’s point of view it would be interesting if it did hit trouble because that is more interesting to play and ofcourse it is Holby! I think of all the characters in the show you would possibly bank on Sacha being the one that could make a family work in this environment because he absolutely believes in that. It’s interesting they’ve put him with someone who hasn’t had that kind of life so from that point of view people think it wont it work. Working together all the time, in a relationship must be so hard.
The writers do tend to write things very plausibly and real which is the most important thing for me. It wouldn’t go off on some tangent so as long as it stays real, I am pleased.
Do you enjoy playing a ‘nice guy’ character?
I haven’t always played nice characters so this is interesting! What I do like about him is although he is a very nice person and his heart is absolutely in the right place – he’s not a weak character. He’s actually a very strong character and when he’s pushed he can fight back.
When Sacha got stabbed, it sort of bounced off him a bit. He could cope with something like that but I think if something really awful happened emotionally to him it would be interesting to see how he’d react because I think he is very instinctive. Sacha does get angry, he flies of the handle sometimes and then regrets it but that’s quite natural. He’s not a saintly figure that rides above everything. He’s in the mix with everyone and happens to deal with everything usually in a moral way.
Do you think he would always forgive anything of Chrissie?
I can’t see a situation where he would hold onto resentment, he’s too much of a ‘that’s life’ kind of person. He’s had a very hard life and I think he’s always come through it. No matter what happens, he bounces back and he’s happy. He’s positive, he’s half glass full but from an audience point of view it would be good to see him pushed. But I don’t think it would necessarily be about Chrissie breaking his heart. He knows and is aware of who she is.
Are there any notable guests in this episode?
They make it to the altar with Veruca Salt, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! Julie Dawn Cole, who is fantastic, appears in this episode as Pam Feeny.
We’ve actually become great friends. As well as being an actress, she is a hospice counsellor for bereaved children. As my mum died when I was 12, she asked me to film a video that would help other children who have had a parent that has died.
It must have been incredibly difficult for you at that time?
I found it incredibly hard to talk about for 10 years; I did have a nervous breakdown so when I was asked to do this video I didn’t mind, because I thought if it was of any help to others going through it, it was worth it. We never had counselling back then. From our generation you were told to just buck your ideas up, no-one mentioned it, so you end up having to deal with it yourself which is crazy.
Holby deals with mortality all the time, is this an aspect you find hard?
Not really because as a character, that’s his role in the show to deal with the patients, counselling and helping them in that sense. He’s not a hot shot surgeon who’s just there for ambition and career. Each patient that comes in sort of changes him slightly so I love that aspect. Everyone in life has had experiences and from mine I can draw from that.
What reaction do you get from the public about your character?
What tends to happen is that they think that they know you. They come and give me a hug or I remind them of someone they know. I think I’m on the right track when people say that, it’s never that I remind them of a character on another show. I’ve always wanted him to be as real a character as possible as that’s the most important thing in a continuing drama. You get to know them so well because you’re with them every week so it’s great to have an emotional response to it from the public. People are amazing to me – no one wants to smack me!
What about their response of his relationship with Chrissie?
I do get people telling me to leave Chrissie and that ‘she’ll only break your heart!’ or someone once said to me that they hoped Sacha would make her nicer!
It reminds me, for my sins I watch Celebrity Big Brother – it’s a terrible admission! I’d never go on it but my friend was on it this year and I watched it from her point of view and thought it must be hell in there. I found the public are very unforgiving about women who flirt or that use their sexuality. It’s just them being themselves but they always seem to be voted out and Chrissie gets that negative response because she’s had affairs. She only wants to find happiness but people are very hard on her which I find fascinating. In a way they are a lot less hard on Jac; she’s got issues, but you can see where it comes from with her and you know that she was in love with one man and she actually (apart from sleeping with his father!) always knew that she loved him and would have done anything for him. So whatever happened or how she behaved, she loved that guy and that’s why she’s always remained popular in the show.
Will they be filming much more in future with Sacha’s family?
We have a new child actor playing Daniel, who is amazing. He’s very quiet but then when filming starts he would turn into this acting machine, a natural! I think the producers love the dynamic between Sacha and his daughters also so they may bring them back. And at Christmas there’s another episode with my mother. I love that they bring in Sacha’s family!
So are you here to stay on Holby for the foreseeable?
I guess so. I never can look at things long term, I go day to day but I love it here. I never thought I would. Playing a character over a length of time I thought could drive me mad but it’s the opposite because you can go into such detail. It’s a great place to work, a wonderful environment. Job security is nice and I did a lot of touring away from home prior to Holby, so it’s nice to be here and be able to go home every night.
I live in Lewisham, my life is there but what I like even though the travelling can be exhausting is that it’s nice to be able to get away. It’s two different places, if I lived 15 minutes down the road I’d just take work home with me!
Besides Chrissie and Sacha’s relationship, what’s Sacha’s take on Eddi and Luc’s relationship?
The Eddi/ Luc storyline is ongoing. Sacha is very fond of them. He loves Eddi and Luc and he likes that relationship. He realises that you have to be hands off with them because they are quite private and in their own bubble but from a distance he’s always trying to manoeuvre and trying to help that. We’re a tight group on AAU – got to keep the family together!