Actor Bob Barrett has already become a hit with fans since his arrival to Holby City at the beginning of the year, as doctor and father to Chrissie’s baby, Sacha Levy. He talks to holby.tv about his role..
Are you enjoying your time on Holby so far?
Yes, I’m just loving it. It’s a wonderful place to come to every day. It’s amazing to me that I’ve been on the show almost a year – the time has flown by!
When your character was initially brought in as the father of Chrissie’s baby, were you always intended to be a regular cast member?
I think so, yes. When I first joined, I knew that I was contracted for eight months as one of the regular cast.
Sacha must be a great character to play, what have been some of your most memorable/ funny scenes playing him so far?
I LOVE playing him. I think the writing on the show is outstanding and I’m very lucky that I get some great lines and wonderful dialogue. It’s hard to pick highlights – obviously I can never get enough of the scenes with Jac and now that Chrissie is back, playing out our story together is endlessly enjoyable and rewarding. In terms of fun, I love the quirky storylines like the flower in the bum story or my nightshift with Frieda and the bet with Jac to clear AAU.
How would you describe your character and do you have any similarities personality wise to him?
I think he’s a guy who looks for the good in people and always tries to be positive. It’s very liberating playing him because he just lives life wearing his heart on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is with pretty much anyone. He’s got a sense of humour about most things, including himself and that means he can be very inappropriate at times! Ultimately though, he just loves people. I’m just hoping that some of this stuff will rub off on me, the more I play him – except maybe the inappropriate comments that get him into trouble!
Do you think you could work with someone like Sacha?
I think it would be fun to work with Sacha. He loves being a doctor and is good at it so you wouldn’t worry on that score. You’d always be aware that something might happen or be said that could be a little, shall we say, different! But you’d know he’d be looking out for you.
Have you had much response from viewers so far regarding your character?
Yes I have. People have been very generous about how they’ve reacted to Sacha. You don’t really expect it, so when it happens it’s all very overwhelming and I’m very touched.
Fans are enjoying Sacha’s relationship with Jac, why is he so determined to break her ice queen persona?
I’m so glad they enjoy it because I do too! I think Sacha just ‘gets’ her. He is intrigued by her. Every day is a rollercoaster with Jac and they both love sparking off each other. The bottom line is, though, that he has great affection for her and wants her to know that he is there for her.
How do you think Chrissie and Sacha’s relationship as parents will develop, particularly when she returns to work?
Regardless of how he feels for her and whether those feelings are reciprocated or not, they are both devoted to Daniel. Whatever happens between them , Sacha would never jeopardize his duties as a father to Daniel and they would always try and make that work. But I think it’s all going to be very interesting…
There are a number of popular cast members leaving later this year such as Amanda Mealing, Luke Roberts and Patsy Kensit, what impact do you think this will have on the show?
It’s very hard to see people who are so much part of the show, and who you are very fond of, leaving. But at the same time, the most important thing is always the show. There are some fantastic actors/characters coming in and I think that with a programme as great as this it will adapt and change but it will always thrive.
Who are your closest friends on Set?
One of the best things about working on Holby is the people who work in the building – not just the cast but the crews and the producers, directors and staff at the BBC. I’m lucky because there is no-one I don’t get on with there and the the ones I’ve really got to know I’ve grown incredibly fond of. Obviously, the people you work with the most are the ones you get to know the best and for some reason most of my scenes are with the actresses on the show, like Olga, Emma and La Charne, which I’ve been delighted about because they’re amazing. Jaye is ridiculously fun to work with, Tina is the easiest person to imagine yourself in love with and Rosie, well, we hit it off from day one and she has become a great friend.
Which actors do you admire?
I love watching old movies so I’m a big fan of actors like Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Walter Matthau, Charles Laughton and, believe it or not, John Wayne. With modern actors, I love those brilliant American character actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti.
You’ve appeared in a number of roles, what have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
I’ve been incredibly lucky with the people I’ve worked with and the jobs I’ve done. In the theatre, there’s too many to mention. I worked with a company called Propeller which is an all-male Shakespeare company run by Ed Hall. I played Bottom and Malvolio with them and had the time of my life. On screen, I loved being in Absolutely Fabulous but filming wise, Holby has been my favourite so far.