Glasweigan actor Cal Macaninch plays one of the lead characters, Detective Inspector John Keeenan, who is dedicated to his job with an acute sense of justice however has recently split from his wife, Kate, and embarks on a relationship with CPS’ Rachel.
holby.tv meet Cal Macaninch…
Has John sacrificed his marriage for his job?
I think it must be difficult to be 100% committed to this sort of job and try to sustain anything else. I don’t think it’s something he’s consciously chosen to do; I think that gradually he’s put less and less time in to his marriage.
When you have kids you think your priorities will change, but I don’t know how you could possibly switch off from this job when the shift ends. Being a policeman must change people because they see the very ugly side of humankind every single day and it’s a very violent job; everyday there can be punch ups. John wants to have the streets safe for his kids, his grandchildren and other people’s kids.
Is he shocked at the state of his marriage?
In episode one his wife, Kate, says that she’s going to press ahead with the divorce and I don’t think he believed it would ever happen. He assumes they’ll get back together again and everything will be fine: It’s a real shock to him which he finds hard to deal with. Kate takes the house keys back and on top of everything else he finds out she’s seeing somebody else! He wonders how that happened, he thinks ‘I’m a detective and I didn’t know’!
Does Kate talk of divorce to get a reaction out of him?
I think Kate’s serious about divorce because he hasn’t really learnt from the fact they split up in the first place. I suppose for her, she’s saying enough is enough and we have to move on. But she still loves him.
How does John feel about working with his soon-to-be ex?
It’s confusing for John because she gives conflicting signals; one minute she’s saying ‘get out of my life’, next minute she’s saying ‘oh by the way I’ve got a job working beside you’. It’s a bit thoughtless really – is it because she can’t keep away?
Do you think he has genuine feelings for Rachel, who works in the CPS?
At that moment she’s very open to him, he’s just looking for a bit of solace. He gives Rachel quite mixed signals himself; that’s not fair to her, even if she is a bit of a tyrant! I think Tony (Jordan) wanted John to be a strong copper in his professional life and then, where women are involved he can’t quite say no or doesn’t want to offend and be seen as a bad person. He’s easily influenced when it comes to women, which is a bit ironic.
Why does John like to work alone?
I think John doesn’t want to be controlled and bureaucracy and rules control him in a way he doesn’t like.
This results in an interesting relationship with his partner Luke…
John makes presumptions about Luke but ends up bringing something out of him and an affection develops between the two of them immediately, which is really important if you’re working with someone everyday. Their trust develops quickly, even though John is less conventional than Luke. Right away Luke shows a sense of humour and John likes that.
Does John look up to Harry?
Harry is his mentor; John admires him. Harry would always reign John in at the right times and let him loose at others. They have a wonderful working relationship and John has learned lots from Harry. Harry comes from the old school of policing and John respects that.
Has your perception of the police changed since HolbyBlue?
I realised how much paperwork is involved when we spent some time with the detectives for research purposes. They went to arrest someone and even though the suspect was in the house, they couldn’t force entry. They have to call three times, leaving a calling card each time and only then can they get a warrant.
What other projects do you have coming up?
I’m filming in South Africa for a film called Doomsday by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) which also stars Adrian Lester.