Arrogant, petulant, witty and womanizing– all words you would use to describe Dr Simon Kaminski.
Ever since he stepped through the A&E doors – hot on the heels of deceased Patrick Spiller – we all realized he’d be one to watch. But although he showed some of the same characteristics as Spiller. Kaminski hasn’t proved to be quite the love-to-hate character as his predecessor; Spiller had a certain charm that we would still want Lara and Holly to have fallen in love with – meanwhile fans feel sorry for any woman who gets tangled in a relationship with Kaminski.
Kaminski showed a selfish attitude in his love life. When things got complicated, he was happy to back off – leaving everyone else involved to pick up the pieces.
In his first season in the drama, Kaminski showed no remorse in breaking up his brother’s relationship, by having an affair with his wife-to-be Claire. And if he didn’t have any respect for his family relationships, how could anyone else stand a chance?
If things couldn’t get any worse, he then went on to Nurse Colette Griffiths, who having marriage difficulties with paramedic Josh– fled to Kaminski for support, and he was only too happy to oblige. But for to him meant only a mindless fling at the Christmas party – Colette was ready to kiss her marriage goodbye.
Further complications arose when Colette discovered she was pregnant with his child. “He doesn’t want to have a child,’ added Christopher Colqhoun who plays the love-rat. ‘Maybe one day with someone he loves, but it was a drunken, one-night-stand – not the best circumstances in which to conceive’ Colette then discovered her baby suffered abnormalities that Kaminski’s genes were blamed for, but as she decided to keep the baby no matter – with Kaminski’s uncaring attitude in the back of her mind throughout – she sadly lost the baby anyway. So bad did this ‘fling’ turn out, Colette was forced to leave Holby, Josh and Simon behind her. Christopher continued. “I can’t forgive his behaviour towards Colette – he’ll pay for it.”
And so far he has, with Josh threatening to ruin his life at the first given opportunity at the end of Series 17 and his suspension over the treatment of a young boy – Kaminski returned at the beginning of Series 18 with his suspension overturned but to a huge unwelcome by staff. Kaminski thus feeling beaten down by life, especially when his suspension effectively puts back his career by two years, which is a real beating for someone with an ego like his.
‘It’s a black mark on his career and he wouldn’t want that on his record. He also feels that it was completely unjustified because the actions he took weren’t wrong and that he was cleared, but it’s still held against him’ said Christopher. ‘There are moments in the series where he manages to prove himself but ultimately there’s constantly an underlying tension with the rest of the staff’
He knows he’s competent enough to do the job but no one else has faith in him anymore. He feels that Lara is favoured by Harry, who fancies her. Even though Kaminski was a registrar first, he is not treated with the seniority he deserved. Seeing her being mollycoddled and pushed through the ranks is tough. Kaminski has got an attitude problem, though. ‘I think Simon feels that he’s been side lined a bit and that due to his personality, they are taking it out on his career as well and that he’s not being taken as far as he should be in his career’ he added.
As he returned, he had a lot to prove and the tension and animosity between Simon and Harry was given fuel when Harry discovers Tally is seeing Simon. Christopher says: “A sexy 18-year-old comes up and flirts with him. There is no question in his mind that he can have her. Simon wants revenge at this point and knows it’ll hit Harry where it hurts. With the super objective of getting all the references he needs to become a consultant, he drives Harry into a corner.”
‘Simon’s an opportunist – he saw the opportunity and takes it. She’s sexy, bubbly and fun and also the boss’s daughter – by any means necessary he want not necessarily revenge but a. to set the record straight and b. to get further on his career and at the moment feels he’s being held back unfairly’
In episode nine, Simon finds out about Harry self-prescribing anti-depressants. He uses the information to blackmail Harry into letting him go on the Rapid Response team, which Lara launched in episode five. “Simon considers leaving, but knowing he now has the choice gives him the psychological momentum to continue in his post. He knows he’s wanted, is valuable and is more than competent enough for the job,” says Christopher.
Playing such a strong character, has had it’s highs and lows for actor Christopher.
‘The thought of playing some Mr nice guy character just doesn’t appeal to me’ he says and continued that a professional high in recent times is “getting to play someone who’s so cocky, arrogant and aggressive, but who gets the girls. It is fantastic – why would you not want to play that? In real life you have to behave yourself in a certain way but, in this role, I can misbehave. Simon’s getting more Machiavellian by the week and I’m really enjoying it.”
But added “The low point is that there’s an ‘anti-Simon’ mood around the hospital and that pervades into my own life. It affects me as an actor/human being, too. I’m drawing on real emotions all the time and, as I’ve got no shoulder to cry on in the storyline, I’m left dragging angry, resentful feelings around constantly.’
‘It’s exhausting. I’ve been most happy on a professional level when the character has been fundamentally liked and enjoys being where he is, but I’ve spent a year and a half playing someone who has been beaten down – of course it’s going to affect me.”
Asked how viewers treated him, he said ‘Fan letters I usually get say ‘are you really that bad in real life?’ and when recognised in the street he explained ‘Not many people say things but when they do, I do get quite a bit of abuse for it but generally people are pretty respectful!’
‘There was a guy the other day at a fruit and veg stall and he said ‘you need to sort it out mate because you were alright when you started but you’ve gone too far now!’
‘And there was another time I was in IKEA as I needed to replace a glass, and I got to the checkout and said to them ‘ I bet you think it’s really sad that I’ve wandered round for two hours and this is all I’ve managed to buy!’ and all they said back was ‘no I don’t think that’s sad, I think your shirts are sad’ – she didn’t even make the distinction between me and my character!’ he joked.
‘All my family want me to be tamed – they all hate the fact that I’m such a baddie, my mum just can’t deal with it and questions ‘where does it come from all this anger?’
But does Kaminski have a soft side to himself? Viewers have only once before seen a vulnerable side to Simon when he fell in love with Jane Winters – a prostitute who was unable to commit to him. It showed that he did have feelings after all and he was willing to give her everything, and even supported her through her tumour ordeal. But she found to be a difficult, stubborn woman – he met his match in her and he realized what it was like to be hurt back.
On falling in love with Jane, Christopher was surprised his character did “I don’t understand why he would. I can see the desire and the challenge of a woman like that but to fall in love with someone who is giving absolutely nothing back is just naive,” he says. “He tells himself that he’s getting something out of it even though he’s not. He fools himself that she loves him.”
But despite all said, Christopher has enjoyed all his time working with the CASUALTY team. “The company gets you through the times when you’re frustrated, tired and things are getting you down. Our trips away have been the most fun. Six of us went down to Devon and hired a cottage for New Year. We had a huge dinner and fireworks down on the beach.”
As well as this Christopher also loves his music and is toying with the idea of writing a script. ‘’I’m better at writing short scripts – I’m more of a sprinter than marathon runner in terms of writing. I write poems and songs and find that quite easy,’ he said but was quite hesitant about giving further details. ‘I have a few ideas for films and plays that I have begun to write but I sometimes find myself getting halfway through the course and judder to a halt – so to talk about them means I may have to finish them!’
His main passion remains photography however “Photography is the lynchpin of my life outside work, as is looking for the perfect woman, of course!