Paul Henshall has settled into HOLBY CITY well after joining the cast in May last year. After being spotted at a BBC Talent scheme back in 2001, he has appeared in a number of shows for the BBC. The producers of HOLBY CITY then snapped him up, bringing him into the show in an aim to provide a true representation of it’s audience. holby.tv talked to Paul about his role in the show…
How did you get the part of Dean? Where were you when you learnt you’d won the role and how did you celebrate?
The part was created for me after the producers saw me in the BBC1 drama ‘A Thing Called Love’ in 2004. I was on a train when I was told I’d won the role but I was too nervous to celebrate!
How would you describe your character Dean? Are you anything like him?
Dean is cheeky but kind hearted. He’s probably not really as confident as he appears. I’m getting less like Dean as I play him more as his character develops with the storylines. I’m not as arrogant as him!
A main character on HOLBY CITY being a wheelchair user with cerebral palsey is the first of it’s kind. Are you pleased with the introduction of your character to the show?
I never attempt to play Dean as a ‘disabled character’. I just try to make him as real as I can as a person.
Were you nervous about joining the show and established actors on HOLBY CITY?
I was nervous, but starting with Adam Best (Matt) really helped, as we get on really well – unlike Matt and Dean!
Did you have to do much research for your HOLBY CITY role?
We spent a day in a hospital doing the ward round with the doctors and had to watch a really disgusting operation involving bottoms!
Could you be a real life medic? Are you at all squeamish?
I couldn’t be a doctor as I’d get too nervous. But I don’t get squeamish – in HOLBY you can’t afford to as everything looks so real!
Have you always wanted to be a actor? Are your family supportive of your chosen career?
I’ve wanted to act since I first saw panto at the age of four. I then went on to train at Manchester Metropolitan School of theatre. Initially my family were concerned, as any budding actor’s family would be, but they are very proud of my success.
Can you tell us anymore about your company ‘Clean Slate’?
Clean Slate aims to deliver disability awareness training through theatre to colleges and businesses. We also aim to produce mainstream plays with able-bodied and disabled actors. The company is the brainchild of my actress girlfriend Anna Scutt, who works alongside me in the productions.
What other acting work would you like to do in the future?
I would like to do some classic plays – Shakespeare, Chekov. I also think a panto would be fun!