Coronation Street spoilers follow from Friday's episodes (May 7).
Coronation Street star Harry Visinoni has spoken about his departure from the show for the first time.
Harry's character Seb Franklin passed away in hospital in Friday's emotional episodes after being attacked by Corey Brent and a gang of other thugs.
Earlier this week, Seb and his girlfriend Nina Lucas were targeted by Corey and his friends, who mocked Nina for her alternative identity.
The story shares similarities to the tragic real-life case of Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered by a gang in 2007 because of her appearance. Corrie's team has worked with the foundation set up in Sophie's name while developing the on-screen plot.
Harry recently caught up with Digital Spy and other media to discuss leaving the show in this important storyline.
How did you first find out about this storyline?
"I had a meeting with Iain MacLeod, who's the producer at Corrie, to discuss potential avenues going forward. This storyline got suggested as an option and I decided it was a fitting end for the character and a storyline I'd love to be a part of. It's a perfect way for me to wave goodbye to Seb.
"The thing is, I never intended to stay in the show forever. While I was there, it was always a goal of mine to play a major part in a story that is as big as this is for the show. When it came through the door, it wasn't really something I could pass up."
In the build-up, did you enjoy exploring the Seb/Nina romance and showing a different side to your character?
"Yeah, I loved playing those scenes. The way the relationship was written was so lovely, genuine, honest – and a big testament to the writers, really. I haven't enjoyed playing something more than that in my whole five years of being there.
"The reception for the relationship has been wonderful and I'm very grateful for it. It really helps the story, with the fact that everyone is so invested in their relationship.
"It's necessary, in order for the story to be as impactful as it possibly can. The more invested the audience are, the more devastating it is when everything else happens."
What was it like to film the attack scenes?
"It's interesting, because a younger Seb a few years ago maybe would have got stuck in and had the fight with Corey, but the more mature Seb we're seeing now realises the best way to protect Nina and himself is to get out of there. It's fight or flight, and flight is definitely the way to go in this situation.
"It was quite exciting to film. I loved it. Shooting at night creates a different vibe in itself, so it was good and the energy was high.
"It's also quite impressive that it was all done socially distanced and I think it's just as polished as if it wasn't. I really got on with everyone we were filming with – it was a good group of people."
How was it to get all of the post-attack make-up done, especially after a year of the cast all doing their own make-up on set?
"They only had an hour to do it because of COVID regulations! The make-up team can only be in their protective suits for an hour. We were restricted, but we had a make-up rehearsal beforehand so they had an idea of what to do.
"What they did was quite impressive. I sent a photograph of it to my girlfriend and she was horrified! It was very realistic."
What was it like to film Seb's death scenes and hear Abi's reaction?
"I'm really going to miss working with Sally Carman. Doing those scenes, Sally had the ability to tap into that emotion at the drop of a hat. I was quite awestruck really, because it was amazing take after take, scene after scene. It was quite inspiring for me to watch."
How important is the story to you, especially with the show working alongside The Sophie Lancaster Foundation?
"I think people are very quick to make drastic assumptions based on how others outwardly express themselves, through dress or whatever it might be. That ignorance has consequences – and Sophie was killed as a consequence of blind hate and prejudice. It just comes from a lack of understanding, or a lack of wanting to understand.
"Obviously it was a big responsibility to tell this story and share this idea as truthfully as possible. It's been an honour to have been trusted with it. I believe it will have the right impact. It was very moving hearing about the real-life story."
What kind of impact do you want the storyline to have?
"I really see the storyline as part of a greater process of eradicating prejudice through education. Hopefully it will start the conversation. It's just about protecting people's rights to be who they are and feel safe in doing so."
What have you learned from your time at Corrie?
"Even outside of Corrie, I've gone from being straight out of college at 18 years old and I turn 23 in June, so I've gone from being a boy to a man in this time. So outside of Coronation Street, I've grown so much.
"During my time here, I've learned about TV. It's been an incredible education. Something you get on a show like Corrie is the opportunity to work with so many different directors and actors. It's not learning from just one person, it's the whole thing. You learn so much all the time, day to day and storyline to storyline."
What was it like to film your final scene?
"It was quite emotional, really. At the end of it, they said 'that's a wrap for Harry' and I got a clap and all of that. I was welling up, which is a rare thing for me! I drew the short straw because usually everyone goes out for leaving drinks upon someone's exit, but because of COVID I didn't receive that treatment unfortunately!"
Will you watch the episodes?
"Yeah, I think I will. I'm very proud of what I've done, so I do want to watch it. My little sister will probably force my mum to watch it, but it might hit my mum pretty hard!"
What's next for you?
"I'm very excited. I maybe would like to do a bit of theatre. The last five years has been the best education you could wish for, but obviously I've still so much to learn. Acting on the stage is the next logical step to continue developing and learning.
"Aside from that I'm going to follow my nose and see where it takes me. I'll just continue to enjoy myself and build my career in whatever role that might be."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7.30pm on ITV.
Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Coronation Street has worked on the current storyline alongside The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was set up to challenge prejudices and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures, and extend UK hate crime legislation, following the murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007.
Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like