Getting up close with tarantulas and being buried alive – it’s all part of a normal working day on Casualty for Charles Venn.
The star of BBC1’s medical drama reveals how he handles his fears on-screen, why being buried alive was almost too much to bear, and why he’s delighted staff nurse Jacob Masters divided fans when he made his brash entrance back in July 2015…
Speaking about the terrifying scenes where Jacob and clinical lead Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) are trapped in a basement under falling debris, Charles explained: “They had built a make-shift, confined basement. For the most part, Amanda and I decided to stay in that space to create as much as a claustrophobic, enclosed feel as possible. We had this substance, similar to sand, that was cascaded upon us. We were in there for two days, and it was challenging!
“We realised pretty early, this was going to be a tough one. It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever shot.”
If that wasn’t enough, it turns out Charles’ Casualty character also has a fear of spiders – something viewers learned about when a couple of tarantulas made it into the script earlier this year!
Charles revealed he refused to touch the spiders during filming, adding: “I’m afraid of spiders, but am a strong believer in facing fears. Although I do find spiders creepy, I’ve learned to handle them… depending on the size of them!”
He also hinted there’s more to come: “Jacob has phobias, and there’s another one, which I can’t talk about…”
And talking about Jacob’s unusual entrance to the ED, Charles laughed: “Jacob certainly divided fans. When you have this guy who’s bolshie confident, leftfield… I knew that could rub a couple of people up the wrong way!”
For the full interview with Charles Venn, watch the video above