Danny Dyer tells us how he’s finally in something his daughters can watch – this week’s Casualty on BBC1…

Tell us about your character in Casualty…
“He’s a paramedic called Rossy, who’s always on the scene before Dixie and Jeff arrive. Then when the victim’s been treated, he drifts off into the night. Dixie and Jeff do a bit of digging around and realise that the real Rossy has been dead for two years and I’m taking on this guy’s life. There’s a reason for it, though, he’s got something dark going on which you find out at the end. He’s a really sad character.”

Have you ever been in Casualty before?
“They’ve asked me to do stuff before, but it was a bit obvious, drug dealers and stuff like that. I wasn’t really interested in that, but this was something totally different and I was really excited about it.”

Did you enjoy filming the show?
“Yes, it’s a great part because I save lives in it, and that’s a beautiful thing. Plus I found it quite cool to dress up as a paramedic. I’m glad I’ve finally done something my daughters can watch. I don’t swear in it, I’m actually a really nice guy. We can sit together and watch it with a nice Chinese.”

Have your daughters not seen any of your films?
“I know my oldest daughter has, but she’s 15 so I can’t really stop her. My youngest is five, so she’s oblivious to it all. Though the other day she saw a picture of a magazine with Peter Andre on the front and said, ‘Look, there’s Daddy.’ I was devastated.”

Abi Titmuss has a part in this episode too; what was she like to work with?
“We don’t actually have any scenes together. You know they have a couple of stories running through the episode, so she’s got her thing going on and I’ve got my thing going on. She’s a nice, sweet girl though, Abi, I’ve met her a couple of times before. She’s had a bit of a tough time and she wants people to take her seriously as an actress. And by all accounts she’s done a lot of theatre and stuff, so I wish her all the best.”

Casualty’s one of the longest-running dramas on British TV. How did you feel about joining a national institution?
“That was one of the reasons I agreed to do it! I loved watching Casualty as a kid, it was really powerful. I’ve got total respect for all the actors on the show. It’s a tough gig, they work long hours and they don’t see a lot of their families. They really made me feel welcome. Derek Thompson, who plays Charlie, said he was thrilled that I was in the show, which meant a lot. He’s a lovely man.”

Did you enjoy filming in Cardiff, where Casualty’s now made?
“I filmed my first film, Human Traffic, there, back in 1997. It’s a totally different town now, really pedestrianised. I think it was a bit cooler back in the day. I had a nutty six weeks there, I’ve got to say. It was a bit of a blur, but it was a beautiful thing. I loved making that movie.”

Did you visit any of your old haunts while you were out there?
“They’d all gone. The hotel I stayed in, that was really old, that’s gone. There was a great club called the Hippo club, a really cool, underground club, that’s a block of flats now. It’s all changed so much in what, 15 years? It’s hardly recognisable. I was quite disappointed really. But it’s a good town, Cardiff, good people.”

So would you like to play more of these nice guy sort of characters?
“Yeah, as an actor, you’re always looking for something new. It’s just whether or not it comes along. You can’t really plan your career, or choose what path you take. It’s all right if you’re a young actor and you’re still living with your parents and you’ve just got to wait for the phone to ring, you haven’t got to worry so much. But I’ve got a missus and two daughters. Putting your kids into private school and mortgages and things like that, you’ve got to earn money. And good scripts are very, very rare, especially in the film game. But I’ve learned the hard way this past year so, hopefully, I’ve taken a step back and thought, ‘Right, I’m going to take some time off and wait for something decent to come along.’ And in between that, Casualty came along and I thought, ‘Fine, I’ll go and do a bit of Casualty.'”

Have you had any good film roles come up recently?
“I’ve got a movie coming out in about three weeks which I’m really looking forward to, something totally different for me. It’s called Deviation and I play a serial killer who’s just escaped from prison and I’m looking for my next victim. I choose this girl and kidnap her in her car, cable-tie her to her passenger seat and I drive. I’m driving her to her death, that’s the whole film. We’re two characters in a car, really.

“It’s a really interesting idea. Just about dialogue and the dynamic of these two strangers in a car in London. It’s set over one day and one night and it’s really clever. Anna Walton, who plays the victim, is just amazing. She’s a really strong actress who was in Hellboy and stuff like that.”

You must have to have a strong connection, with just the two of you?
“Do you know what? She was an obvious choice. We didn’t want a little, timid girl. She’s 6’3”, taller than me, and a really strong character. I basically choose the wrong victim because she’s a nurse and stuff, a bit of a psychotherapist and she gets in my brain and sort of breaks it down why I do what I do. He’s obviously quite a tortured soul. I love making movies and I wanted to come back with a film that’s really, really strong. And I think I’ve achieved that with this. It comes out on Feb 24th.”

Anything else in the pipeline?
“I’ve got about four films out this year. I’m going to do a movie with Ray Winstone called The Most Dangerous Girl in the World, which I’m really excited about. Then I’m going to do another movie called Deceit which is with the same director as Deviation. That’s about me being stalked by some crazy, nutty bird. And I’ve got a couple of other films lined up for later in the year, so I’ve had a bit of time off and now it’s time to get back on the graft. But I’m going to be a little more choosy this year about what I do.”’