On a photo shoot with TV Times, EastEnders‘ leading man Scott Maslen talks about his character Jack Branning’s chaotic Father’s Day and why his will be so much happier…
With Ronnie sneakily trying to get pregnant ‘by accident’ and her Aunt Peggy secretly planning Ronnie and Jack’s engagement, it’s not a normal Father’s Day for Jack, is it?
“I don’t think Fathers Day is on Jack’s mind! It’s just another day of chaos for him. It’s all gone pear-shaped. They’re completely dysfunctional!”
Jack already has two children: Amy, the result of his one-night-stand with Roxy, and 11-year-old Penny, his daughter from a previous marriage. Does Jack want more kids?
“He got two kids now but his ex, Selina moved away and Roxy was a one-night stand! He wants to have kids and settle down with Ronnie but he wants to do it the right way. Jack will have babies all the over the place otherwise!”
Admittedly Jack’s a bit of a rogue but is he really a bad boy… like his brother Max?
“I think there’s good and bad in Jack. He isn’t perfect but he isn’t evil! He’s got his own agenda and wants things his way. He’s dysfunctional but Max is a bit more twisted.”
Ronnie goes AWOL after Jack discovers her plot to get deliberately pregnant. Do you think they can ever learn to deal with the excess baggage in their relationship?
“I think there’ll always be a contentious issue. Whenever there’s a kid involved there’s always baggage. If it’s not yours, it tends to be fraught with obstacles, some of them mental and some of them emotional. I’ve only got my wife and my child but I’ve got friends who’ve got new wives with old children and new children and it works but it is a nightmare because there are issues.”
You recently married Estelle, your partner of 10 years and have a young son Zak. What’s family life like for you?
“I’ve got a good life now. I’ve got a house and a family. Everything’s in place. We’re living in a time now where there’s too much greed and too much expectation. You want to know you’re with someone and that they love you. It’s inherently simple. Going out for walks with my family or going fishing with my son, they’re the things that are important.”
And on Father’s Day?
“I get brought cups of tea and made little presents. Zak’s quite creative and comes up with his own little inventions that he’s made himself like figures out of lego, art work from school, spaceships and things like that! It’s nice just getting the opportunity to spend some quality time together at home but I do like being able to say: ‘This is my day!’ Father’s Day became more memorable when my son was no longer a baby and old enough to interact with us.”
You look happy there cradling your on-screen daughter. Any plans to add to the Maslen brood anytime soon?
“Yes, I must admit it does actually make me feel broody – especially when they’re this small and cute!”