Nico Mirallegro has revealed he took a leap of faith by leaving Hollyoaks, but feels it was worth it because it led to a leading role in My Mad Fat Diary.
The actor, 24, plays Sharon Rooney’s character Rae’s love interest Finn in the 90s-set teen drama, based on a novel about a teenager trying to reconnect with her friends after being released from a psychiatric hospital, which is due to end after the upcoming third series.
Nico, who left a role in Hollyoaks a few years before he was cast, said: “There was a casting director who said, ‘Go for it now while you’re 18, otherwise you’re going to look back in five years and think, what if?’
The cast of My Mad Fat Diary (Channel 4)
“This was someone who I really admired. They got me in the room for the start of this wonderful journey.
“Hollyoaks was such hard work and at 18, it seemed like the best place in the world, so it was a big thing to leave.”
He added: “Some people were saying I wasn’t ready and that I should have another year, so it was a difficult decision. But you need to step into that unknown place and excite yourself. If you do the same thing every day, how are you going to motivate and better yourself?”
Nico Mirallegro and Sharon Rooney star in My Mad Fat Diary (Channel 4)
Nico said of the show wrapping up: “It’s so sad. It’s the fact that every year we’ve had the next series to look forward to, and once you’ve developed a character and a bunch of friends you’ll have forever, you don’t really want it to end.”
Nico has also starred in BBC1 period drama The Village and feature film Spike Island since he left Hollyoaks.
The third and final series of My Mad Fat Diary begins on E4 on Monday, June 22.