If at first, you don’t succeed…
Emmerdale star Mark Womack, who plays corrupt cop DI Malone, has revealed that he originally auditioned – unsuccessfully – for a different role.
The character in question dressed like an undertaker, hated Kim Tate, and ended up being bumped off by Pierce Harris. Yep, it was none other than Graham Foster!
And that’s not all, for the 59 year old has revealed that, after missing out on playing the man in black, he was then offered – and subsequently turned down – a different part, before he eventually agreed to become twisted Malone. He won’t divulge who the character was, out of respect for the actor who was eventually cast, but tells us: “It wasn’t Will.”
Talking exclusively to whatsontv.co.uk, Womack says: “I don’t want to say [what part it was ] because it’s not fair on the actor who’s playing it, really. But I can say that, originally, I met for the role of Graham.
“There was another role after that. So initially I met for Graham, and then I came in again and that didn’t work out; that was the one I couldn’t do. So when this came [Malone] came up, I was really chuffed. It’s a nice part.”
The role of Graham, of course, ended up going to Andrew Scarborough, who bowed out of the soap in a whodunit story in January.
Adds Womack: “Sometimes they like you, but when you go in and read, you’re not right for the part. Especially with soap, it’s got to be the right fit, because you’re in people’s living rooms a lot and if it doesn’t fit, it really sticks out.”
Womack, whose actress wife Sam famously played EastEnders’ Ronnie Mitchell, says that, because of his previous meetings with the show’s production team, he wasn’t asked to audition to play Malone, and that he accepted the “straight offer” because he was attracted to the idea of playing the bad guy.
He reveals: “The initial brief was that Malone was a corrupt policeman who comes in and creates a storm, and is a big nemesis for Cain Dingle. So immediately you think ‘That’s a good, meaty part.’
“You try to find redeeming qualities, but with this guy, it’s quite difficult! He’s very Machiavellian and he’s irredeemable at times, but that’s what makes it nice to play.
“When I read the first scripts, he was quite arrogant, but I didn’t want him to just be arrogant, so I tried to underplay the arrogance a little bit and play him with a bit of a smile.
“The smiling villain is much more interesting than someone who’s always being threatening.”
Emmerdale continues on ITV.