In the second of Emmerdale’s special episodes about life in lockdown, Aaron Dingle is hold up at Mill Cottage with ‘uncle’ Cain. Actor Danny Miller talks about the process of filming the lockdown episodes.

Emmerdale in lockdown, Danny Miller as Aaron Dingle
Emmerdale in lockdown, Danny Miller as Aaron Dingle

Putting Emmerdale’s two biggest brooding males together in lockdown was never going to be yoga sessions and banana bread but Aaron Dingle and Cain (Jeff Hordley) are stuck with each other. Actor Danny Miller talks about the filming process of these special episodes.

How did you feel when you were asked to be part of these special Lockdown episodes?
I felt honoured that Jeff (Hordley) and I were trusted with an episode telling the story of being in lockdown together. As a man, I can say first hand how difficult it is to talk in general. With the lockdown and the scary reality of the virus being thrown in there, it makes it ten times harder to offload and share feelings. It’s no longer general, it’s a pandemic. And everyone has worries. Your brain tends to tell you to keep your own problems to yourself more than ever, so as not to add to anyone else’s worries. I’m glad the producers and writers took two of Emmerdale’s characters who like to portray ‘two men who don’t like opening up’ to address how easy it can be when that burden is lifted by having a simple conversation with one another.

Was it hard to learn the script, given the amount of dialogue?
I often find that I work best under pressure, when I have to just throw it all in the pot and go for it. So this was an exciting, and yes, a slightly daunting challenge. But the writer, Adam Sales, has been with the show since I first started, he was a runner initially and one of my favourites with that. So he knows the characters and their stories as well as anyone and it really tells in the fluency and pitch of the story arc within the episode. It is great as nothing appears forced. It’s easy to read and learn and that helps massively. And we don’t fill empty moments with dialogue. I enjoy scripts that are left to breathe. And this is certainly one of those scripts. Well done Adam!

Tell us about the rehearsal process?
We had a day’s rehearsal. This was in the studio with the director and producer. So we could read through and bring up any queries or issues. Then Jeff and I spent an hour FaceTiming each other to run through the episode a little bit more so we were fully prepared. And then straight onto shoot day. This shows how quickly Emmerdale and ITV can turn round a gritty piece of continuing drama.

So this episode was quite a different process. Because not only did we have all the usual bits to remember, lines, positions, cues etc but also making sure health and safety was included and prioritised. Quite rightly.

In the episode, a letter arrives with a prison stamp on it. Cain, not wanting Aaron to slip back into his hole of despair over Robert, hides the letter in a magazine. As the days pass by, Cain and Aaron get drunk but Cain lets slip about the letter leaving Aaron furious.

Cain can’t remember where he’s put it and frantic Aaron rails at him, giving him some home truths about him and Moira. Later, Cain attempts an apology but struggles to open up. How will Aaron cope with the letter and will it set him back? Will lockdown get Cain to come to terms with his true feelings?

Don’t miss Aaron Dingle and Cain together in lockdown on Wednesday 10 June.*

*Subject to change