Since being released from prison and arriving in Emmerdale, Billy Fletcher has been working hard to keep on the straight and narrow. Could old pal Max change that? Actor Jay Kontzle explains…
The arrival of old partner in crime Max was bound to cause trouble for Billy Fletcher but how do the pair get embroiled in Emmerdale’s Big Night Out? When Max senses that Billy’s having second thoughts about using his work van for the robbery, he threatens Billy.
Later, having discovered their plan, Ellis sabotages the robbery leaving Billy fearful of what Max will do to retaliate. It’s not long before Max turns up at Tall Trees threatening Billy’s whole family and they have a vicious fight. When Max almost runs Jessie over in his car, she demands to know why Billy’s hanging out with him again and worries what might come next.
The next evening, Max follows Ellis and who is with other villagers on their big night out and sends Billy a threatening photo of Ellis at the club. Panicked, Billy heads into town to help. Will he get there before Max does any harm to Ellis? And how far will Billy go to protect his brother? Actor Jay Kontzle explains…
How is Billy and Ellis’s relationship at the moment?
“I really like the relationship between Billy and Ellis, and at this point it is actually rebuilding itself, as they are on the verge of becoming like real brothers again, like they used to be as children.
“Obviously Billy knows there is a threat there and that it could all go downhill again very quickly for them. They were going to create a business together which would have created a really strong bond between the two. But in the back of his mind, Billy was afraid that it could be ruined in a couple of moments.”
Why does Billy become involved with Max and the robbery?
“Max is the type of person who seems to think he can just roll up and get what he wants from people he used to hang around with. He’s one of those people who has that kind of power. So he just turns up on the scene and assumes Billy is going to do what he wants. He knows his situation having just come out of jail and how Billy is struggling for money, so he uses that to his advantage and tries to drag Billy into this robbery with him.”
What happens when Max discovers that Billy is getting cold feet about using the work van for the robbery?
“Max is not someone who likes being messed with. Due to Billy having access to the van he uses for work he is particularly useful to Max. Max is really controlling and he’s really annoyed when he doesn’t get what he wants from Billy and begins to threaten and put pressure on him. I think Max knows Billy is getting cold feet doing the job so he threatens him and his whole family. And uses it against them.”
Why does Billy do what Max wants?
“Max knows how to manipulate Billy to get him to do what he wants. So due to the pressure Billy kind of agrees to do the robbery as he knows Max’s threats are real but obviously then Ellis gets wind of this and steers Billy away from doing it which in fact, makes it ten times worse as it then involves the rest of the family like Jessie and April.”
Why does Billy go to the nightclub?
“Billy goes to the club because of all the threats that have happened. He knows Max has followed Billy to the club as he had taken a picture of Ellis at the club. Max sends it to Billy, so this is just left hanging and Billy sees this picture with the short text and of course realises the potential threat to Ellis, so heads to the club to help. Billy knows Max’s threats are real and he’s really got under his skin.”
Was it fun recording the nightclub episodes?
“It was great fun recording the nightclub scenes but shooting night shoots literally turns your life upside down as you’ve got to get used to living in the dark. Which I’m kind of used to anyway because I did a lot of that when I was doing music. I actually like being nocturnal and not being around when it’s light and having been used to that routine from before certainly helped. It was just a question of getting back into the mindset of being awake at night time.
“We also get a decent meal before we start filming and you get to hang around with people in the dark which is always fun – it definitely has a different atmosphere to daytime filming.
“You get a sort of jet lag when you work nights. You are coming home to sleep in the morning which isn’t easy as I also have to cope with getting home to two children and they are a toddler and a baby so they are up and about when I’m trying to go to bed. Jumping onto the bed saying ‘Daddy you’re not sleeping!'”
Are you excited to watch these episodes when they air?
“I’m really excited to watch these episodes. Over the past few months or so Billy’s character has been coming to life and it’s been exciting, as an actor, to see the development of both his and Ellis’ characters. The show is now really bringing their personalities out and I think they are beginning to make their mark.”
Will Billy’s life be affected by what happens on the club night?
“Billy’s life will definitely be altered by the nightclub. It will be life changing and it opens him up as a person because there are a lot of things that he’s been hiding about his personality. He’s buried a lot of that inside, but in these episodes you see him open up. And afterwards I hope people will realise the character Billy is and the reason behind why he’s been covering things up.
“All the layers to Billy were one of the things I bought into when I went to the casting. It was his layers that I found interesting. When you go for a part as an actor, you need to find the underlying personality traits that you can either like and dislike or can involve yourself in.
“My favourite trait in Billy was his vulnerability and the fact he’s got this anxious side. He is very loving but then he’s so anxious and impulsive which makes him make rash decisions. I think he is trying to do it all with a good heart but because he’s impulsive it can go the wrong way for him. It explains why he does what he does. It’s interesting to play but he does have to be accountable for his actions and that does make drama for the character.”
See part one of Emmerdale’s Big Night Out starting week commencing 20th April, with the second part revealed starting 6th May.