Coronation Street’s Jack P Shepherd has said he has to “shake off” his character after filming scenes for his male rape storyline.
The actor’s alter ego David Platt has been struggling to cope since he was drugged and assaulted by Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton).
Asked how he relaxes after shooting the challenging scenes, Shepherd said: “I take myself off for a short while to shake off David.
'The storyline has got people talking which is exactly what we set out to do' - Jack P Shepherd
“I have to take myself into quite a dark place to get that emotion so it is important to get yourself back in reality quickly.”
The actor, 30, said it has been vital to handle the story properly.
“I just wanted to get it right because it is such an important story to tell,” he said.
“The team here have done a great job with the scripts and getting the message across.”
Shepherd continued: “The storyline has got people talking which is exactly what we set out to do.
“When you are playing a part, you get on with telling the story but to see the effect it has had is very rewarding, so it has been great.”
David has found it difficult to open up about what happened to him.
However, Shepherd said Aidan Connor’s recent suicide helps to show David that he needs to speak out about the attack.
He said: “He hears Johnny (Aidan’s father) pouring his heart out to Peter, saying he wished that Aidan would have talked to him about what was going on in his head and it really hits home.
“He has been making rash decisions and hurting the ones he loves along the way when the one thing he needs to do is talk.”
He went on: “Even though David is very extreme in his behaviour sometimes, no one knew what Aidan (Shayne Ward) was dealing with in the same way that no one really knows what David is dealing with, apart from now Shona.
“We have David at his lowest ebb but he realises that he wants to live, he wants to fight these feelings.
“And he realises he can’t move on until he opens up and for Josh to get punished he has to talk.”
Coronation Street continues on ITV.