EastEnders star teases return of Rocky's dark sides as more secrets are revealed
Rocky Cotton may be a walking cockney banter machine, with a twinkle in his eye, cheeky quips and outrageous stories, but EastEnders star Brian Conley has warned there may still be a dark side to the comic character.
We have known the character for two years and have seen some manipulation and conniving intentions at times, but he is generally harmless and has settled into a loving relationship with Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth).
Since his scheme with Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) tapped into his conscience, fans were left believing he is an all round decent guy.
But more secrets will be explored next year – and could show different sides to Rocky.
‘He’s still Nick Cotton’s half-brother,’ comedian Brian reminded us. ‘I can only hope that he’s not as evil as Nick, but I think there are some skeletons in the closet, and we don’t really know about them yet.
‘What has Rocky really done for the last thirty years? I’m intrigued! I think there are plans to find out.
‘I would like to have some light and shade there. I did a film called Circus way back when I played quite an evil guy, and I also did a series called The Grimleys, where I played the sadistic P.E. teacher and I quite liked that.
‘If Rocky did go to the dark side again, I’d want it to be for a good reason – like somebody upset Kathy or somebody needed their comeuppance for doing something bad.’
After all, he does seem to love Kathy with all of his heart. Brian reckons the chemistry they have as actors is what helps the relationship come over as authentic on screen.
‘It’s great. We genuinely do get on well, and I think that comes across,’ he grinned. ‘We’ve had some great scenes over the last few years, and I always think that it’s amazing that I’m working with someone who was part of the very first episode.
‘We have a lot in common; we love a singalong, and when you spend so much time with someone, you really get to know them.
‘On-screen, we’ve shouted at each other, we’ve danced, we’ve cried in each other’s arms and even met royalty!
‘You get really close to someone when you spend hours freezing at a graveside, standing outside The Vic or waiting between scenes.
‘Gilly really cares about the work, and she’s a real mother to so many people on the show, on and off camera.’
And Brian holds similar praise for Milly, who recently finished filming with the show, ahead of an exit that promises fireworks for Dotty.
‘I love working with Milly! She’s coming round our house soon for Sunday dinner!’ he told us. ‘She’s a real talent, and she’s only 23!
‘There are not a lot of young girls that can play that dark and horrible, but Milly’s a great actress who’s willing to play nasty if needs be. I enjoyed the fact that when Rocky is with Dotty, he isn’t just a cheeky chappie, there is more meat there.
‘Rocky is a lot more assertive and aggressive with Dotty, which was great for me. I’m so glad we were able to keep the secret about Rocky pretending to be Sonia’s dad quiet because when they revealed I was Tom Cotton, the internet absolutely lit up!’
The twist was overturned, with many welcoming the decision, but Brian still holds that special relationship with Milly off-screen.
‘Even though it turned out Sandra was lying about Rocky being Dotty’s dad, she did feel like my daughter to me,’ he enthused.
‘Milly is friends with my two daughters because they are around the same age, and they follow each other on Instagram and all of that.
‘They’ve struck up a really nice friendship, and my daughter Lucy even taught Milly how to do a good American accent because my kids went to an American school.’
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