Corrie star uses memory of friend’s heartbreaking death to play emotional scenes

Coronation Street actor James Burrows has opened up about how he gets into the mindset to act out emotional scenes.

The actor, who plays Dr Ali, revealed that he uses the memory of his friends’ heartbreaking deaths for emotional scenes.

Tonight, Dr Ali’s dark side was revealed tonight after he coldly killed drug dealer Ronan.

And in order to get into his character Ali’s troubled mindset, James said that he had to remember some difficult memories.

"I think of sad things that have happened to me in my life," he said. "I lost a few friends when I was younger in a car crash, stuff like that. I always take myself back to those moments and I really cry. I try to think of things like that."

James added that he found it "hard" to bring himself back from that emotional state.

"I think if you’ve been filming for 12 hours in a day and you’ve been crying your eyes out all day you come off set and you feel very emotionally drained and sometimes you come out of work in a bit of a bad mood really," he said. "It’s quite hard to snap back out of that.

"I think if you’re doing emotional scenes over a period of a month or two then you can almost get slightly depressed, really brings you down so you’ve got to be in that mindset."

He also spoke about his character and the "paranoia" he will suffer from after his dark deed.

This evening on Coronation Street , Dr Ali ran to help Ronan – who had been impaled by a pole after crashing his car. The drug dealer had mowed down both Ryan and Leanne before attempting to flee the scene.

After initially telling Ronan to leave the pole in, as it was the only thing keeping him alive, Ali noticed that he had a gun in the glove compartment of his car.


Realising Ronan had intended to kill his family, Ali made the drug dealer put his hands on the pole and effectively killed him – showing a flash of his dark side.

Immediately afterwards, Ali seemed to regret it.

Asked whether viewers would find out about Ali suffering from a secret trauma, James said: "I think there’s something underlying about Ali when I started playing the character. There is a slightly darker side to him – obviously they’ve written for me and he has gone down a bit of a darker route. Nothing’s been played out yet."

Following his shocking actions, James revealed that Ali would be "paranoid" and "not really himself", adding: "Very up and down like a yo-yo".

Unsurprisingly, his family quickly clock on that something is not right with him.

"We see scenes play out between him and his mum that brings them a lot closer as well," he said, but admits that he still holds "a lot of resentment" towards her.

James added: "I think he will have a little more hatred towards her for blaming him because actually what he’s done is he’s done this for his family, so there’s going to be real mixed emotions with that."

*Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV

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