Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Hollyoaks is set to explore a knife crime storyline for DeMarcus and his bullies, led by Joseph Holmes (Olly Rhodes), in the upcoming episodes.
In the Hollyoaks Summer trailer, viewers saw Charlie Osborne (Charlie Behan) telling PC Saul Reeves (Chris Charles) that DeMarcus (Tomi Ade) is carrying a knife. Mistakenly believing this will offer him protection from the bullying he has endured, DeMarcus sets in motion a terrible series of events.
During a special week of episodes, beginning Friday, July 15, the show will explore the impact of this decision on DeMarcus and his family, more specifically focussing on his relationship with dad Felix (Richard Blackwood) as communication between the two breaks down.
Talking about this new storyline, Tomi Ade told Alt Africa: "This point in the story is the first time we've really seen DeMarcus challenged to the point where he's felt like he's had to acquire a knife just to protect himself. And I think what's important is how he deals with being a young Black boy in a village where there is hardly anyone, if anyone, who looks like him, especially his age.
"In this day and age, a Black man with a knife, there's only one answer. There's only one place you go,” he added.
Opening up on the importance of the storyline, Ade said he hopes it will encourage people to empathise with those who experience these situations in real life.
"I feel like it is exposure. It is being able to see these stories play out right in front of you, because there are lot of people who don't live on the block. There are a lot of people who live very, very far away from things that are happening. So they can't see it with their own eyes, but watching a show like Hollyoaks, where it's visual, where they can see people like me in these sort of scenarios, they can then begin to empathise. They can then begin to understand.
"I feel like that's the first step to making change. If we all see what's going on, we can then stand up. But if there's only one or two of us who knows what's going on, there's not really much we can do."
Blackwood also shared what this means for his character's relationship with DeMarcus, as he struggles to understand why he's "acting up".
"He backs him because he trusts his son. He also knows what kind of son he's got. He knows that DeMarcus, he's going through stuff, but he's not a tough guy. He's not tough like Felix, he knows that regardless of the estranged relationship that they had, he knows that his son was more pampered, and he didn't have to go down that road like he did.
"So to Felix, there's a part of him that kind of doesn't understand why he's acting up. Cause he's like: 'you've kind of got it good in comparison'. That's been really nice to play as well because essentially Felix is not used to a kid just going through adolescent stuff. He thinks there must be a reason, you've got to be going through stuff. You can't just have an issue for no reason."
A couple of weeks ago, Hollyoaks producer Kieron O'Sullivan teased this storyline in a conversation with Digital Spy.
"Felix and DeMarcus have got something great coming up. It involves their family group and it's a story that's really going to tear them apart," he said at the time.
"At the heart of it, it's about Felix trying to be the dad he's always wanted to be, and DeMarcus going through something horrendous. We'll see what Felix is willing to do in order to help his son."
Hollyoaks now streams first on All 4, with new episodes dropping each weekday morning. The show airs Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, and at 7pm on E4. These episodes air from July 15th. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.
You Might Also Like