Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale fans will meet a younger version of Cain Dingle on Boxing Day as the soap flashes back to 1991.
The ITV1 soap airs a big twist for the Dingle family over the festive season, as Cain is revealed to have a long-lost brother called Caleb, played by former Waterloo Road star Will Ash. Cain has known about Caleb for years, keeping his existence secret from the rest of the Dingles.
Wasting no time before filling in the blanks, Emmerdale turns the clock back over 30 years to show Cain and Caleb meeting when they were younger.
Digital Spy recently chatted to Aiden Kane, who’s playing the young Cain, for an exclusive interview about the role.
How did your involvement in this special episode come about?
“It was quite a lengthy process with the auditions – there were four or five rounds. It started with sending off a self-tape and then I went down to the studios for the other rounds.
“Emmerdale told me from the start that the audition was for a younger Cain Dingle, because I had to get the mannerisms right straight away. I needed to show that I was putting in the work to be Cain.”
Were you a regular Emmerdale viewer beforehand?
“I’m not going to lie – I wasn’t! But as soon as I got the first self-tape through, I started watching the show straight away to see what the current storylines were and to pick up how Cain is.
“This was my first time auditioning for Emmerdale, although I have auditioned for other soaps before.
“I’m really glad that I got the part, but at the same time, it’s quite upsetting because it’s flashback scenes for an established character and it means I can’t really do much more with Emmerdale. That’s a shame because I had a really nice time there.”
Did you meet your co-star Riccardo Drayton, who’s playing the young Caleb, during the auditions?
“Yeah, I met Riccardo in the final round of auditions. During the auditions, you’d see people you’d seen in the previous rounds, but the numbers were getting whittled down each time.
“Riccardo was unable to come to the first three rounds, so I only met him in the final one. They had two Cains and two Calebs by the end.
“They put me and Riccardo together for the final round, so we got to do some scenes together in the auditions. I think Emmerdale had it in mind that it was going to be me and Riccardo, or the other two actors.
“It was really good to work with Riccardo, he’s a brilliant actor and I did really enjoy it.”
Emmerdale kept quiet about the flashback for a while after you’d finished filming. Was it hard to keep it a secret?
“Yeah, it’s been quiet! I’m quite relieved that I can talk about it now, because it’s been quite stressful. I told people that I was filming something but I couldn’t really say what it was.
“But obviously I told my mum and asked her to keep it on the down-low until it was announced. My mum is a massive Emmerdale fan, so she’s buzzing and she can’t wait. She’s been putting it all over Facebook and Instagram now that the news is out. I think she’s more excited to watch it than me, to be honest!”
What can we expect from the flashback episode?
“There’s history there between Cain and Caleb. Obviously Cain has been keeping quiet about his brother for a long time.
“Now it all comes out and the flashback shows why Cain has kept Caleb a secret from all of his family. It’ll cause a bit of drama!”
Are there also scenes between the young Cain and young Chas (played by Maddy Barker)?
“Yeah, there’s one or two scenes between the young Cain and Chas. It was probably my favourite scene that I did, as it was a really nice one.”
The Emmerdale bosses have already praised you for tackling Cain’s mannerisms so well. Was that important to you?
“Very important. Obviously Cain Dingle is such an iconic character in the Emmerdale world. Jeff Hordley has been playing the role for so long, so I really wanted to get it right.
“Something that Emmerdale did, which was really helpful, was send me a montage of Cain scenes. I got into a rhythm of watching that at least once a day.
“Another thing I felt was important was to also watch Cain when he was younger, so I went onto YouTube and watched very old episodes of Emmerdale. I wanted to see how Jeff played Cain when he first came onto the show.”
How was it to meet Jeff when you were on set?
“Really nice – he’s a really chilled-out guy. He gave me his phone number and said: ‘If you ever need to ask me any questions whilst you’re on set, just give me a text or call and I’ll be happy to help you’.”
Has this experience given you a taste for the soap world?
“Yeah, definitely. This is the first professional filming role that I’ve done. Everyone always said that Emmerdale is really fast-paced, so you have to be on the ball, but I really enjoyed that.
“It was nice to have that snappiness and I liked the rhythm of it.”
What are you up to next?
“Probably just more auditions! I have a few theatre shows lined up for next year as well.”
Will you watch the episode with family on Boxing Day?
“At first I was nervous about that because I didn’t want people to come round to watch the episode and me not like it! But now I’ve been given some really good feedback from the producers and other people who have watched the episode, I’m a bit more relieved and less stressed.
“I’m looking forward to watching it and we’re having all the family round on Boxing Day to watch it together.”
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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