Hollyoaks’ Ray Quinn branded ‘racist’ in real life after playing extremist Jonny

Hollyoaks actor Ray Quinn recalled how he’s been branded ‘racist’ in real-life after playing far-right extremist Jonny Baxter.

The 30-year-old actor was joined by co-stars Kieron Richardson (who plays Ste Hay) and Rishi Nair (Sami Maalik) on Good Morning Britain, where they discussed how the show’s current storyline around extremist groups had affected their everyday lives.

Asked by hosts Adil Ray and Charlotte Hawkins if they’ve received verbal abuse over the role, Ray said: ‘I’ve had a couple of times where people in the street have said.

‘I was in a coffee shop one time and I was asking for a coffee and the lady said, “Oh don’t serve him he’s racist.” And I had to sort of elaborate on the story to tell the geezer who was serving me, “I’m not, I’m playing in Hollyoaks!”

‘I had to reassure him and he was like, “Sorry mate, don’t watch it.”’

He added: ‘As an actor, it’s more of a challenge for anyone to be in such a storyline like this, but the challenge to be the nasty guy, for me playing Jonny, there’s so much more choice as far as acting is concerned. Tackling the storyline that’s very challenging, very controversial.’

Rishi also explained how he’d suffered racism in the past, with the actor utilising the affect it’s had on him for the role.

‘Luckily I grew up in London where I haven’t had a lot of racism, having said that growing up as a brown person in this country I have,’ Rishi said.

‘Mostly when I was younger growing up in London and on the football pitch mainly. Sunday league football. So when I started this, I could kind of use that… when you start experiencing racism as a kid, it’s that thing where when someone says something to you on the street, you second guess yourself like, “did that happen? Maybe I’m overthinking it and it’s not happening.”’

Teasing what’s to come for the storyline, Kieron said: ‘The story is continuing and there’s a big climax in September. He’s deep in the far-right now and it’s about how he gets out of that.’

You can catch Good Morning Britain weekdays on ITV at 6am.

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