Here's the article, brought to me by Elizabeth (Guppyfan-no1)
Walk On The Wild Side
Poor Guppy is up against it in Casualty and turns to cocaine this week. Actor Elyes Gabel talks about this unexpected turn of events...
The life of a young hospital doctor is not an easy one, and Casualty's Guppy seems to have a tougher time than most. This week he faces the gruesome task of amputating someones hand with an axe - and that's only the start of his nightmare day.
The medic, played by 24 year old Elyes Gabel, reaches the end of his teather when he realises he made a fatal error while treating another patient earlier that day. He expects the worse when he's summoned to see Stitch (Peter O'Brien), but instead discovers that his senior colleague has an unorthodox remedy for a rough day at work - he takes cocaine to get him through.Guppy is stunned, but the temptation to take a dose of Stitch's special medicine is overwhelming. Could this be the beginning of a downward spiral for the stressed out young doctor?
Elyes, who joined the medical drama almost three years ago, talks about this week's dramatic events.
We're about to see Guppy amputate someone's hand. It sounds gruesome!
Guppy's called out to rescue a man who has fallen into a sewer and trapped his hand. His fingers are stuck and because the water level's rising quickly, Guppy has to amptuate, and as usual, he makes a hash of it!
Do these things ever turn your stomach?
I've got over the blood now - I've done enough procedures! Sometimes you feel as if you're God and that if you saw an injured person on the street you could sort them out. On set you'll be walking along talking to someone on the phone and you'll see some guy with a massive gash on his head. You have to remind yourself you work on a medical show and it's not real!
For this week's episode you had to film inside a sewer. Was that a little grim?
It was done at an army training centre in Yeovil. We were down there filming for three days and it was very dark and incredibly cold. We had water flooding down on us constantly to get the right look. It was tough - even with special weather boots and all that, you still get wet - but it helped me get in the right frame of mind. In fact it was a joy to shoot!
Guppy turns to illegal drugs this week. Is this the beginning of the end for him?
This is the turn, the pivot, for what might happen in the future. Guppy hasn't slept for a couple of days and he definately has had a hard time of it at work. I think it reflects what happens to a lot of Senior House Officers - they may not necessarily take cocaine but they do get very ragged.I don't think it's the end for Guppy. Sometimes in life you have to go through these dips before you come out on top.
Do you worry about promoting cocaine use?
I think it's important to show a three dimensional character and show people's weaknesses. We shouldn't shy away from these kinds of issues. I don't want to make judgements about it and I'm not so naive as to think that nobody's ever tried it.
Is there any excuse for Guppy taking cocaine?
Guppy's completely drained and he's thinking, "What else can I do?" Being a doctor is all he's ever wanted to do and he's despeate to find something to get him through. Taking cocaine might not be the right answer, but it's put infront of him like a golden platter and it seems like a way forward. There are some redeeming features in his behaviour and it's up to the audience to decide the rights and wrongs of it.
You were billed as the hunky new doctor when you joined the show in 2004. Was that a daunting prospect?
When I joined, I really didn't know that was the case. I was a bit innocent, I suppose. I don't think that's the way that the character's been built up. He's just had his first sexual encounter (with medical student Maria in last weeks episode) and that was obviously unsuccessful!
What do you like to do when you aren't at work?
I play a lot of sport and I play the guitar. I'm sort of in a band and we do a few gigs, but we don't do anything that is too serious. It's just for fun.
What would you have done if you hadn't gone into acting?
I've never really thought about it. I might have gone to university or I might have taken a few years out, gone to Seville in Spain and worked on an orange farm! I grew up wanting to be an actor and did loads of stuff at school. When you're young you don't realise what an unreliable career it can be.
What was your first big break in the business?
I was very lucky. I went to drama school, but after the first year because I got cast in a childrens show called I Love Mummy. I wasn't sure that I should leave drama school, but I talked to people in the industry and they said, "Are you kidding? Just do it, mate!" I didn't want to miss the opportunity and it meant I had the chance to learn on the job.
Are you still going out with Sarah Barrand from Footballer's Wives?
No, but there is possibly someone else in my life at the moment. However, I don't really want to talk about her. For the sake of keeping things normal I think it's much better to keep quiet about this sort of thing.
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