Izzy (Cherylee Houston) is devastated by the loss of her unborn baby, and while Gary is keen to assure her that their parenthood dreams aren't over, the feisty factory worker drops a bombshell by announcing that she doesn't want to try for another child...
Digital Spy recently caught up with Mikey North, who plays Gary, to hear his take on the storyline.
How is Gary feeling about Izzy's pregnancy?
"I think at first it took him by surprise, because it kind of came from nowhere. But now he's come round to it and he's the happiest guy alive - he can't wait to be a dad. Gary and Izzy's hearts are set on having a baby now."
Gary's overprotective side starts coming out again next week, doesn't it?
"Yeah, in the episodes coming up you'll see the obsessive streak coming out in Gary again, like it did when he took Izzy hostage about a year ago. Gary gets overly possessive without realising that he's doing it, so he starts mollycoddling her. He's watching where Izzy goes and he doesn't want her working too hard at the factory - all that kind of stuff."
That also leads to some conflict between Gary and Rob…
"Yeah, that's right - Rob has taken charge of Underworld and he's overworking Izzy. Gary takes offence to that, and has a quiet word in Rob's ear about it. But Rob doesn't listen and carries on working her too hard, so Gary goes in to see him about it.
"Gary confronts Rob in a more aggressive way the second time round. Izzy is there at the time, and when she tries to intervene, she starts experiencing pains and is rushed to hospital."
Izzy is devastated when she hears that she's lost the baby. Does Gary show his emotions too, or does he try to stay strong for Izzy?
"I think there's a bit of both. At first, Gary is scared that he's to blame for the miscarriage, as him going in and kicking off at Underworld caused Izzy unnecessary stress - but actually it turns out that she hadn't felt right for a while.
"Gary tries to put on a brave face for Izzy, so that she doesn't feel worse than she already does. He's very upset himself, but he does try to look after Izzy and convince her that everything is going to be fine."
Do you think Gary would have been a good father?
"Yeah, obviously Gary was a bad lad when he first came into the show, but I think he's grown up a lot since he came back from the army. He would have made a good dad and he was really looking forward to it. I think he would have learned from the mistakes that his own dad made - good old Eddie!"
What happens when Gary suggests trying for another baby as soon as Izzy is well enough?
"Well, Gary is overeager to try again for another baby as soon as possible. People with Izzy's condition can carry babies to full-term, but it just so happens that she miscarried on this occasion.
"But Izzy is not so keen on the idea. She eventually decides that she can't face going through it again, as she doesn't want the pain of carrying a baby full-term with her condition. Izzy tells Gary that she's not going to try for another baby and that's the most upsetting thing for Gary - that he's never going to be a dad. He tries desperately to persuade Izzy otherwise."
Do you think Gary and Izzy are strong enough to come through these problems?
"Definitely. They've been through so much together already with Gary's post-traumatic stress, but Izzy took him back then and they worked through that together. Hopefully they can come through this as well, because they're such a good couple.
"I love working with Cherylee as she's brilliant. She's an inspiration as she goes through so much every day just to get into work and to give the level of performance that she does. I love her to bits and can't speak highly enough of her."
Once again, you've been filming some really emotional scenes for this storyline. Do those stay with you for a while once the cameras stop rolling?
"Yeah, I think they have to. For a scene to look good and be believable, you've got to believe it yourself when you're giving that performance. That's the way I try to go about things anyway, so it does stay with you."
2012 has been a quieter year for you so far, but can we expect to see Gary more frequently now?
"Absolutely. I had a really quiet start to this year, but things have really started to turn around with this storyline. As far as I'm aware, it's going to keep running and running, so I'm looking forward to having a couple of years of getting my teeth into a big storyline and seeing where it's going. I love coming to work, so I'm really looking forward to it."
Would you like Gary's post-traumatic stress to be explored again at some point?
"Yeah, I think to keep it realistic, it's got to be explored again because it never goes away and it can always come back at any point. So I'm sure at some point it will come out. But for now, it's nice that he's moved on from that and this is another new chapter for him. We've seen his bad lad days, the army storyline, and now he's focusing on becoming a man and wanting to start a family."
Do you miss Gary's bad boy storylines?
"I love Gary being a bad lad - it's fun playing the bad guy because you can do things that you'd never get to do in real life. I think Gary will always have an edge to him, so I try to put that in whenever I can. I get the best of both worlds now, because he can be nice and grown-up and have more adult storylines, but with just a hint of that bad boy past coming through."
Who are your best friends on set?
"Ian Puleston-Davies, who plays Owen, is one of my best friends and we tend to knock about together outside of work. The dynamic between our characters is one of my favourites, as Owen is a father-in-law of sorts for Gary. They've got a bit of a frosty relationship, and I'm sure that will bubble over again at some point.
"I get on really well with Cherylee, too, and we also spend time together outside of work. And Debbie [Rush] who plays Anna has become a real-life mum to me in a way - she even bosses me about sometimes!"
What are your hobbies and interests outside of Corrie?
"I'm a massive sports fan. I used to play county cricket when I was younger - you never know, I might have been a cricketer instead of an actor if I'd gone down a different route. I love football and rugby, too, so I spend most of my spare time watching sport or playing sport, really."
How did you get into acting?
"It was when I started secondary school. My form tutor was the drama teacher, so she said, 'Why don't you give it a go?' Things went from there - I did amateur dramatics, school plays and stuff like that, so that's when I got spotted.
"My very first professional acting job was in the West End. I did a play down there, and I was named the 'Best Newcomer to British Theatre' in a theatre guide. That was really nice, and all of that kick-started things off for me, really. Without that I probably wouldn't be here today. The one thing I always say to young actors is that someone has got to take a risk on you at some point. Everyone will say that you need experience to get your first job, but there's no way of getting experience unless someone takes a chance on you."
As you have that theatre background, would you be interested in doing another play at some point?
"Well, it's coming up to four years now that I've spent in front of the camera. I'll always have that theatre side in me, but I've grown to love doing telly. I'm sure I'll go back into theatre one day, but we'll have to see if time allows!"
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