Hollyoaks spoilers: Why it was held back that Buster Smith abused Imran Maalik
Imran Maalik shocked everyone – including his mum Misbah – when he came forward as another survivor of Buster Smith’s evil ways in Hollyoaks.
It’s a secret Imran has kept close to his chest, even from his best friend Ollie Morgan, who’s been going through hell facing up to the trial and his abuser.
But there’s been a good reason that the bombshell was dropped during trial week, which shocked fans with the truth, and simultaneously gave an insight into the 15-year-old’s torment – could his struggle to deal with the abuse have led to his anger issues? Him coming forward may have a significant impact on the case. Will it be enough to get Buster sent down after Damon nearly ruined everything?
Actor Ijaz Rana, who plays Imran, was also kept in the dark, and here he explains why.
‘I didn’t find out at the beginning,’ actor Ijaz told Metro.co.uk. ‘It meant I was playing it off my knowledge in real life, my actual storyline. We didn’t want it to detract from my storyline with Misbah as we wanted the audience would focus on the domestic abuse angle. We wanted it as a big shock for trial week too so the audience didn’t know.’
Although it may give a hint as to what Imran has been going through, Ijaz said that Imran doesn’t want the abuse to become an excuse for his behaviour.
‘Imran doesn’t want that to be the reason,’ he said. ‘He doesn’t want that to be an excuse with how he behaves with Misbah, but you can imagine for a 15-year-old, something like that happening to you, you might behave in a raging manor. It’s maybe one of the reasons he said he was an angry child. But he doesn’t want that to be an excuse.’
The Maaliks rally together to support him, although Misbah must now face the fact she had no idea.
‘Misbah is a mother and she’s going through her own stress about why she didn’t know about it,’ Ijaz said. ‘Yazz is really shocked.’
The Buster abuse storyline has played out over months and has culminated in the huge trial week, which has seen Buster facing what he’s done. Ijaz confessed it’s been a difficult role to play, but an important one.
‘I was so excited when I found out I’d be part of the storyline too,’ he said. ‘It’s very difficult in the scenes to put yourself in that dark place. As a teenager you have to think what they’d be thinking. It’s difficult but the outcome is amazing.’
The show has already garnered positive feedback for the storyline, with several survivors having contacted actor Aedan Duckworth and praising his portrayal of Ollie.
‘I was speaking to Aeden and it was amazing to hear people had come forward from that episode,’ he said. ‘It’s had a massive reaction.’
While we await the outcome of the trial, it’ll hopefully be onwards and upwards with Imran as he deals with his demons.
‘Ollie and Imran are best mates, Imran is a completely changed person, they’re very close,’ he said. ‘It’s a positive future. Him going to the centre [for anger issues] was his decision, he said he wanted to change. So him coming back was a fresh start. After he’s finished in court he puts it behind him.’
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