An insight into the life of a big actor, who stars in popular evening soap Hollyoaks.
Ashley Taylor Dawson is one of Hollyoaks’ longest-serving cast members and in his 14-year soap career his character, businessman Darren Osborne, has survived almost everything.
He’s been shot, he’s been stabbed, he’s been bombed and now his family face being homeless as Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton) is selling the pub they live and work in.
“The pub to the Osborne’s is like their life. It’s not only their job, it’s their livelihood and they live there,” Ashley, 31, explains.
“We’re doing our upmost to raise money and come up with some sort of solution to buy the pub back otherwise it’s doom for the Osbornes.”
Ashley has played the well-loved Hollyoaks character since 1999, but 14 years later, Ashley is still as excited as ever about the show.
“I love it more now than I did in the beginning. To enjoy what you’re doing with the people you love is very lucky.”
Experimented with music
But acting isn’t Ashley’s only talent. In 2000, he had a break from the show to join pop band Allstars.
Nowadays, he’s not keen on recalling the popstar days and the TV show STARStreet.
“We don’t talk about that anymore,” he says.
“It was still amazing. We did Wembley, we did Top of the Pops and we got to meet Eminem, Britney Spears and other people like that.
“Obviously once you’ve done a pop band people judge you on that.”
Ashley continues to work on his dance music but remains anonymous. “I’d rather stay out of the limelight and just enjoy doing the actual music as it’s something I love doing.”
When Allstars split up in 2003, Ashley returned to Hollyoaks and has been there ever since.
Roberto De Niro in Hollyoaks?
Sometimes fans go one step too far. “Once they rung the hotel and told the person to ring my room basically saying that my mum was ill and to ring her friend Sue.
“My mum does have a friend called Sue so I ended up ringing this number and then it was girls outside the hotel saying can you come down and meet us we’ve been waiting for you,” Ashley recalls.
Ashley says if he could work with anyone in the world it would be Robert De Niro.
Where would De Niro fit into Hollyoaks? “He’d play a nutter or a psychopath and I’d love every minute of it.” And we would too.
Tune in to Hollyoaks weekdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4.