Emmerdale’s Mackenzie Boyd is facing a new relationship challenge following the big news that his girlfriend Charity Dingle is pregnant.
In Thursday’s hour-long episode (July 28), Mackenzie was stunned by the revelation that Charity is expecting a baby but had considered a termination without confiding in him.
Clearly hurt at being left out of the decision-making process, Mack started to push Charity away, leaving the couple facing an uncertain future once more.
Lawrence Robb, who plays Mackenzie, recently caught up with Insertions.us and other press for a chat about what’s to come next.
How did you feel when you found out this story was coming up?
“I was surprised, initially. Mackenzie has certainly had a rollercoaster ride since he arrived in the village. He turned up in dramatic fashion, but he has since settled down with Charity.
“It was exciting to get my teeth into something slightly more gritty and serious. I do really enjoy the character that Mack is – he will constantly take the mick out of anyone that he interacts with. He’s a bit of a joker and you can’t take him too seriously.
“But this new story provides some drama and it’s great to be involved.”
Can you tell us how Mack feels about Charity being pregnant?
“Mackenzie has been blindsided by the news. Initially, they were talking about Amelia being pregnant and they seemed to be focused on that, as well as Noah getting out of prison.
“I don’t think Mackenzie ever thought he would be a dad, but he starts to quite like the idea. He didn’t have an agenda of having a kid before, but now he’s finding out he’s going to be a dad, there’s maybe more of an agenda there.”
How does Mack feel about Charity keeping him in the dark?
“I think Mack feels hurt, because he wasn’t involved in the decision-making process at all. That’s what hacks him off more than anything else – the fact that he wasn’t told.
“Mack would like to have a hand in the decision, but you’ll see that they get through it and they do end up making it work.”
We’ve seen a protective side to Mack in the past. Do you think he’d make a good father?
“Yes, I do. Mack loves Kyle, Isaac and Moses. I don’t know whether this is more Lawrence or Mackenzie, but I get on really well with the kids I work with on set. It’s always good to have that youthful energy. When you work with kids, you end up being a kid yourself!
“In many ways, Mackenzie would be a good father, but I don’t think he realises it until he’s faced with this scenario.”
Does Mackenzie understand where Charity is coming from?
“I don’t think Mack is thinking about it from Charity’s point of view as much as he is his own. That’s just the selfish nature of it.”
Can you talk about where it’s heading?
“There’s certainly gritty stuff coming that tests both Mack and Charity. That will remain to be seen, but I hope they can move past it all and deal with it.
“Now people are coming to terms with Mack and Charity, I think the audience have warmed to them as a couple. Mack and Charity are different in so many ways, but also similar.
“They have been very ‘chalk and cheese’, but that makes them well suited to each other as opposites attract. I hope they can move past it because working with Emma Atkins is great.”
How does Moira react to the baby news?
“Moira is shocked. I don’t think she’s entirely happy with it initially. But Moira is also a very supportive character and she loves Mackenzie.
“They both love each other and eventually Moira does end up going along with it, in a supportive way. But there’s a lot of stuff coming up that will test Mackenzie’s relationships all around…”
How will Noah’s release from prison affect things?
“I think Noah’s return strengthens Mack and Charity’s relationship, in many ways. When Charity sees how Mackenzie is with Noah, she sees him as more of a father.
“Charity notices Mack talking to Noah and realises that Mack is really good with him, getting Noah to pull his weight. That makes Charity and Mackenzie’s relationship stronger.”
Does Vanessa still loom large over Charity and Mackenzie’s relationship?
“I don’t think Mackenzie is considering Vanessa right now. Whether she’s looming large, or whether that will be revisited by the writers and the characters, remains to be seen.”
Mack has been quieter on screen recently, but with this story kicking off, will that start to change?
“I’ve definitely been busier in the last month. I had a month off where I wasn’t filming at all, so I’m gently coming back into it, which is great.
“I think everyone is getting busier in preparation for Emmerdale’s 50th anniversary. Everybody is going to get a slice of the pie. Everyone’s going to be involved in some way in the 50th. There’s definitely a lot of gritty stuff coming up involving Charity’s pregnancy and how Mack deals with it.”
Mack was a bit of a lone wolf when he first arrived. Do you miss that side of the character?
“I think there are pros and cons. I definitely do miss the lone wolf part, because Mack was his own boss. He could do whatever he wanted and he didn’t have to answer to another character.
“There was a period where I felt, as Lawrence, that Mackenzie was almost following Charity around like a little lapdog at times. I think we’re breaking free of that mentality a little bit now and that’s exciting, because he’s definitely a strong individual.
“That’s what made Charity fall for Mack initially, because he was so carefree and he joked about. That also led to the spark between Mackenzie and Aaron – not that there was necessarily ever anything romantic there, but it was good to bounce off other characters.
“It’s also been good to film scenes mainly with one person and get to know how they work. Emma and I call each other anytime we’ve got scenes, to make sure everything is ready to go. That allows us then to play around on set and it makes the whole thing far more enjoyable. It makes the whole process more authentic.
“First we are acting as Mackenzie and Charity, but there’s definitely bits of Lawrence and Emma in there too, which probably brings the characters to life.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV and streams on the ITV Hub.