As Ben’s world has continued to fall apart, the Astoni patriarch has slipped deeper into a dark mindset, impacting everything he holds dear, including his marriage to his beloved Maggie (Kestie Morassi).
Indeed, as we will see in upcoming episodes, Maggie will have every reason to believe that Ben is suffering from depression.
For Ben’s talented portrayer Rohan Nichol, the compelling storyline is one that is undeniably important – and that needed to be told.
“I’m really grateful that the writers and producers had the trust in me to do this storyline,” says Rohan. “The events that happen are taking place at an important stage in a man’s life. The storyline has been very well written and I’m proud of it, and there’s much more to come.
“Ben does struggle to put into words what’s happening to him, which is universal. It’s something that just takes hold. Ben’s never struck me thus far as being a wallower, but now he seems to have doubt all around. It’s quite scary.”
The seasoned actor undertook some research when first told about the storyline.
“I did, absolutely,” he says, adding, “and I wouldn’t be a man of my age and breadth of life without having had a brush with that sort of despair here and there, especially in this profession. Acting is a really hard thing to just survive in, let alone become successful in. I know a few people in my line of life that have had struggles with mental health.”
Rohan is also pleased that the storyline shines a light on the experience of Ben’s wife and daughters and how it affects the Bay community– “particularly for the partners of someone suffering from depression,” he says. “That’s a really full-on story on its own, and Kestie does it justice, absolutely.
“I’m really lucky it was Kestie I was working with. You always want to be able to pull it off, and I think we have. That’s in no small measure due to her work. I hope, too, that there’s no question in the audience’s mind that Ben and Maggie are committed to each other, because they certainly are.”
And Rohan reveals he couldn’t have asked for a more incredible screen wife than Kestie.
“We understand each other very, very well,” he says, adding, “It’s wonderful. She’s the best part of any situation.”
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