PJ Brennan – aka Hollyoaks’ resident American Doug, starred in the episode written by heat, which aired last night. Here we chat to him about streaking, spray tanning Darren’s bum and answers the burning question: what does PJ actually stand for?
OK, let’s talk about the scene where Doug spray tans Darren (Ashley Taylor Dawson)...
That was such a fun scene to film. Doug is usually quite a serious character so it was probably the first time he’s ever had to do comedy.
Ashley proper gets his bum out – were you winding him up about the scene beforehand?
Of course I was! Although I was nervous as well because the little spray tan contraption I had to use kind of had a mind of its own. I was spraying him for real, with I think a mixture of coffee and chocolate, something like that. It had a nice, delicious smell and went everywhere. What’s funny is there’s still a nice little streak of tan mixture on the floor in the lads’ pad as a little memento of the heat episode.
Were you relieved it wasn’t you being spray-tanned?
Oh yes. I’ve already done a streaking scene, where I had to get completely naked, so I was thinking 'oh God, please don’t make me get my kit off again'. But as it was Darren being sprayed and not me, I was all for it.
Did you enjoy your streaking scene a few months’ back?
I was very, very nervous. Plus, it was freezing cold outside as well, which didn’t help my confidence. I’m generally quite a chatter on set. But that day I was like, 'don’t talk to me'. Completely nude, yes. Fortunately they didn’t get a full butt shot of me, so it wasn’t too bad. But when I got the role they told me that at some point every character has some form of nudity, so I was just glad to get it out of the way.
Back to the heat episode – have you ever used fake tan?
One time I tried that moisturiser that gives you a bit of colour, but I’m such a sweater that I stained all my clothing. I looked like a ghost in the streaking episode! And a few days ago we were filming a scene where Doug was supposed to be hungover and they still had to warm my face up with make-up. Jeez my own skin complexion isn’t good enough to look hungover, that’s how pale I am.
Would you have liked Doug to have been a contender in the Torso competition in the episode?
Please! It wouldn't have been a competition . All the other male characters are in really good shape and I actually never set foot in a gym. I don’t even have any pecs, so I wouldn’t know where to begin.
Let’s talk about Doug’s jumpers...
You mean his itchy Christmas jumper collection! I think he must have gone crazy in Topman at some point. He tends to dress pretty preppy, but I probably don’t wear chinos quite as often as he does. I moved from New York to the UK just over three years ago, so I don’t really dress like your stereotypical American in real life.
Finally, what does PJ stand for?
Patrick Joseph. I’m Irish-American. I grew up doing Irish step-dancing and my house is full of Irish memorabilia. I was named after an Irish Priest, and have always been called PJ, except at school. People think I changed my name when I became an actor, when in fact I should probably change it to Patrick to stop people asking me about it!
• Catch the omnibus edition of Hollyoaks 8.50am, Channel 4 tomorrow, which features the heat episode at around 10.30am.