Andrew Still, who plays Justin Rutherford on Coronation Street, has hinted that his character will go to “whatever lengths he has to” to avoid going to jail during his impending acid attack trial.
After stalking Daisy Midgeley for several weeks, Justin horrified viewers when he attempted to hurl acid at Daisy on her wedding day, but Ryan Connor jumped in the way, leaving Justin with a scar that will never heal.
And actor Andrew has forewarned that his’manipulative’ character will stop at nothing to deceive the jury and ensure he walks free from court as Justin is set to take the stand this week for his horrific crimes.
The last time viewers saw Justin, he was seen groveling to Daisy in the hospital parking lot before being quickly apprehended and taken into custody. Justin then showed his ‘pathetic’ side.
The stalker, according to Andrew, can “jump through mental hoops to justify his actions,” and because he sees himself as the hero of his own story, he is unable to recognize that what he has done is wrong.
But Andrew forewarned that viewers will see a “new” Justin as he appears in court in upcoming scenes, who has increased his deceit in an effort to gain the “upper hand” in court.
He disclosed: “We’re going to see a new Justin.” He has a lot going on in his head as the trial progresses because he feels cornered and is prepared to do whatever it takes to gain the upper hand.
He has taken advantage of his sister, and he lies to everyone and anything around him. He is desperate because he has a very real fear of spending a very long time in prison.
We’ll only get to see a sliver of the pitiful Justin, but this is his big chance to be seen and heard, especially by Daisy, so he’s happy to seize the moment. As the trial goes on, it will be interesting to watch Justin struggle to maintain his composure because he is experiencing some internal tension.
Andrew continued by saying that Justin is certain that he can use his “manipulation techniques” to cast Daisy in a negative light in court, and that the creep will put on an outstanding performance to persuade the jury to side with him.
He said: “Justin has a well-rehearsed speech because he knows that this trial is crucial, so he sees this as his perfect opportunity to persuade the jury to exonerate him. He will go on the charm offensive in full force and employ all of his deceitful strategies to prevail in the jury selection process.
He doesn’t believe that everything will work out for him, but he is aware that this is make-or-break, and he needs to put on a show to get away with it.
For him, the stakes are very high and the pressure is high. The most cunning Justin yet will be revealed.
Regarding the previous cunning of his character, he continued, “We have seen little hints of his ability to manipulate people; he has done it to Daisy and he has done it to Daniel, and they have worked him out and pushed him away.
However, the jury is unaware of the circumstances or Justin’s personality, and most people are charmed by his presence when they first meet him. Although he can be quite unassuming, he will go all out because this is the end all and be all.
After the attack, the character was convinced he’d done nothing wrong and had even started to believe his own lies. Throughout the plot, viewers saw Justin genuinely believe he had a future with Daisy.
In response to the question of whether Justin regrets what he did to Ryan, Andrew said: “Justin is in survival mode. Moments after the attack, he did realize what he had done was wrong, but since then, he has made the decision to do whatever it takes to protect himself, and as a result, has almost persuaded himself that there is nothing wrong and compartmentalized that.
He is such a truly phenomenal liar that he completely buys into his own lies. Strangely, I believe he harbors regret for Ryan, but not in an overly sympathetic way; rather, he regrets the situation he has put himself in and feels regret that this has brought him to where he is.
“He is viewing it through the prism of how it has affected him,” the author writes. “He has no appreciation or understanding of the damage he has caused Ryan.”
Andrew has portrayed his character through difficult scenes since making his ITV soap opera debut in December 2022, most notably his nefarious attack on Ryan in the pub.
The soap star admitted that the court scenes, which serve as the culmination of his six-month run on the streets, have been his most “difficult” to date.
He described reading the court scripts as being like, “Okay, this is the time for him to put everything on the table!” Since this is Justin’s chance to sway the jury and give it his all, I knew it would be the most challenging scene I’ve ever played as Justin.
It felt like the entire six months of my time on Coronation Street were condensed into that one monologue because having a lengthy monologue like that is extremely uncommon in television.
It also felt quite theatrical because it was taking place in a courtroom, so I really wanted to capitalize on the opportunity. We’ll see how the viewers react to it when it airs on TV, but it felt like a challenge and I only had one or two chances to get it right because of how Coronation Street is filmed.
The public will have to wait to find out whether Justin is punished for his crimes now that he will finally stand trial.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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