Nico Mirallegro (Hollyoaks' Newt) Interview

There’s further heartache in store for Hollyoaks’ Osborne family in August when resident teen, Newt (played by Nico Mirallegro), is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Over the past few weeks Newt’s friendship with Eli (Marc Silcock) has intensified and viewers have recently discovered that ‘Eli’ isn’t real. And whilst Newt’s fixation with his imaginary friend continues, his mental health has deteriorated. But it’s when Newt’s foster dad, Jack Osborne (Jimmy McKenna), ‘dies’ that Newt goes into meltdown.

> Find out the latest Hollyoaks spoilers.

LastBroadcast asked Nico your questions about the storyline and what life's like on the Hollyoaks set...

Which is most annoying: the wig or the fake lip piercing? Emma

The wig as it’s very hot and annoying and itchy!

Do you get recognised much in public without Newt’s ‘look’? Are the other cast members at all jealous that you’re able to look so different in real life to how you do on the show?! Emma

Yes, if I’m with any of the other cast I do and also sometimes when I’m on my own. A lot of the cast say they are jealous, but I reckon they’re lying and love the attention really, ha!

I'm really interested in the schizophrenia storyline. Will it end with you leaving Hollyoaks, because we really don't want you to! If not then how long do you see yourself staying on Hollyoaks for?

Newt will be around for some time yet, but unfortunately his diagnosis is just the beginning of Newt’s problems. I’m absolutely loving my time in Hollyoaks at the moment so would love to stay as long as they’ll have me.

How long does it take for the make-up people to do Newt’s look? – Danielle

It takes around one hour each morning, which is the full make-up and costume.

Apart from Newt, who is your favourite Hollyoaks character and why? – Emma

I’d have to say a character like Warren – he’s such a bad villain and it would be cool to play someone like that.

Are you and the actress who plays Lauren dating? Or just friends? – Ellie

We’re just friends.

As an actor, do you like the direction that Newt has taken? – Yohinnchild

Yes, I’m liking the direction a lot. It’s been great to play Newt, great from an actor’s point of view to play such challenging role and also to highlight such an important issue too.

Can you see Newt ever having a John-Paul style storyline? – Adam

No, I couldn’t. Newt is a completely different character from John-Paul. The John-Paul storyline was so successful and James is such a great actor, but it was totally unique for that character.

Who do you like hanging around with on set? – Carly

I love doing scenes with my on-screen family as they’re really fun to get on with, especially Jimmy McKenna [Jack Osborne] who is a right comedian!

Did you do any research about schizophrenia for the current storyline? – Starrynight

Yes, I did. I read a lot of books and watched films such as Cybil, Fight Club, Secret Window and A Beautiful Mind. I also spoke to a charity our storyliners worked with called Rethink who are the nation’s leading mental health charity.

Have you had any memorable fan mail or encounters with fans? – Emmy

I play a lot of charity football matches with the Hollyoaks team and we’ve had a few pitch invasions by fans! Other than that I’ve had some really nice letters about Newt and what he’s currently going through.

What’s the origin of your surname? – Gemma

Mirallegro is Italian. My dad’s from Sicily and my mum’s Irish-English.

What is the funniest thing you have seen on the Hollyoaks set? – Terry Moore

I was on set with Jamie Lomas the other day (who plays Warren) where his character was playing football with Russ. He did the first take and kicked the ball, but on the second take he completely missed and fell onto his backside!

Have you seen Sarah Dunn
’s (who plays Mandy) role in The Dark Knight yet? – Jason

Yes I have. I thought the film was amazing, Sarah was amazing too. She’s done well.

Last album you bought:

G-Unit: 'Terminate On Site'.

Last film you saw at the cinema:

The Dark Knight.

Last DVD you bought:

It was the Quentin Tarantino boxset and a Robert DeNiro boxset yesterday!

If you want to get information or advice about mental illness call Rethink, the leading mental health membership charity on 0845 456 0455 or visit

29th July 2008.

Written by Will Martin.