From Cal’s (Richard Windsor) death to the birth of baby Bodhi, we’d honestly be here all day if we were to list everything Ethan Hardy (George Rainsford) has been through since his Casualty arrival back in 2014.
Sadly, Ethan’s story will be brought to a close during tonight’s episode as George Rainsford will leave the role.
While Ethan is putting pause on his career, George continues to be busy and has returned to the world of theatre, portraying the role of Detective Roy Grace in the tour Wish You Were Dead.
As George gets his teeth into a new character, he has been speaking to Metro.co.uk about his decision to leave Casualty and how he knew when it was the right time to depart:
‘I had thought about it for a while’, he told us.
‘I had been there long enough to understand how everything works and how you have moments in the sun, you’re brought forward with stories but then also, you’re not in the background exactly but running the medical side to things. I guess I had a big year up until Fenisha dying, I was in a quieter period and I just sort of felt, the thing is the way everything is filmed, you’re still required to be part of the cast, to be a doctor and do the medical stories, so I had done a lot of those and I just felt that maybe if I wasn’t going to be given an interesting, new storyline, that it would be a good time to think about other things.
‘I’m an actor and I love theatre. I really wanted a new challenge, I just suddenly felt like that was the right time – we had gotten through Covid so it was just about being honest with the team, explaining that I wanted to spend more time with my family and try a different challenge.
‘I asked if it was okay to leave the door open for Ethan, they were really good about that and so Ethan’s departure is more of a soft exit than a big dramatic death, which is great, so who knows, I don’t know who will be in charge by the time I’m ready to think about going back, I just don’t know, but it seemed that the stars had aligned.’
The paramedic, along with her colleague, Lev (Uriel Emil) were killed during a train/car collision – just hours before Fenisha was set to marry Ethan.
Reflecting on the final part of that storyline, George told us that things very nearly played out differently for the couple:
‘At one point it was discussed that they might actually get married, and then the death would be after. We talked about Ethan being late for the wedding and I remember picturing us in the venue, but that never happened.
‘It was probably the episode I’ve been the most pleased with, even thought it was so heart-breaking. It was a good Casualty episode because it had that ensemble feel, loads of drama, it was filmed really nicely too.
‘It was the end of that big storyline for Olivia, too’, he added. ‘I’ve reflected in the last few months – obviously you get asked about favourite episodes and sometimes I can’t really think of them, I tend to think of as chunks of storylines rather than the individual episodes. I sort of broke it down into three chapters – Cal and Ethan, post Cal which included Alicia and the storyline with Connie and then the latter stuff with Fenisha and Bodhi.’
During tonight’s episode, Ethan is preparing for the Jac Naylor Award – which will give him the opportunity to travel around the world for sixth months – but it also means he won’t see Bodhi for that long as well.
‘We see Ethan at a crossroads, but he doesn’t realise that until the episode unfolds’, George explained.
‘He’s focused on this award and it’s a massive career pursuit, he thinks it’ll be a great thing for him based on all the personal tragedies that have happened. As things unfold, because of what happens with Bodhi’s grandma, it highlights to Ethan that his focus isn’t on the right thing.
One thing we will always remember about Ethan is his relationship with his brother, Cal.
Cal died in 2017 after being stabbed outside the ED. The death impacted Ethan for years and in 2021, to try and move forward after yet another tragedy, his brother returned – sort of.
‘I remember reading the stage directions from one of the episodes that said Richard had to wear underpants on his head and I was so pleased!’
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