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Emmerdale's Michael Wildman says filming tonight's car stunt was like a Hollywood movie

By Megan Shaw

Actor Michael Wildman is best known for playing the role of village bad guy Al Chapman in ITV 's Emmerdale. He joined the village in 2019 and was introduced as the estranged father of Ellis Chapman and the former husband of Jessie Dingle.

Dubbed the village love rat, Al Chapman, has been ruining marriages, having affairs and causing trouble since he arrived. And tonight the soap villain's ongoing feud with enemy Cain Dingle is set to get out of control, resulting in a horrifying car crash.

Prior to his current role in the soap, Wildman appeared in the film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where he played the role of aggressive, feisty centaur Magorian.

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The Hollywood movie star has also had roles in The Bourne Ultimatum, London has Fallen, Ready Player One and the Fast & Furious spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw.

Michael has said that filming the upcoming scenes reminded him of his blockbuster movie days as he jumped at the chance to film the car chase through Yorkshire’s country lanes.

In an interview with our colleagues at The Mirror, Michael said: “Making films is what I love doing, but I am also really enjoying playing Al and this week’s super stunt week has been so much fun to do.

The war between Cain Dingle and Al Chapman seems to show no signs of abating (ITV)

“It’s filmed in a cinematic way and I got to do my own driving sequence stunts, which I loved. It’s great getting into a car and putting my foot down.”

Michael has worked alongside some of Hollywood's most highly regarded stars, including Burt Reynolds and Steven Spielberg.

He was in Spielberg’s 2018 sci-fi hit Ready Player One, worked with Gerard Butler in the 2016 thriller London Has Fallen, and also starred in Episode 5 of the British sitcom Extras alongside Samuel L. Jackson and in the part of the first Marc MacKenzie in Family Affairs.

The 47-year-old actor said: "I’ve actually started to write a journal about some of the stories that happened on the film sets. Once you do a job, it’s quite easy to move on and forget, but arguably it doesn’t get bigger than working with someone like Burt Reynolds.”

“We were worlds apart, but he was very complimentary and I learned a lot from Burt. I can remember him telling me to keep on going. ‘Mike,’ he told me, ‘don’t ever let the b*****ds grind you down’. It was such a beautiful moment of support that I really appreciated.”

Recalling his time working with Steven Spielberg, Michael laughed: "I had been offered the part of a character by Steven but, when I arrived, it hadn’t been written up, so he gave me bits of A4 paper with lines to learn every day.

“At the end of the shoot, Steven shook my hand and told me, ‘I really want to apologise for putting you on the spot. I kept on throwing stuff at you’. I laughed and replied, ‘What am I going to do? Turn down extra lines from Steven Spielberg? No way’.”

Speaking of what lies ahead for Al, Michael added: “We will have to wait and see what happens to Al tonight, but hopefully if he does survive, I can look forward to Emmerdale’s 50th anniversary later this year.”

Emmerdale is on ITV weekdays, 7.30pm to 8pm. Tonight’s is an hour-long episode.

Don't miss the latest Emmerdale news - keep up to date by signing up to our dedicated newsletter here.

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Dive Deeper:
ITV Emmerdale: Real life of Al Chapman star Michael Wildman - famous wife and Hollywood movie career
Away from the Dales, the actor has enjoyed a varied career
ITV Emmerdale fans shout 'not Cain' as they make double death prediction
The Dingle bad boy was revealed as being involved in a car crash during a flash-forward scene
Emmerdale's Jeff Hordley quizzed over Cain Dingle's fate after car crash flash-forward scenes
The 52-year-old actor has played bad boy Cain Dingle for more than 20 years
Emmerdale actor Jeff Hordley 'lets slip' on Cain Dingle's fate after flash forward 'death' twist
Emmerdale's Cain Dingle will be involved in a dramatic car crash in an upcoming episode
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
ITV Emmerdale fans baffled by Chas' appearance as they're left divided over crash scenes
There was more drama during the special week of flash-forward episodes
Emmerdale fans divided over soap's thrilling 'first of its kind' stunt episode
Emmerdale fans were divided as they tuned in to see the ITV soap's thrilling stunt episode, which has been described…
Get all your news in one place