Hollyoaks’ One Killer Week has begun. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the show’s trailer lets us see just how much things are going to kick off. It looks terrifying – see the trailer below. But it’s the actors behind these characters that interest us. Particularly during this intense period of filming, how do the actors, famed for their long hours, fare when the cameras are off?

I had a chat with Ross Adams, who plays the resident party-goer Scott Drinkwell, on how he manages his energy and sleep around work, as well as Scott’s sleeping habits – or lack thereof.

Ross Adams 

We’re filming our 20th anniversary episode at the minute. There’s a big stunt, it’s a big event and something goes wrong in the Hollyoaks village. It involves lots of stunts and computer jiggery-pokery, I’m involved in that storyline so I’m in work tomorrow at 7:30am and I’m going to be there until 8:00pm. I haven’t learnt my lines yet, so I need to get learning!

Interviewer 

Can you talk me through a day of working on set?

Ross Adams

We film in Liverpool and I live in Manchester. Every day, we get a call time to be in makeup; after that you go into costume, followed by your on-set time. That all takes about an hour, then you’re on set and working for the rest of the day.

My call time is 07:30, so I need to leave my house in Manchester at about 06:45. Because of that, sleep is really important – I don’t get enough of it, particularly when I’m busy at work.

My colleagues – they seem to be able to pick up a script and have the lines in their heads almost instantly. They practise two or three times and that’s it – in their heads. But for me, I need to learn my lines the night before otherwise I just don’t feel like I’m on it the next day. Often if I’m tired and haven’t slept very well, I find that I’m just not as good at learning my lines, so it’s important I get a good night’s sleep so I’m on it!

Interviewer

So you get an hour from turning up to filming. Is that a warm up time? I imagine 8-Mile, where Eminem is rapping into the mirror before the set. Is it like that…focus time? Or do you not get a chance to think about lines there?

Ross Adams

I can run through while the makeup artists work their magic. I look at my lines and say them in my head a few times, but once you’re on set, you go to the studio floor and the director will start a line run where all the actors in that scene will say their lines for the scene, so you get to have a practise.

Interviewer

Before setting off in the morning, what kind of routine do you have?

Ross Adams

Well, I always used to skip breakfast. Not intentionally, but I got up, had a shower and left, so I could get to Liverpool on time. Now, I’m making a real effort to make some breakfast – an omelette or poached egg on toast – something like that. Now I’m on a bit of a health kick at the minute because I’m doing a front cover shoot for a magazine in October, so I try to eat before I leave.

My alarm goes off at 5:50 and I always snooze it for 5/10 minutes. I’m up by six, and out in 45 minutes.

Interviewer

If you ever run out of recipes, we have a few on The Sleep Matters Club.

Gina Keatley, wrote some breakfast recipes for us. One sounds particularly amazing – cupcake frittatas; eggs, courgettes and bacon, cooked in Yorkshire pudding trays. Whack ’em in the oven and do your stuff for the morning, and they’re ready.

Mexican Breakfast Burritos

Related: 3 Healthy Breakfast Recipes To Kickstart Your Day

Ross Adams

They. Sound. Tremendous.

Interviewer 

It helps that they sound cool. You can boast to all your friends about your morning cupcake frittata intake.

Ross Adams

‘Hey guys, you’ll never guess what I had for my breakfast. Cupcake frittatas!’

Interviewer 

I’ll send you the recipe.

Do you use your phone alarm or something else?

Ross Adams

I have two. A DAB radio – it looks like an 80s ghetto blaster – which I bought because it’s loud. That’s the first to be snoozed. The second is my phone. When that goes off, I need to get up.

I get a bit paranoid that, if ever there’s power cut and my mains alarm doesn’t work, at least I have a backup. Always a double whammy with the alarms.

Interview 

Do you have your alarm set to play the radio, a playlist?

Ross Adams

Radio. I have to have different tracks blasting out. That wakes me up.

I used to be a heavy sleeper. When I was at uni, training to be an actor, I had a storage heater in my accommodation. Stupidly, I put a candle on the top overnight, not thinking that it would heat up when it came on. That night, I woke at 4am to hear a fireman knocking on my door telling me to get out. I couldn’t see anything apart from smoke – not even my hand in front of my face. I managed to escape and was evacuated with everyone else. But I didn’t hear that fire alarm because I slept so heavily.

Luckily, everything was fine, except that my bedroom stank of burnt wax for months. That made me think ‘hmm, maybe being a heavy sleeper isn’t such a great thing.’ And, since then, I’m not a heavy sleeper at all! But yeah, beforehand, I could have suffocated.

Interviewer

I’m a heavy sleeper. Now I’m terrified.

Ross Adams

Do you have a smoke alarm? That’s the most important thing.

Interviewer 

I do.

Ross Adams

You’ll be alright then. Safety first, Brett. Always.

The interview took a natural break. I checked the smoke alarms of the interview room…

Interviewer 

Are there any points in your daily routine where you find yourself nodding off or suffering from an energy drop?

Ross Adams

I can’t really do that. We have a green room to chill out in, as well as a quiet green room, which is really dark, really quiet, obviously, and filled with blankets. Some cast members go to have a nap if they have a break, but it’s never something I’ve been able to do.

I feel like sleeping is for the night, so day naps are a bit of a waste to me. Sometimes, I wish I could.

Interviewer

If napping isn’t your thing, what tricks do you have to stay awake? Strong coffee?

Ross Adams 

I tend to just ride it out, although, since I started this health kick I’ve been drinking green tea. Green tea is keeping me more awake than coffee. I don’t know why but it is. I think it’s supposed to speed up your metabolism; maybe that’s it, but yeah. Since I’ve started I don’t feel as tired on an afternoon. I just kind of power through.

Interviewer

Do you have a bedtime ritual or rules for yourself before bed?

Ross Adams 

I have a really annoying habit – I need to stop this – I’ll have read and learnt my lines for the next day, but then I’ll need to read something trashy or completely different to take my mind off things before bed. I have an app on my phone for the mail online. I’m not a fan of the mail online at all, but you get that kind of news/gossip. After reading a couple of articles on there, I can feel my eyes going a bit. But then I read other things saying you shouldn’t sleep with your phone next to your bed and all that. But I do. It’s something I’d really like to try and get out of. The other thing is that I wake in the middle of the night – if the bus drives past – the first thing I’ll do is pick up my mobile and check the time, and sometimes I think that’s a bad thing. If its 03:00 and I wake up and check the time, I’ll worry about my ability to get to sleep and sometimes that stresses me out even more, so I’m going to try and rid myself of this Daily Mail addiction and maybe try and read a book or something different. As long as I read something…anything – it could be the back of a crisp packet – that helps me sleep.

Related: 4 CEOs & Founders Share How They Wind Down At Night

Interviewer

Is it the Daily Mail scandals that help you nod off?

Ross Adams

No. Far more boring. I only read the days’ news – the headlines, that’s enough. Maybe I need to find a better news app. Maybe I should start reading the Sleep Matters Club, Brett, maybe that would be good.

Interviewer 

Hmm, we don’t recommend reading on a screen due to blue light radiation. Maybe print them off? This plan isn’t too extravagant yet…

How do you think your Hollyoaks character, Scott Drinkwell, sleeps?

Ross Adams 

Oh, wow (he’s impressed with that one). Well, Scott is a bit of a party animal, much more than I am. He did have a job, but he can’t really hold down a job, because he always rings sick. He was Patrick’s PA in a school. That lasted three weeks before he was sacked, he rang in sick about three times – there was nothing wrong with him.

Interviewer

Is that because he stayed up all night, reading the Mail Online and the back of crisp packets?

Ross Adams 

Probably, yes. So, he gets a lot less sleep than me. He’s a bit of a wild child is Scott. While I go to bed at midnight, Scott would never go to bed the same day he woke up.

Interviewer

There’s no character envy for Scott’s sleep patterns then? That’s good.

Ross Adams

Maybe in my younger days, but now I need my bed. I’m getting old, Brett.

Follow Ross Adams on Twitter.