Over the last four months, Rik Makarem reprised his role of Nikhil Sharma in the hit ITV soap Emmerdale but unfortunately for its audience this is short lived.

We jumped at the chance to talk to one of the hottest male actors on the show to get to know exactly where his career has taken him on his journey.

You’ve reprised your role as Nikhil Sharma in Emmerdale last October; did you have any reservations about going back to the show?

It took me a couple of months to decide. I was having so much fun developing my skill in the theatre, that I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing. Kate Oates had a strong vision for bringing me back with a new strength and gravity, so it appealed very much and that they agreed to let me do a short 4-month stint. I’ve changed a lot in my life over the past couple of years, so indeed it made sense that Nikhil had too.

You left the show back in 2013, what have you been up to in that time?

It’s been very busy, investing in a number of cool theatre projects, playing so many different characters, challenging myself etc. Alongside this, I’ve enjoyed writing songs at my piano and making sure all my family friends know that I love them. Amazing how when things get busy, we can misplace what’s the most important. It was perfectly balanced at that stage of my life. When you do a show like Emmerdale, it can consume every part of you.

Emmerdale Rik Makarem

You joined the likes of Michael Sheen and Ewan McGregor when you won the Laurence Olivier Bursary back in 2004; this is a major achievement, if you hadn’t received the bursary would you still have been an actor?

Of course! This was a nice confidence boost for sure, especially at a time when I was training at Drama school. This can be quite a vulnerable process, amongst other aspiring talents, seeking validation in a very niche industry. But irrespective of the victory with The Society Of London Theatre (the bursary foundation), It’s always been my mental default to remain focused in the pursuit of plan A. To this day, I find the reason why something SHOULD work out, rather than buying into the myth of failure.

Your first major appearance on our TV screens came in Torchwood, what did you take away from that experience?

This was particularly important to me. The fact it was a well-written Russell T Davies script (standard!) had a lot to do with it. It allowed me to flourish in a leading role. Although a guest role, my character was a driving force and therefore, allowed me to flex some of my skill. Trust me; it’s amazing how important that is. There have been many times on screen, particularly in Emmerdale, where I’ve been the “reactive” character, rather than the “driver”, and in one sense, you can be at the mercy of that actor. It is more difficult to control. Equally and thankfully, I was also paired with some fantastic and generous actors, the likes of Gaynor Faye, Mathew Wolfenden and Sian Reece-Williams to mention a few. But Torchwood, yes, with its huge cult following, really assisted my progress and I thank my lucky stars that Russell entrusted me with the role. 

Rik Makarem

If you could work alongside any actor in the world who would it be and if you could choose any character to play what would it be?

Oh god, that’s too tricky to answer. I love so many actors. I’d love to do something with James McAvoy, Leo Di Caprio or Dominic West… In fact, I’d love to play a part like he did in a show similar to The Wire. He nailed that! Mind you.. Having said that, I’ve got quite a whacky side too, so I think something with Jim Carrey would be very cool.

We’ve read that you’re an established Songwriter and have penned material for some well-known artists, is this correct? If so could you tell us how you fell into song writing and who have you written for?

Ha yeah, that’s kinda the story. Said with humbleness…. 2016 HAS to be the year that my music and the songs I’m writing get out there. That’s the target I’ve set for myself. I have no intention to be an artist myself, just to create new material for others. I’m 1 million percent confident that the DNA of my music is worthy of being amongst some of the amazing acts we hear on our radio today and I’m working alongside other talented songwriters to ensure we align the material with those artists. Anyone got Sam Smiths number?!

Rik Makarem

If you could have only 5 items with you on a deserted Island, What would they be?

A Piano for entertainment. A Nutribullet for health. A Sand buggy for travel. A mattress for re-charging and a laptop with Internet. Amazon ship to desert islands, right?!

Thank you for talking to Flavourmag

My absolute pleasure! x

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Once failed wannabe actress, Ex-music industry veteran who once dabbled in Artist Management, and now Film Journalist extraordinaire. My love for the arts has seen my fingers in many pies but my love of Film won the battle. Current work credits include Film Editor at Flavourmag, Film Journalist/Writer at HeyUGuys, London Live's London Film Club and DIY Magazine. Previous work credits contributor at The Voice Newspaper, FlickFeast, MyFilmClub and film review slot on radio.