Ronnie Mitchell’s snatchgate court case is due to start in next week’s EastEnders and the actress who played the much-maligned character has finally opened up about her time as the controversial character, describing the Christmas plot as “physically and emotionally shattering”.
In a kind of method acting that we hadn’t realised was present in British soap production, Womack told The Sun she had difficulty separating herself from her character’s problems.
“I worked out I’d been crying or screaming at work every day for six days a week for over two years. Can you imagine how exhausting and tiring that is?”
“You’re crying, weeping and telling your brain something awful has happened, so of course that is going to affect you and your body. My brain may know I am acting, but my body was doing a different thing. I needed to stop and find some peace, a bit like Ronnie.”
Womack’s final scenes on the programme will air next week (so we’re guessing the trial doesn’t end well..) but despite quitting some months back, the actress has remained silent over the controversial storyline until now.
“I didn’t speak out because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and reignite the situation,” she explained.
“But now I think it’s important to set the record straight and tell my side. I did find the storyline very difficult to play. It was draining emotionally and physically and by the end I was shattered.”
However the former Game On star defended the show’s writers – who attracted a record number of complaints through OfCom last January – claiming that they are under extreme pressure to come up with storylines that grab headlines.
“Unfortunately, because of the way television is going – and by that I don’t just mean just soap, but reality and also drama – there is a massive consumer need for controversy and high-risk storylines. We may not like it, but the viewing figures go through the roof.”