We hope the surprise return of Jane last night was an enjoyable one! It certainly was for actress Laurie Brett, who caught up with us to reveal more about the circumstances surrounding her return:
How tough it was to keep the return under wraps, after having to keep it secret?
It wasn’t too difficult for me. The Waterloo Road team were kind enough to schedule for me to do a few episodes and my family knew because of child care. It did become difficult because I wanted to say I was going back to EastEnders, but it was probably harder for the press office at EastEnders and Dominic. It was a harder secret operation for them; everyone there did a sterling job.
Were you pleased it was such a surprise for viewers?
I was really pleased because I was thinking “Is this going to have the impact of what people were expecting or hoping for?” Jane is a nice character and a lot of people identify with her, but I didn’t ever really think she was as popular as last night proved. So I was absolutely thrilled with last night.
What has the reaction been?
My phone went into meltdown, with texts, phonecalls, tweets - and I received calls from friends saying “I think you have broken Twitter.” It was phenomenal and just shows what a surprise, the simple stuff without spoilers, makes - and I think we need more of that.
What did it feel like to return to the set?
It was a really strange time to come back to EastEnders because I was in the middle of filming some intense Waterloo Road stuff, so I was being Christine in a dark place mentally and then coming onto the jolly Jane role… So that was a little all over the place with two different characters. However, it was brilliant because I spent a lot of time at EastEnders and on The Square, it was really nostalgic and a constant deja vu situation, but it was lovely.
What was it like to work with Adam again?
Like putting on a pair of old slippers! When you work with someone for eight years, the minute we were on set and started to do the lines it was just easy.
Did you find it hard to slip back into Jane’s shoes?
The speed of filming at EastEnders, you really have to hit the ground running - and once I got back in the swing of it, it was fantastic
How has it been filming two big dramas with different accents?
I kind of speak in two accents all the time. I have lived in London for over 25 years and it’s my adopted accent. As an actress I don’t think it’s that difficult to work out, but at one point filming with Adam in the Beales’ house, we were doing a take and he whispered in my ear that I did a line that sounded very Scottish! But apart from a few blips it was fine.