Outgoing EastEnders actor Jamie Foreman has spoken of the frustrations that have come with playing hard man Derek Branning in the BBC1 soap.
Of Derek’s troubled relationship with son Joey (David Witts), the actor commented:
“I just hate having to play the same scene over and over again. After about four months of playing the same thing, it’s very difficult for actors to do. Easy to write but very difficult to play. You’re like: ‘not again’. I love things that develop and delve and dig and peel the layers of the onion off, so sometimes that becomes a little bit frustrating.”
After just over 12 months in the role, Foreman is set to leave EastEnders over the Christmas period in a high-profile storyline that will see Derek meet an untimely end. Earlier this month, the BBC released pictures showing the remaining members of the Branning family mourning Derek on the day of his funeral.
But it seems that Foreman would have relished the opportunity to show a softer side to his character before his departure, something that has only been hinted at in his relationship with screen daughter Alice (Jasmyn Banks):
“When I came into the show, I didn’t want to play a stereotypical bad guy,” he told the Sun. “I wanted to move Derek around and Alice’s character gave me the opportunity to explore that other side and get his family back together, and for him to find a bit of happiness and peace in his life. That’s what we discussed at the beginning but it never panned out that way. But Alice shows the teddy bear in Derek.”
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