Alice Branning’s infatuation with Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) could turn deadly next week when he schemes to set her up for murder.
With Janine (Charlie Brooks) constantly upping the ante in her custody battle for baby Scarlett, tortured Michael will plan to bump off his ex with a fatal dose of pills.
But when a besotted Alice offers to drug Janine, little does she realise that she’s being set up. Here, actress Jasmyn Banks, who plays Alice, reveals what’s in store for her character as she continues to be duped by the manipulative Michael:
So, next week we see Michael saying to Alice that they’re going to start a new life together in Morocco – does she believe him?
Yes, she believes that they will at least go there for a while, until they have a solid plan. The idea of being somewhere so beautiful and far from Walford with the man she loves and his daughter who she adores is completely irresistible. They’ve said they love each other and Michael has confided in her about his troubled childhood. They have a much stronger bond and she trusts him.
And how does Alice feel when Michael tells her that he’s going to slip Janine some pills?
At first she’s shocked and she’s really nervous, but it’s an excited nervous. The whole plan and their secrecy feels almost Bonnie and Clyde, and it’s really exciting and romantic to her. It’s a dark twisted fairy tale where she and her knight run away from the evil witch to save the princess and live happily ever after. She loves it!
Why does Alice insist on drugging Janine herself?
Alice is always being told that she’s sweet, innocent and naive – and she is those things, but there’s a lot more to her and she’s so determined to prove it. She’s been wrapped up in cotton wool by her family her whole life, so she wants to show that she is capable of being a bit wild and taking risks.
It’s to impress Michael as well – she wants his approval and adoration. Maybe secretly she hates Janine and Michael spending time together, as they were once married, and the thought of him going over there makes her a little sick and jealous.
Would she do anything for Michael?
Alice is so totally in love with Michael and she’s so wrapped up in the idea of them living happily ever after as a family that she’s managed to come to the conclusion that drugging someone and kidnapping a child without telling anyone she knows is a perfectly acceptable and normal idea.
She wants that escape from the tough year she’s faced, she wants her happily ever after and she will do things she didn’t think she was capable of to get that.
When does it dawn on Alice that Michael is actually getting her to kill Janine?
Not until it’s almost too late! When Alice sneaks into Janine’s bedroom and takes out the pills from her bag to plant in Janine’s bedside table she notices the bottle feels quite light. And when she looks inside she sees it’s nearly empty.
At first that confuses her, as she knows it’s a brand new bottle, but then it dawns on her that there must be almost an entire bottle of pills crushed up for her to put in Janine’s wine. It’s not until she goes back downstairs that she realises this was actually a ploy to kill Janine. It’s a hard thing to accept and to actually come to that conclusion, as Alice really doesn’t want to believe that’s the case.
What does she do when she realises this?
I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say Alice is very distraught that he could do that to her.
Does Alice start to see Michael for what he really is?
As far as Alice is concerned, she has always seen Michael for who he really is – she feels she has a better understanding than most people. She knows that, yes, he can be horrible and insufferably hurtful but up until now she has known that he doesn’t mean it. She thinks it’s a reaction to the pain he’s feeling and she’s always been convinced that if he was loved unconditionally by her he would eventually be OK.
She wanted to fill the void in his heart and make him happy. Though she didn’t ever think for a second that he would actually set her up for murder and potentially destroy her life.
Are you having fun playing Alice and being involved in this storyline?
I have loved playing Alice, especially in this storyline. I feel like a whole new side to Alice has been explored through her relationship with Michael, and her need to prove she’s grown up. She’s on the cusp of darkness and light all the time, even when she was with Tamwar, but she was being pulled away by Michael and it has been so exciting exploring her darker side. I can only hope the audience have as much fun watching her go on this journey as I have done playing it.