EastEnders: Max and Rainie are married! Tanya Franks reacts to tonight’s bombshell

What?! How?! Who saw this one coming?

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So, Max has a new woman in his life – and it’s his former sister-in-law Rainie! Scenes just broadcast on tonight’s EastEnders saw Max get married to a mystery woman in a veil, who was later revealed to be Rainie. So why has she fallen for Max’s charms? And what does actress Tanya Franks make of her comeback storyline? We caught up with the Walford returnee to find out:

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So, how does it feel in general to be back on the show after 3 years away?
I’m really enjoying it and having a really nice time. I enjoy the people I work with and it’s a fun new journey for Rainie. She’s going down a road that I would never have foreseen in the past, so as long as they keep challenging me with new aspects of Rainie then I always enjoy it.

Has she changed much – is this a new Rainie?
Yeah we’re now going to find out what Rainie is like without having to rely on substances.

And are you pleased about that – do you think this is new grounds for her or are you missing her junkie past?
It’s good for me because even I’m learning and finding out what she’s like. What I know of Rainie is when she’s always grasping for the next new hit and so now she’s not going through that she’s finding other ways and new obsessions, which is fun to play.

When you were approached to come back how much did they tell you about the plans for Rainie and how did they pitch to you?
John Yorke very nicely sat me down over a coffee and told me how he saw the upcoming journey for Rainie and it did excite me straight away. He said, “would you consider it?” I said, “absolutely!” So I went away to work things out with a couple of other projects to see if It was possible and we made it work.

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And are they making a good couple, could they be happy, has Max changed? What’s the dynamic of their relationship that you can tease?
We do find ourselves laughing a lot on set, myself and Jake. We would never have thought of this idea, so it is really fun for us to play and we are having a good time with it. I think Max and Rainie are working really well together. I think the chemistry and the dynamic is something that has taken us all by surprise.

What fan reactions do you get from playing Rainie?
I think when people speak to me personally in the street hey tend to be really favourable of her in that they enjoy what the antics of the character are going to bring. I quite often get the thing of “ooh has she cleaned up”? They want to know is she going to clean up or is she still going to be off the rails.

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Do we get much background on what happened to Max and Rainie since the funeral?
You don’t get much background to that, but from Rainie’s point of view, she had already made the decision to clean herself up. When she was at the hospital with Abi and the family Rainie was already cleaning herself up then.

She and Max are both a bit self-destructive, though, aren’t they?
Yes sand always trying to find a way through and a way out. Trying to find the next big thing for themselves and it’s surprisingly connected between the two of them

Is there any chance you will be seeing Tanya again?
Well, it’s lovely working with Jo, so if we had the chance to work together again, that would be a blessing. But Jo is busy doing lots of other shows as well at the moment and I don’t know whether she’s part of the story in the future.

What is Jake like to work with – do you enjoy having these scenes with him?
He’s an actor of integrity and it’s a pleasure to work with him – he’s very detailed. It’s a lovely collaborative feel when we’re on set together and I think it’s good teamwork actually. It’s lots of fun we have lots of laughs – he’s a giggler so we do giggle quite a lot.

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And could you sum up the next few months in a sentence?
I would say nobody would imagine what it’s like for Rainie and Max to be together, so the only way to discover how potentially successful or disastrous this could be is just to view it and find out.