Steven Beale has certainly been making waves since his return to Walford last Friday. Ian is far from pleased to see him back in town, while Steven’s relationship with Lauren has set tongues wagging. Now, EastEnders fans have a showdown between Steven and an injured Jane to look forward to in next week’s episodes. Can the pair find some common ground despite their troubled past? Actor Aaron Sidwell tells us more…
So, tell us how Steven’s return came about…
Plans were in place to bring Lauren back, so there was an opportunity for Steven to return with her. Our casting director Julia Crampsie had just been to see me in a play and I’d always kept in touch with executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. A lot of things coincidentally happened and fell into place.
Were you happy to be asked back?
I was. It was the right time for me and the right time for the character. Enough time has passed for Steven to come back and have a different input and impact. It feels fresh. Steven has had enough time to grow up and change dramatically.
Was it nice to be working with Jacqueline Jossa?
It’s really good to be working with Jacqueline. You never know if you’re going to click with somebody, but we just did. We get on really well and have a lot in common. It all just fell into place!
This is obviously a critical time for the Beales – is Steven going to make things worse or better for them?
I think he’s going to try and make things better, but, being Steven, he will probably make big mistakes. The biggest difference with Steven now is that he really has someone that understands him and gets him. He won’t be condemned for every little mistake and instead has someone that will help him deal with it. Lauren is the biggest difference to Steven now than eight years ago.
Is their relationship serious?
They’re very much in love and they are very open and very honest and they know everything about each other – the negatives and the positives. His impact on the Beales is able to be positive because of Lauren. In the past, he would have been frustrated and done something stupid out of anger, but that’s changed now.
He seems to really want to help Ian in his hour of need – is this genuine do you think?
He is genuine in wanting to help Ian. Although Steven wasn’t there through Lucy’s death, the Beales are very much his family. He took Lucy’s death really hard and also took a certain amount of responsibility because what he did originally set a chain of events in motion in the sense that he hurt Jane and took away her chance to be a mother, which drew Jane closer to Bobby.
His behaviour also had a massive impact on Lucy and, as such, it all snowballed. Lucy grew worse and more manipulative. Bobby had been subjected to seeing his mother in a very delicate state which naturally drew her to grow closer to Bobby, which lead to the cover up of Lucy’s death. Steven is an intelligent guy which means that when he is being manipulative he is dangerous. It has really resonated to him that there is a certain amount of blame that lies at his own door.
He doesn’t want to see Jane suffer because he feels partly responsible for her being where she is. He wants to help her get better and he wants to help Ian cope with it all. He has always seen Ian as his dad and he wants to help. He knows that by being there and doing what he can he can slowly build up trust again. I’m sure he will do something to upset that again, but I don’t think we are going to see the same behaviour as we did before with Steven. It’s going to be a young man who is trying to right the wrong of his past.
Did he miss his family while he was away?
He missed them but he also needed the space. Being in New Zealand helped as it’s a calmer way of life for him so now coming back he feels like he knows how to deal with stress and now he has someone that he can lean on for that.
How does he feel about seeing Jane again?
Steven and Jane are never going to be each other’s favourite person but hopefully a relationship will grow and develop. But there’s never going to be whole trust between them – he knows he has to earn some of it back and he knows that it’s difficult because she’s vulnerable. But is spurs him on and makes him want to help rather than run away. He wants to stand his ground.
Can the Beales accept Steven?
I hope that Ian can accept Steven back and they can form an adult relationship. In Steven’s mind, he is back to help with Jane and see Bobby’s trial through and then go back to New Zealand so we’ll have to see what happens after that. I don’t think Jane’s family will ever have much time for him, but he is focused on the Beales.
What do you think his plans are for being back in The Square?
Steven is probably the most Beale-like when it comes to his work ethic and I think he’s been managing a lot of businesses in New Zealand and he’s going to bring an element of the back to Walford with him. Obviously Ian has multiple businesses and Steven is an entrepreneur but also has an element of the Wicks charm, which may help him to go far …
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