EastEnders icon teases return of Cindy Beale's "bad" side in love triangle
Cindy looks set to once again be torn between lovers...
Firstly, Cindy was in love with Ian's stepbrother Simon "Wicksy" Wicks (Nick Berry) and conceived a son with him - Steven Beale - who she later lied was Ian's, only for the truth to eventually come out and Cindy left Walford with Simon in 1990.
However, Cindy returned in 1992 and reconciled with Ian and had twins with him, only to wind up in further affairs, not least with Ian and Simon's half-brother, David Wicks (Michael French).
After splitting with Ian and entering into a murderous tug-of-war with him for custody of her children, Cindy also had a relationship with wealthy Nick Holland (Dominic Taylor) but he abandoned her while she was pregnant with his child Cindy Jr. once she was found guilty for hiring a hitman to kill Ian.
Yet, despite seemingly dying in childbirth while in prison in 1998, Cindy entered witness protection and eventually settled into her life as Rose Knight, having found love with and marrying George Knight (Colin Salmon) and having two children with him: Gina (Francesca Henry) and Anna Knight (Molly Rainford).
However, nine years ago, 'Rose' abruptly left George and the girls behind, leaving them heartbroken.
Subsequently, Ian and Cindy later reconciled off-screen and have been living as a couple in France, their return to Walford is made all the more awkward by the presence of George.
Discussing Cindy's headspace upon her return and also how she'll deal with being in a new love triangle, Michelle Collins told RadioTimes.com that Cindy has changed as a person - but not too much.
The actress explained: "I think I’d be annoyed if those situations would be over! I can’t tell you too much, but Cindy has been through a lot in her life. She’s been in witness protection, she’s lived a new life as a completely different person, and I’m amazed that she’s still going with the things she’s been through. She has this amazing resilience and this strength of character, but I think she also has a side to her which was kind of lacking when she was younger. Possibly more empathy than maybe she had before, and she’s a bit older and wiser. All of the experience you gain in life makes you a different person and the things that she’s been through, but she’s certainly no walkover."
So a more empathetic Cindy, maybe, but don't doubt that her steelier side will reemerge.
"I’d say she’s very emotional because of the things she’s been through and I can’t say too much but there’s a lot of emotional stuff going on there," revealed Collins.
"Definitely expect bits of the old Cindy to come back. I also think that people would be disappointed if there wasn't elements of her old character in there. She was a character where women hated her, but they also wanted to be her because of the way she behaved. She was unapologetic in a time where women on TV weren’t portrayed that way so I think that’s why she literally got away with murder!"
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Collins added: "People loved that side of her because she was the bad girl. But, if you’re going to have the bad girl, you’ve got to make it three-dimensional otherwise it's boring.
"You definitely saw a softer side to her in France, but she does gain momentum and a bit more strength as time goes on. She wants to do what’s right but despite what people say she does love her kids."
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