Jacqueline Jossa has revealed how she coped after dad went to jail and says her EastEnders role was like “therapy”.
The actress, who played Lauren Branning on the BBC soap from 2010 to 2018, explained that acting was a personal escape for her during tough times.
“I spent more time on Lauren [Lauren Branning in EastEnders] As much as I did on me,” Jacqueline said on Vicky Pattison’s podcast.
“I was so focused on what brings him [Lauren] To drink, I joined in.
“And I would only think about what the next script would be, I loved it.
“When he was gone, I was like ‘Who am I now?’ It’s all on me now.”
The I’m A Celeb winner said she was able to go to work and put all her emotions on screen.
She continued: “It was therapeutic for me.
“If I had something personal going on, like my father went to jail while on EastEnders.
“I was so lucky to be able to come on set and cried my eyes out and scream and scream.”
“Could have physically landed on someone, if she was drunk I could scream, my whole body would feel it.”
After her time at Walford ended, the mother of the two explained that she would find it difficult to express her feelings and would often bottle up her thoughts.
She continued: “And then I would go home and feel fine, but when he was taken and when he left I didn’t have that release and it was all here.
“When I was going through something, it just continued to stay in, stay in, stay in.
“If I had kept that release to work it out, I think it would have been better for my head.”
The brunette beauty described acting as an “escape” for her, as she struggled with her confidence off-screen.
“My heart is just with acting because that’s what I know and am most confident about,” she explained.
“It took me a while to find the confidence within myself I could be Lauren Branning tomorrow and the f***ing broke the s*** out of it and have so much confidence in what I was doing.
“But in myself I was not, it took a lot to get there.
“But part of being someone else is being who I love, I like to pretend I’m someone else for the day and take myself out of it.”
Jacqueline, who has 3.2 million followers on Instagram, said that she is lucky that she found a career in social media after exiting the soap.
“It was such a different world, it was like getting used to and I was really lucky that I had that Instagram following and there was just a place for it and it happened organically,” she said.
Jacqueline previously indicated that she would like to return to Albert Square.
Speaking on Celebrity Juice, she said: “When the time is right, the character needs to remember before you come back.”
Jacqueline pulled out of the soap dramatically in 2018 During the funeral of Lauren’s sister Abi.
The single mother decides to move to New Zealand, where her ex Peter is trying to rekindle their relationship.
She left the audience confused as she walked straight out of the funeral and left her boyfriend Josh behind — and appears to be straight in the cemetery.
Peter’s return to EastEnders as a singleton in February 2020 gave fans hope that he would follow in their footsteps.
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