Ellie Nixon (Mica Paris) has made her presence felt in EastEnders, as the formidable grandmother of Denise Fox’s (Diane Parish) biological son Raymond.
Denise discovered that Raymond had been involved in a car accident last week after overhearing a conversation between Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) and Callum Highway (Tony Clay).
She quickly made her way to the hospital, where she discovered that her son’s adopted parents had perished in the crash, but that Raymond had survived.
Denise then came face-to-face with Ellie, but kept shtum about who she really is — claiming to have been a friend of Raymond’s mum and dad.
Ellie has struck up something of a bond with Denise in recent episodes, but just how would the newcomer react upon discovering her new pal’s true identity?
Speaking about this, actress Mica Paris — who portrays Ellie — said: ‘What’s interesting about the whole dynamic at the start – she knows something’s not quite right with Denise but she’s overwhelmed by everything.
‘In a way I think Ellie is almost thankful that she has someone to talk to in this moment of total tragedy. She’s totally alone in this as her family is gone so she doesn’t want there to be anything bad with Denise as she’s all Ellie has in the midst all of this tragedy.
‘It’s a tug of war! Denise wants her son for her own reasons and Ellie wants him for her own reasons too, this little boy is stuck in the middle.’
Mica made her first appearance in the BBC One soap after production resumed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking about her first day on set, the actress said: ‘On my first day, my character has a very stripped back look to what I am used to – coming from music videos and stage make up on West End, so Ellie’s look isn’t what I’m used to.
‘As well as being in a whole new environment as I’d never done this type of filming before – plus there’s all new safety measures in place too. The role is so intense that you soon forget about all these silly things that I was worrying about before because the storyline is so strong.
‘You literally get swept up into the vortex of the story. I’ve been through similar situations a few times – especially with my brother who I lost 18 years ago. I felt like I was back in that moment at the hospital and was able to draw on that experience to bring that sentiment to the role.
‘It’s so powerful with Diane’s character and mine, straight away we were filming in the hospital, my character’s family has been in a huge accident, Denise and Ellie don’t really know each other and they’re both bonded by grief in different ways.
‘Diane was fabulous! I’ve met her over the years at events and awards shows and she is an absolute sweetheart. We’ve had a bit of a giggle in the past but it was really nice to finally be able to spend some time together.
‘It’s interesting walking in on very established characters, Steve [McFadden] and Diane are such giving actors, we all got on so well! It was very easy for me to just slip in and they helped to make it that easy.
‘I learnt so much from this experience. Adapting my performance on EastEnders – it was such a masterclass within the first day – you very quickly learn. I was with really great talent – Steve is amazing! So when you’re with people at a level, it’s a great challenge to rise to, I was able to perform well because I was with great performers.’
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