Another explosive EastEnders exit is on the way for scheming Janine Butcher, but star Charlie Brooks is already teasing that she could be back one day.
Her latest storyline has seen her use underhanded tactics to secure an engagement to Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (Danny Dyer), who has no idea of the vicious lengths Janine has gone to in order to win him over.
She’s made it her mission to destroy Mick’s ex-wife, Linda (Kellie Bright), and it led to the soulmates being torn apart. But viewers know that Mick still loves Linda, and his heart isn’t truly with pregnant Janine.
With Mick due to be written out around the same time, Janine’s final scenes have now been confirmed to air on Boxing Day.
Speaking about what could become of her character, Brooks says: “I always say, ‘Never say never’. EastEnders is home to me, and I've had a fantastic time, so I'd be open to a return for sure.”
Asked about her decision to step away from her alter ego once more, the actor adds: “I've had the best year and a half getting back into Janine's shoes.
“She's so fun to play, but I also love playing all the vulnerable stuff with Janine as well. I'm an actress, so I want to do everything. But, yeah, it is hard.
Brooks reveals that she wanted to bow out before Janine’s antics exhausted the character. “I also feel like if she was to stay in the show, the character might not be as strong somehow.
“I wouldn't want her to be diluted because she is so full-on, she's so dramatic, but I always feel like there's more to know, which is a really good place to be with a character. If something feels quite layered, quite complex, it always stays interesting and luckily for me, Janine has remained that way.”
Viewers will have to wait a little longer to find out if and how Janine’s lies will be exposed. But Brooks tells us that, contrary to her character’s rivalry with Linda, she and co-star Bright get on brilliantly; and she’s loved working with Dyer too.
“The two of us and Kellie have laughed and laughed over the last year and a half. It's been fantastic. We've all just enjoyed working together so much. It's been fun.
“I think we have brought out different sides of each other's characters, and that’s kept it interesting for all of us. That's been really fun to play with.”
Pondering whether she thinks Janine should get her man, she acknowledges that fans are firmly against this outcome. “I want to see them run off into the sunset together, but I think the audience might hate me if they do!”
“I like the idea that Janine brings out a different side in Mick, sometimes a little bit of a darker side, because he has been walked over by Linda. Janine is one of those chaotic, crazy, slightly infectious, both in a good and bad way, people. And I've loved playing that part of their relationship as well.”
EastEnders airs Janine's final scenes on Boxing Day.
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