Simone Lahbib finds EastEnders character 'challenging'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 28 December 2020
Simone Lahbib

Simone Lahbib

Simone Lahbib has found it "challenging" to play sexual abuser Katy Lewis on 'EastEnders' after she abused Mick Carter (Danny Dyer)

Simone Lahbib finds her 'EastEnders' character "challenging".

The 55-year-old actress – who plays Katy Lewis on the BBC One soap – has revealed her difficulty understanding her character, who is set for a showdown with Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) after she sexually abused him when he was a teenager.

Speaking to Digital Spy, she explained: "I've found it very interesting and challenging. She is unlike any other character I've played, I tend to be offered strong but vulnerable characters who are fairly earnest. Katy is much more complex, damaged and dark. Where other characters I've played have been emotional and from the heart, Katy's all from the head. Very clever and quick-thinking. She grooms people, gains trust, extracts information, then uses it to manipulate them.

"She wants to confuse Mick to the point he can't trust his own memories, make him feel he can't trust anyone else either, except her, so as to isolate him and make him easier to break down. Mick is a danger to Katy and she has no conscience about doing anything she feels she needs to protect herself."

Before taking on the role, Simone did plenty of research, by talking to sexual abuse survivors and watching documentaries and reading books, as she wanted fans to understand Mick's torture.

She added: "I wanted the audience to be sucked in by her in the beginning and, like Mick, left confused and unsure who was telling the true version of events.

"But of course I grew to understand that spoiler alerts were necessary since the storyline could potentially trigger some survivors so it was important to flag upcoming scenes and add support information after episodes. I may have let her mask slip sooner otherwise."

Meanwhile, the former 'Bad Girls' star previously revealed her excitement of joining 'EastEnders' as she would reunite with her former co-stars Linda Henry (Shirley Carter), Luisa Bradshaw-White (Tina Carter) and Kellie Bright (Linda Carter).

She said at the time: "I'm thrilled to be joining 'EastEnders'. I can't say too much about who I am playing just yet, but it's fair to say that she is set to have a lasting impact on the Carters and will test their strength as a family. It's also been lovely to be reunited with Linda, Luisa and Kellie – it's been a bit of a 'Bad Girls' reunion."

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