Samantha Womack's 'horrific' EastEnders scenes
'EastEnders' actress Samantha Womack found filming the soap's traumatic cot death storyline a ''horrific'' experience
Samantha Womack found filming EastEnders' tragic cot death scenes a "horrific" experience.
The actress - who plays new mum Ronnie Branning in the BBC One soap - will find her baby son James lying lifeless as part of a traumatic New Year's Eve (31.12.10) storyline, which will see her devastated alter-ego swap the body of her newborn with that of Kat Moon's (Jessie Wallace) son Tommy.
However, Samantha - who has two children in real life - admitted filming the harrowing scenes was "too much" for many of the cast and crew.
She said: "It's been the most horrific four weeks of my life. I couldn't stop crying when we were filming the scenes where Ronnie finds her dead baby. I couldn't switch off when I returned home each day.
"What Ronnie has been through is such a crushingly awful thing to even pretend might happen to you. I actually felt ill trying to portray it. We used an expensive silicone doll, and it was so lifelike it upset a lot of people on set. We had to stop and take a break because it was too much."
Samantha explained Ronnie - who has already lost her daughter Danielle and suffered a miscarriage in the past year alone - will decide to snatch Kat's baby in a moment of despair, but she has no idea what direction her "damaged" alter-ego's storylines will go in next year.
She added to The Sun newspaper: "The abduction comes from a place of complete confusion. She hears Tommy crying and can't separate truth from fiction.
"Ronnie is the most damaged character I've ever played - she never gets a break, does she? I have no idea what direction she'll be going in after this storyline is over."