Gillian Wright thrilled by fan response
'EastEnders' actress Gillian Wright says the fan response to her character's bipolar storyline on is a 'huge compliment' and has admitted that she takes the responsibility very seriously
'EastEnders' actress Gillian Wright says the response to her character's bipolar disorder is a "huge compliment".
The 52-year-old actress has played sufferer Jean Slater since 2004 and feels she has a "great" responsibility to portray the condition accurately, so she is pleased fans have praised her work.
She said: "The responsibility is great and I do have a lot of people writing or coming up to me and talking about how much it helps them and that's a huge compliment."
The soap star undertook serious research to make her character believable.
She explained on 'This Morning': "I did do a bit of research and I spoke to a doctor and read a lot about it. I actually did a lot of research on the internet, and discovered somebody's bipolar daily journal and that really, really helped."
Jean has become increasingly paranoid in recent weeks after struggling to prove that evil Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) conned her and now her niece Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) is now considering getting her professional help.
The drama comes to a head in tonight's EastEnders' episode (22.06.12) when Kat confronts Michael about Jean just as his wedding to Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) is due to begin, and warns him that Jean could commit suicide if she is sectioned without just cause.
But Gillian is determined not to portray Jean as a victim, and wants to prove to fellow bipolar disorder sufferers that she can't be taken advantage of.
She revealed: "The storyline is about a victim, I suppose, and I didn't want it to be played as a victim, so I'm looking for any opportunity for her to seize her own power".