What Will EastEnders’ Janine Do? Charlie Brooks Has Some Hints!

BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron ©

This week in EastEnders, Janine arranges lunch at Walford East for Mick and Ricky to get to know each other. Mick arrives late and Janine is furious, but Mick soon wins Ricky over, and he’s convinced that Janine has nothing to fear about Mick’s ex-wife Linda.

When they arrive back at The Vic, Shirley tells Janine that Linda called in sick, and she becomes convinced Mick was late because he was with his ex-wife. Little does Janine know that Mick was telling a white lie because he was busy getting her Christmas present…

Here’s what Charlie Booker, who plays Janine, has to say about her character’s stormy relationships!

What’s it like to have Sid back?

Sid lives down the road for me, so we are sharing lifts. So on the practical level, it’s fantastic! Sid’s been there from day one for me since I came into EastEnders, so we’ve got a really close friendship. It’s really nice to have him back – for me and especially for the audience. I think it’s really nice to see old faces and the familiarity and safety that comes
with that. It’s lovely for viewers, for Janine and for me as well.

Ricky often despairs of Janine but loves her too. Will we see more of that dynamic?

Maybe for a little bit. He’s basically the only family she’s got. There’s Diane and Claire, who she can’t rely on for one reason or another now. Janine probably made a ton of drama when she went there after the death of her last husband. So, I think it’s nice for Janine to have someone there who’s got her back – but whether he will always have her back, we’ll have to see.

Why does the lunch for Mick and Ricky mean so much to Janine?

I think it’s about creating a family, isn’t it? Janine wants to make her stamp with her family on the relationship. Mick has got so much family on his side, so I think it’s important to Janine that he and Ricky connect. And also, I think the dark side of Janine wants to use Ricky now and manipulate him into keeping an eye on Mick and not letting
him go off on his own.

Does she think Ricky is right, that she has nothing to fear from Linda?

I think she so desperately wants to believe that nothing’s going on and that Mick adores her, and she says that quite openly. But I think you just know, don’t you? It’s deep-rooted. That is her fear and her panic, especially the confirmation from Sonia when she’s seen Mick and Linda together, and it looked very intimate. That put the fear of God in her.

Her behaviour is warranted, I’d say, in many ways. Had Linda and Mick not gotten close again and had they not really been still in love, then she would have nothing to worry about. Janine would have been happy and secure in the relationship. But they have, and there is a closeness, and that’s very evident. And that is why Janine behaves the way she does.

It must be hard to see the close bond they share become more intense again.

Yes. And it’s something she can never have. Janine can be open and vulnerable with him, and she can tell him about her past, but she does not have any past with him, and that’s something that Linda has. The memories and the closeness are something she will never have.

Do you enjoy the bitchy scenes with Kellie Bright?

Well, luckily for me, Kellie is my soul sister, and we get on like a house on fire, so we have so much fun. I love it. I really want to see more of it in the future. It’s a dynamic duo for sure, and I love working with Kellie.

Why does she call the registrar?

The ultimate goal is to get the wedding brought forward ASAP.

Does Janine think that if she can just get Mick down the aisle, everything will be all right?

Yes, because her panic is that he’s going to change his mind, he’s not going to want to marry her, and he loves Linda. But if she can get him down the aisle, then that’s it, signed and sealed. And at worst, it means she’s got ownership over the pub if nothing else.

Would Janine turn on him if Mick rejected her?

Yes, I would hope so! Janine won’t change her colours, and if someone turns on her, she will be the first person to retaliate. If she feels like all hope is lost, then you will feel her wrath. She’s an emotional woman, she can’t control that. She doesn’t behave well or appropriately because she doesn’t know how to behave well or appropriately.

My version of Janine is that there’s a deep self-loathing in her – and hurt people hurt people, don’t they?

There’s a sadness to her, I think. There’s so much grandiose “I’m wonderful, and Mick’s lucky to have me” and all that is on the surface. Actually, what’s going on underneath is a very small child, a little girl who’s totally lost and trying to survive and has never felt looked after. There’s been abandonment, she’s had trauma, and it plays out in all the wrong ways.

EastEnders is on BBC One, Monday-Thursday at 7.30pm and on BBC3 on Saturday (7.30pm) and Sunday (7pm).

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