‘I felt like I had to mourn her’: Former EastEnders star Jessica Plummer says learning her character Chantelle was being killed off was like hearing a friend was ‘terminally ill’
The actress, 28, said she went through a period of mourning for her character Chantelle Atkins, who died at the hands of her domestic abuser husband Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith) in September, but admits it was a ‘really odd’ feeling.
Speaking on Netmums’ Sweat, Snot and Tears podcast on Tuesday, she said: ‘It kind of felt like I’d just been given the news that a friend had become terminally ill or something.
‘I felt like I had to mourn her’: EastEnders star Jessica Plummer said on Tuesday that learning her character Chantelle was going to be killed off was like hearing a friend was ‘terminally ill’
‘It’s my character, I should know more than anybody that it’s not real. I felt like all of a sudden I had to mourn my character, say goodbye to my character.
‘I would get dressed in the morning in the months leading up to it and I would do things like put on Chantelle’s wedding ring and think oh my goodness is this the last time she is going to wear it sort of thing. It was weird.’
Jessica learned of her character’s journey in Christmas 2019, and thought the UK’s lockdown amid the Covid-19 crisis might have meant the storyline would have been prolonged, but she realised it was better the plot happened the way it did.
Dramatic: Chantelle Atkins died at the hands of her domestic abuser husband Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith, pictured) in September
Candid: Of getting the news in Christmas 2019, she said ‘It kind of felt like I’d just been given the news that a friend had become terminally ill or something’
Jessica – who went on to appear on ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ late last year – admitted she felt her Walford departure would be ‘worth it’ if it results in one woman escaping an abusive relationship in real life.
She added: ‘I was sad to leave EastEnders, but if it means one woman escapes her domestic abusive relationship, it was worth it.’
Jessica recently admitted she would return to the BBC One soap, despite Chantelle being dead.
She said: ‘I love ‘EastEnders’ and if they called tomorrow and said, “Come back,” I wouldn’t be able to turn it down.’
Helping others: Jessica admitted she felt her Walford departure would be ‘worth it’ if it results in one woman escaping an abusive relationship in real life
What’s more, shortly after her Albert Square exit, the star admitted she was ‘in absolute bits’ about leaving the show.
She wrote on Instagram: ‘Now that the dust has slightly settled, I’d just like to say.. On a personal note, I am in absolute bits to be leaving the show.
‘I miss even this bits I thought I hated (that dodgy outside toilet near the police station with 20 million spiders)
‘All of it has been a dream come true. Without getting speechy, I owe SO many people my thanks for believing in me on my journey. (sic)’
Thoughts: Jessica recently admitted she would return to the BBC One soap, despite Chantelle being dead as she ‘wouldn’t be able to turn it down’ if the role was offered to her