EastEnders star opens up about emotional departure from the soap
EastEnders star Rita Simons has described filming her final scenes for the soap as the “most exhilarating and upsetting experience”.
The Roxy Mitchell actress will be departing the soap with on-screen sister Sam Womack, who portrays Ronnie Mitchell, after nine years on screen together.
During an interview with The Sun, Simons revealed how the two actresses took it in turns to cry during the filming of their harrowing final scenes.
She said: “She’d have a day where she couldn’t stop crying and I would be really cold and strong and I would look after her. Then the next day it would be me who’d be set off by a packet of coffee or whatever and she would be strong.
“We’ve taken it in turns to be upset because one of us needs to be strong for the other.
“It was tiring. Emotionally tiring. I finished on Wednesday night. We were on location and then I came home on Thursday.”
“Me and Sam spent a lovely two days, when we weren’t filming, we sat in bed together, we had breakfast together, we went shopping around Woodstock. We were like a couple of old ladies. Then we went and did our final scenes, got back into bed, had a couple of gins, and it was such mixed emotions.
“I can only explain it as the most exhilarating and upsetting experience – it kind of goes hand in hand.”
Ronnie and Roxy’s departure rocked EastEnders fans when it was first announced last August. During their time on screen, the Mitchell sisters have been a force to be reckoned with – dealing with their abusive dad, relationship issues and the deaths of many close to them. Ronnie has struggled with historical abuse from her father Archie plus the deaths of her long-lost daughter Danielle and newborn son. Roxy’s main storylines involved hiding the paternity of her daughter, briefly becoming a millionaire and one-night-stands with two of Ronnie’s husbands.
Simons said the exit storyline felt like “being given a kick”, but she is a “big believer in the universe guiding you to where you need to go”.
“I know in my heart of hearts it’s the right thing to do. I needed to get out. I needed to spread my wings.”
The Mitchell sisters are expected to leave the show in a gruesome New Year’s spectacle.