Jenna Russell took over the role of Michelle Fowler from Susan Tully.
EastEnders actress Jenna Russell says she avoids negative feedback about her portrayal of the soap’s Michelle Fowler by staying off social media.
Jenna took over the role – originally played by Susan Tully – in December 2016 as the character returned to Albert Square after more than 20 years.
She previously said it was “very scary” taking on the iconic part but the comments she has received in person have actually been “really positive”.
The actress said: “People have been great on the street but I don’t really go out much and I’m not on any social media, so if people are horrid I don’t know about it!
“What I’ve experienced in the flesh is really nice.”
Jenna, 49, said she felt as if she has been on the BBC1 soap for longer than a few months.
“It’s been going really well,” she said.
“I’ve been looked after by the cast and crew, which is brilliant because it’s a full-on schedule when you’re here. Everyone’s been really supportive.
“I feel like I’ve been here for years already.”
Since her return, Michelle has been guarding a guilty secret – that she has been having a sordid affair with her former student Preston Cooper (Martin Anzor).
Her illicit romance is about to be exposed and actress Jenna revealed it would be a relief, in some ways, to have it out in the open.
“For me, when I read the script, I thought ‘at least everyone knows now, it’s out there, the truth is out’,” she said.
“Come what may, whatever is written in terms of the script, Michelle isn’t going to be lying any more.
“I feel it’s a good thing because Michelle has to face up to what she’s done and face the consequences. She’ll have to mend those bridges and build a better foundation.”