EastEnders star Nina Wadia says filming Zainab’s storyline is “draining and emotional”

As fans of EastEnders will know, former battleaxe Zainab Masood – who is played by Nina Wadia – has become a shadow of her former fearsome self at the hands of her scheming and manipulative ex, Dr Yusef Khan…

And just like Nina’s former EastEnders co-star Samantha Womack, Nina has felt the strain of playing out such deep and most often depressing plotlines.

Speaking to The People, Nina said that she’s found the storylines very hard to cope with as they’re “draining emotional stuff.”

We have of course seen Yusef engineer the breakdown of Zainab’s marriage to Masood (Nitin Ganatra) and even cause her to believe she attempted suicide.

However, despite the fact that the Masood family are now onto Yusef’s scheming, he’s set to cause yet more trouble before the year’s out.

Nina explained, “It’s very draining emotional stuff. I’m putting myself into this very dark place which I know sadly is a reality for so many women.

“Zainab’s confidence has been steadily eroded. She’s feeling isolated and has fallen under Yusef’s control…

“He wants revenge. She is totally in his power.”

Nina added, “But both Ace and I have found it hard to do. I’ve known Ace for a long time and we’re good friends.

“He has been wonderful to work with on this and very concerned about me all the way through.”

As part of her research into how a partner or former partner can become so controlling of a woman, Nina spent time with advisers at the Roshni refuge in Birmingham – of which she is a patron – which supports Asian women and children who’ve suffered from abuse.

How would you like to see Zainab’s storyline turn out? Well, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – I want to see her back with Mas…

That said though, now that Jane Beale’s (Laurie Brett) back, I’d also like to see her and Masood in a romance. Ooo, dilemma!

While you’re thinking on that, here’s a clip of Nina and Nitin discussing the impact of the Yusef storyline…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.