Jane Cox has admitted that she struggled while filming her recent rape scenes on Emmerdale.
The actress plays mouthy Lisa Dingle on the ITV soap. The factory worker was recently sexually assaulted by delivery driver Derek Benrose – who she had formerly considered her friend – when they were both working overtime. She has kept the attack secret from her friends and family but will eventually break down and open up to her co-worker Lizzie and husband Zak.
Speaking about being the central character in such a harrowing storyline, Jane told The Mirror:
“It was hard and very upsetting to film as it made me think of other people who have really been through that.
“I was in tears as I filmed it because it was so intense. And it can be quite hard to switch off. There have been scenes when Lisa is holding it together for her family and I’ve come off set and burst into tears just thinking about it.
“In some scenes I’ve deliberately not cried because I’ve worried that if I did start I wouldn’t stop.”
“I’m an older woman and I know that these sorts of things really do happen.
“Since I filmed it, women of a similar age to me have come up to me in the street and disclosed that they’ve been through similar things. One woman approached me in a shop and told me that her husband had raped her for years.
“Of course I’m lucky I’ve never had to go through it myself, but when I spoke to a counsellor at the rape crisis centre for some help with research, she said to me: ‘You must be feeling a bit drained.’ And I realised that I was.
“It’s the most harrowing thing I’ve had to do since I joined Emmerdale 15 years ago. But I wanted to make sure we got it right for anyone watching who has actually been through such an awful experience. I can forget it, but they never can.”