Hollyoaks actress, Anna Shaffer, has revealed that she has faced a public backlash following her part in the recent Esther Bloom bullying storyline currently playing out on our screens.
Fans of the hit show will know how last year, in a desperate bid to be accepted into the ‘cool’ gang at sixth form, Shaffer’s character, Ruby Button turned on her best friend, and sister figure, Esther Bloom (Jazmine Franks) and joined in with the bullying her new best friends Maddie Morrison (Scarlet Bowman) and Sinead O’Connor (Stephanie Davis) inflicted on the poor fashion student.
Things took a sinister turn last November when, during the epic Enjoy The Ride wedding day bus crash, when Maddie died along with Ruby’s fiancée, Jono (Dylan Llewellyn), turning Ruby’s teasing on Esther into a bitter and resentful torrent of violent mental abuse.
As fans will know, poor Esther reached breaking point last week and, feeling there was no other option, took an overdose in a bid to end her life.
The dose was not instantly lethal but, as we reported earlier this week, Esther’s condition is set to reach critical, with death imminent unless a liver donor is found within 24 hours in an upcoming storyline.
Whilst the wait is on to see whether Esther will survive Ruby, who has hidden her abusive nature from hers and Esther’s family for months, suddenly finds a conscience and decides to blow the whistle on hers and Sinead’s appalling behaviour, but whilst doing so gets run over by her guardian, Jack Osbourne (Jimmy McKenna).
Now the actress who plays Ruby, Anna Shaffer, has revealed that she has been a target on social networking sites as a result of her character’s abusive ways
Speaking to MSN, the actress explained:
“I’ve had quite a lot of backlash on Twitter for example, but I think you have to take it in your stride because if people genuinely believe you’re a nasty person then you’re doing the right job,
“That’s the character I have to portray. It’s not that nice and it is a bit repetitive when people go, ‘Stop being mean to Esther’ in the street but it’s all part of the job and you just have to take it in your stride.
“Hopefully in coming weeks Ruby will redeem herself because she does feel so bad about what she’s done.”
Shaffer went on to describe how the scenes between er character and Esther were easy to get in to and film as she is such good friends with Jazmine Franks, who plays Bullied student, Esther:
“It’s actually a bonus that we are such good friends,” she said. “A while ago I had to slap her across the face and she was going, ‘Go on, just do it’. If we didn’t like each other in real life there’s no way she would have let me slap her across the face!”
Hollyoaks can be seen week nights at 6.30pm on Channel 4/ Channel 4 HD, and the dramatic conclusion to this storyline can be seen all this week (4th-8th Feb 2013).
Watch Ruby’s DocYou video message to Jono after the disaster in the clip below: