Note: This article talks about cancer in detail.
EastEnders spoilers follow.
The actress has played Lola for eight years in total, but will make her last appearance as the character later this month as she will tragically succumb to a brain tumour.
In an interview with The Sun, the actress detailed her experience with the character’s final scenes, admitting she found filming difficult.
“I didn’t want to read my final script. We pick them up from the script desk if we are in work and my final ones were sat there for ages,” she said. “They kept asking me if I’d taken them yet, and I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to.’ I left them there until I was ready.
“Then I had them at home for a few days — it took me a good two weeks before I was able to read them. I made myself a cup of tea, sat down in my living room and thought, ‘Right, just do it.’
“I got to the second page and was in absolute bits,” she added. “It was the hardest thing to read but it's also the most beautiful episode of EastEnders I've ever read.”
Despite the emotional scenes, Harold revealed that she managed to find lighter moments in the company of Jamie Borthwick, who plays on-screen husband Jay Brown.
“Everything has been so sad and so serious but we have had some moments that we’ve been quite grateful for, and they have helped to lift the mood on set,” she said. “We were doing one scene and Lola is supposed to be asleep in the bed. Jamie was leaning on the bed crying. It was all so heartbreaking.
“But then his knee accidentally pushed the button of the hospital bed so I started going down really slowly,” she explained. “I was trying not to laugh. Jamie had no idea what was happening and then I just burst out laughing, as did all the crew. But we’ve been so grateful for those little moments. You need that when you’re working on a storyline like this.”
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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