‘99% of the actors I have worked with couldn’t do this job. This is the hardest job I have ever done – if you can be good in a soap, you can be good in anything. While I was still in discussion with Kate over whether I should come back, I went on some forums just to get what the feel was.
‘I saw a thread of Rob Kazinsky – why would he ever come back? Somebody said it would change the perspective that people have if someone came back who was doing really well to show that it isn’t a stepping stone. It isn’t a place that you should look down on but you should damn well admire it. This is still the best drama that you can get.’
Clearly passionate about EastEnders and frustrated about the snobbery the genre faces, Rob was animated as he talked – and his words were music to my ears and those of many soap fans.
He continued: ‘Two hours a week of intense drama going out every week – social issue changing stuff every single year. So I thought “maybe it would be powerful to go back from where I have been lucky enough to get. Maybe I could change how people see this.”
‘I am not going to pretend that a lot of me wasn’t afraid of coming back because of that reaction and it annoyed me then – and it annoys me now. Casting directors in England still won’t see me because I was in a soap.
‘Producers used to say they loved me but I needed more work between EastEnders and the movie they were working on. But how do you get that? I had to leave the country – I didn’t have a choice. People don’t want you to go on from these shows but people should appreciate that Jake Wood is still the best actor I’ve ever worked for and Gillian Wright is just as good. Lacey Turner – you don’t find talent like that anywhere else.
‘I have worked with some of the best in the world – Idris Elba, Reese Witherspoon, Sir Ian McKellen Guillemero de Toro – and these people I work with at EastEnders could do that as well. We should be more appreciative of the talent that Jake and Gillian and the others have. We should be proud – god forbid in this country that we don’t tear each other down? Maybe we can just be happy for people to go on and do other stuff.
‘We should hold EastEnders to the same level that we hold American TV shows so people will not be so afraid of going back because of that snobbery. I left this show and became successful in America as others like Nathalie Emmanuel and Ricky Whittle have – the list keeps going now. So many successful actors from British soaps go overseas and find success – it is not a lower standard here, I think it’s the highest possible standard. I just wish people would see it the same way.’
Amen to that!
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