Emmerdale actress Amy Walsh has confirmed that, when shooting the cancer case of Vanessa Woodfield, the actors of the soap shed real tears.
Vanessa (Michelle Hardwick) was diagnosed with bowel cancer and previews from next week see the daughter of Amy's Tracy Metcalfe learn what her sister is going through.
Although for now, Vanessa has wanted to keep her illness secret, next week her fiancée Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) is telling Tracy the facts. She does this after Tracy organizes a surprise birthday party for Vanessa, not knowing that at the moment it is the last thing she would want.
Speaking of shooting the scenes, Amy explained: "Michelle and Emma are both so amazing on the screen and their off-screen friendship is fantastic too, and I am this third wheel in between!
"I love working with both of them and it is really convenient because we have a very strong relationship off-screen.. Michelle's going to be in tears even in the line run and I'm too and I can't bear seeing her weep." The message we're sharing is so relevant and we're flagging the signs to check for with this disease. Every day I feel proud that this can save someone's life, just from the audience learning what led Vanessa to figure out that she had bowel cancer.
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"I think it's a really good story to tell, actually. Even if it's really bad, it's worth telling."
Asked how the actors lighten the mood on set after shooting some heavy material, Amy replied: "We're all affected by the plot, so if you're doing those scenes all day it's an emotional day of filming." But we're all such nice off-screen buddies and I love to spend time with Michelle and Emma. We still share stories of what happened over the weekend. All the time, we do stories, we still chuckle in between. We really love to spend the day together. "Emmerdale fans will see the tension between Tracy and Charity in future shows, as they disagree on how best to support Vanessa.
Amy added: "Tracy is upset with Charity. The charity has learned all along and Tracy does not believe that she has adequately supported Vanessa. Tracy has it in her mind that she has not done enough to help Vanessa. Tracy also wants to step up to play that role as her friend.
"Charity, being Charity, looks through things in a different way. She respects Vanessa, but her style is distinct from that of everyone else. But they both want what's better about Vanessa, at the end of the day. It's not about being the strongest or trying to be the nearest to her, they just want her to be all right." You'll even see that there's a lot about Tracy not dealing behind the scenes yet pulling on a dress. It's the same with Tiffany, as she doesn't clone, but prefers to work with it on her own instead of forcing it on Tracy and Charity. We are going to see how that evolves."There's a moment in the hospital when Tracy drops it a little bit, but then she tries to be solid again for Vanessa. For both of them, it's going to be an interesting trip, because they've all been through a lot and they're all each other in family terms now."
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7 pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8 pm on Thursdays.