We'd been expecting Grant Mitchell to come back to Walford, but in tonight's EastEnders we also met his teenage daughter Courtney Mitchell who arrived for a chat with Sharon. We haven't seen Courtney for nine years, so what's she like now?
Courtney Mitchell is the daughter Grant had with Tiffany (Martine McCutcheon), and originally played by Megan Jossa in EastEnders. Now Megan's been replaced by a new actress Alice Nokes, who told us all about Courtney's return, how feisty Grant's daughter is, and what it's like to work with Ross Kemp...
How did you react when you got the role of Courtney Mitchell? "I was so excited! To be a part of such an experienced cast and in one of the most renowned families in British soaps… it was a dream come true!"
Where were you when you found out? "I was at home with my mum having a cup of coffee. Suddenly I heard from my agent and I just froze. We’d been waiting for a call for a while so we were over the moon...we couldn't stop smiling!"
Can you tell me a little bit about the audition process? "I had no idea who I was auditioning for at first! We were given scripts with a character of a different name for the first couple of auditions. It was a guessing game."
Was it hard to keep the secret? "It was fun to keep the secret. I liked waiting for everyone to find out."
Did you tell any of your friends? "I told close family and very close friends. I kept it very low-key though! I’m relieved it’s out there now and can't wait to see how the audience responds." So tell us a little bit about Courtney? "I think Courtney is a very similar character to myself. She’s quite feisty and definitely has the Mitchell side in her. She’s not a mean girl, she’s not malicious. She’s very kind-hearted and very much like her mum, Tiffany. I think she’s vulnerable, but in an endearing way. However, Courtney is confident and likes a party!"
What’s her relationship like with Grant? "She adores her dad and their relationship is strong. But I think she wants to hate him and teach him a lesson all the time. She feels like the adult in the relationship and that’s not the greatest thing for a teenage girl. But because her mother did die, she felt like she had to up her game and become the responsible party. We see in the episodes to come how much she does love and care for him."
What’s she been up to lately? "Courtney is at university, in her first year. She’s very intelligent and savvy. She left Portugal to come to London and has made a life for herself."
What’s in store for her while she’s in Albert Square? "Courtney has a lot of fun whilst she’s there ,but I think she learns a lot of lessons. She learns how much she needs her family and how important family is – especially for the Mitchells. Drama follows Courtney wherever she goes so expect lots of that in the next few weeks. There’s some juicy storylines coming up."
How long are you here for? "I’m in the show for a few episodes and we’ll have to see about the future. I had such a fun time filming there."
What’s it been like working with everyone? "I had a lot of scenes with Ross Kemp to begin with and he really helped me feel comfortable on set. It’s quite an overwhelming thing to be thrown into. Ross has taught me so much about acting and I loved working with everyone. I get on really well with Tilly, Jamie and Harry… it’s like a little Mitchell clan. But the whole cast were so lovely and welcoming." What was your first day on set like? "I was at Walford Tube Station with Ross and loved it. The energy when you’re filming is so upbeat and lively. I have learnt so much from the actors and directors I worked with and can't wait to see how the audience react to Courtney Mitchell and the drama that follows!"
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