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Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins reveals show director told her 'Victoria is DEAD'

Victoria Barton revealing that she wants to leave Emmerdale

The emotive words helped the actress convey Victoria's heartache following her rape ordeal

Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins has spoken candidly about her character Victoria Barton's rape storyline, and revealed how the show’s director told her Victoria was “dead” in order to help her convey her character’s turmoil.

Back in April, Victoria was attacked in her own home by Lee Posner, a man she had met on the villagers’ big night out. She initially kept quiet about the incident, but later opened up to former mother-in-law Moira.

victoria barton

Victoria met Lee on the villagers’ big night out

Speaking about filming the heart-wrenching scenes with co-star Natalie Robb, who plays Moira, Isabel tells us: “I was quite daunted by that, because I knew it was really important. They were big scenes, and the director said that each scene needed to have a journey.

“I’ve never had to really sob, and I didn’t want to just scrunch my eyes up and cry - it needed to be from the soul.

"But that’s so exposing. Even though I’ve worked at Emmerdale nearly 13 years and I’m friends with all the crew, I was a bit embarrassed; sitting there while everyone’s watching you sob your heart out. I just felt really vulnerable."

The 25 year old adds: “The director was good at tapping into where he needed me to get to. He said ‘Victoria is dead; she doesn’t exist any more. She is broken, she is a shell’ and that makes you sad because of the woman she has become.

“I’ve been playing her for a long time and I’ve grown up with her. I’ve had to evolve from a girl to a teenager to a woman, and she’s been on that journey as well, and they were like ‘That’s all gone now, you’re starting from scratch.’”

MORE: Isabel reveals why she changed her hair

Victoria, who is pregnant as a result of the rape, reported the crime to the police, but Lee hasn’t been charged to a lack of evidence. The chef has since found the courage to move forward and return to work, but in tonight’s episode (2 July), she is knocked for six when she comes face to face with Lee for the first time since the attack, and her stepmum Diane then accidentally blurts out to Lee and his mother Wendy about her pregnancy.

Victoria with rapist Lee and his mother Wendy in Emmerdale

Victoria is terrified when she comes face to face with Lee tonight in Emmerdale

Says Isabel: “That makes a bad situation even worse. Victoria’s having the baby and she’s absolutely fine with that, but the worse thing would be for Lee to go ‘I’m that baby’s dad.’ In her mind, she’s ‘Absolutely not! If you’re that violent and vile with me, I’m not going to trust you with my child!’”

Emmerdale continues tonight on ITV.

Alison Slade
Alison Slade

Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine. 

She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way.

There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.