‘Emmerdale’ star Paige Sandhu on playing killer Meena Jutla: ‘I watched 'Killing Eve' for inspiration!’

Meena Jutla in Emmerdale.
Meena Jutla is set to murder one of her fellow villagers next week. (Image credit: ITV)

Following the news that Meena Jutla is set to kill a fellow villager in Emmerdale next week (Monday July 5 to Friday July 9), it means that Paige Sandhu, who plays her, can now rest easy. 

She’s always known that her character was going to murder someone and has been keeping it a secret ever since she was given the role of the evil and manipulative nurse…

“I found out when I heard I had got the part!’ she says. “It was quite a big shock but I was so up for it! I knew from the very beginning where she was going to go and how dark she really is. It made it so much more fun to play knowing her secrets and what would unfold later.

“When I first started, other cast members would often ask me what was going to happen to my character and I had to keep it a secret from everyone.”

Emmerdale villain Meena Jutla is set to murder villager

Emmerdale bosses have revealed Meena Jutla will kill someone in the village next week. (Image credit: ITV)

Meena has been scheming and manipulating her way around the village ever since she arrived in September. In recent weeks, however, her behaviour has become increasingly unnerving and erratic, leaving viewers wondering just how far she would go to get what she wants.

It’s now been revealed by Emmerdale that Meena is going to commit the ultimate crime when she kills one of the locals in next week’s episodes.

The question that everyone is asking, however, is which unlucky villager is going to meet a harrowing end at the hands of the evil nurse?

Emmerdale has put forward four people victims…

Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant), who Meena wants out of the way. His recent return has meant that David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) wants to devote more time his son. As Meena plots to get the teen out of the picture, how far will she go to get rid?

Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger), who innocently finds herself in possession of a rucksack that contains some secret possessions belonging to Meena. What will she do to get them back?

Jacob Gallagher and Leanna Cavanagh

Jacob  and Leanna are among the possible victims. (Image credit: ITV)

And David Metcalfe and Victoria Sugden (Isobel Hodgins), who have started to realise they have quite a lot in common as they both have baby sons who are more or less the same age. As they grow closer, things soon take a passionate turn and the pair end up kissing! Could one of them come a cropper if Meena finds out?

Victoria and David chat on Victoria's sofa.

Victoria and David's friendship leads to a kiss! (Image credit: ITV)

Here, Paige tells us about taking the role, what it’s like to play a murderer and why she turned to Killing Eve’s deadly assassin Villanelle for inspiration…

Describe Meena in 3 words.

"Charismatic, self-obsessed, manipulative."

What do you love about playing her?

"The best characters are the ones that are so far removed from yourself. It’s so much fun to play a character that is on a completely different wavelength to everyone else, who always has a hidden agenda and will do anything to get what she wants. Her lack of empathy and her playfulness make her a very exciting character."

What’s it like to play a murderer?

"Really interesting, Meena has zero empathy for the actions that she takes so that has been something different for me to explore. She’s not someone who struggles with the guilt and shame of what she did after the fact."

Have you ever played a character like her?

"No, never! She’s the strangest character I’ve played, but she’s definitely the most fun."

What sort of research have you done for the role?

"Loads! I’ve watched all of Killing Eve for inspiration, as there are a lot of similarities between Meena and Villanelle. Also, Taxi Driver, American Psycho, Nightcrawler and Killer Women with Piers Morgan. I’m also reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson!"

Do you know if Meena has killed before?

"That’s something you’ll just have to wait and see. You may find out a whole lot more about Meena in the coming weeks."

What would be her motives for killing?

"Meena won’t kill for the thrill, she’ll kill simply because someone is in her way and she always gets what she wants. To her, it seems perfectly reasonable that she would murder someone who is standing in the way of something she wants."

Does her sister Manpreet have any idea what she is like?

"No, she doesn’t, Manpreet is the complete opposite of Meena. And if she knew she would have nothing to do with Meena."

Where do you think it all stems from?

"I believe Meena was born without the ability to empathise with others and that can make a person very dangerous. When they don’t see their actions as right or wrong, they don’t believe the law applies to them and are unafraid of the consequences of their actions they can become capable of anything."

Do you think she will kill again?

"Meena’s a closed book. We don’t know much about her at the moment but there is the chance that once she’s killed she won’t hesitate to do it again should you get in her way."

Is Meena calculating enough to get away with this?

"Meena is intelligent and calculating. I think she knows what she’s doing and if anyone can get away with murder, maybe it’s Meena."

Emmerdale is subject to schedule changes because of Euro 2020 and the soap will next air on Tuesday 29th June at 7pm. You can also stream all of this week's episodes on ITV Hub. See our TV Guide for full listings.