Interview extra

Rosie Marcel, Holby CityApril 16, 2010

Having donated a kidney to her estranged mother Paula in Holby City, this week Jac learns the horrible truth about her family

Are you pleased the truth is out?
The great thing about my character — I’ve been at Holby City five years now — is that they delve into everyone else’s private lives, but it’s taken five years to find out about Jac and why she is the way she is. They have done it absolute justice. The episode is set outside the hospital and the lovely thing is that it’s only the audience who see what happens. Jac gets to keep her dignity as no one, apart from Michael, knows what happens in Bath.

Did you draw on your relationship with your own mum for the role?
I think with every job you try to think about your own life. My mother and I don’t see each other very often unfortunately, she lives in Wales and she’s divorced from my father. I kind of twisted that round a little bit and tried to use some of the emotions from that and make it feel as real as possible, but I certainly wasn’t abandoned.

Will your mother watch the episode?
I’m sure she’ll watch it, my dad always watches it. I’m lucky because my family always have an opinion to give!

Did you research kidney donation for the storyline?
I didn’t investigate it too much. Interestingly, the immunosuppressants that the person who receives the organ has to take, I take myself in real life. I have Behcet's Syndrome [a chronic condition of the the immune system] and I take immunosuppressants every day, it’s the only way I can control it. So when Julie Legrand, who plays my on-screen mother Paula, asked me what’s it like to take immunosuppressants, it felt nice to be able to help and say it make you feel this way and that way.

Does being a doctor on Holby City make you a semi-professional medic in real life?
It makes you a big hypochondriac! You do pick up a lot of stuff. I think I know enough to do a lot of damage but probably not enough to do any good!

How do you learn the medical terms?
The way you learn every line — practise and repetition. The first three months I was there I cried a lot because I just couldn’t come to terms with the medical dialogue, but once you’re there such a long time it becomes natural. Now doing normal dialogue is a right pain because you’re not saying anything medical.

Will Joseph and Jac ever get back together?
I think it’s something that’s always in the back of their minds at Holby City. I think it’s definitely unfinished business. Every single fan letter I get asks if they are going to get back together. They obviously haven’t forgotten about it. I think it would be lovely if they could get back together. I don’t really want to leave until they do because I don’t think I’d be doing the characters justice if I did, but you never know. Now that Faye’s off the scene, it could happen.

By Linda Gibson

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