Emmerdale’s Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger) has been involved in a lot huge stories since rocking up in the village three years ago.
From her relationship with Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant), to forming bonds with both of dad Liam’s (Johnny McPherson) love interests, the character has made no shortage of friends, while also making a few enemies along the way!
With Leanna one of several of the ITV soaps younger characters that will take centre stage this year, Metro.co.uk caught up with actress Mimi Slinger for a chat.
Just what does the future have in store for Leanna?
How has your experience been since joining Emmerdale?
It has been a rollercoaster – I have had the most amazing experience and I have learnt so much. It’s been three and a half years, that’s crazy, I can’t believe it! I feel like part of the family now!
Who have you learnt most from; did anyone take you under their wing?
So, straight away, everyone was so welcoming. I was super nervous but everyone was so lovely. I have learnt most from Jonny McPherson – he’s not only such a great actor and it makes doing a scene with him so easy. He also gives me great advice professionally and personally and we always have a giggle. He’s great!
Leanna came in as quite a brash character – are you glad to see her fleshed out and show her more vulnerable side?
Yeah, definitely. She came in as a harsh character but I love being able to play a character with depth. She has a vulnerable and brutal and I love the challenge of that. She’s a very complex character with many facets!
Is it fun to play the more catty side to the character – getting to say things you would never get away with in real life?
(laughs) It’s interesting, it’s always fun playing her but I have never wanted to say the things she says. I often have to apologise after the scene because I’ve had to be nasty!
Do you think Leanna and Jacob make a good couple?
I definitely think they have been through a lot and they’re young but they have stuck together so they have a connection. He’s coming back and it will be great to see if their relationship can get back on track. They have a got a good vibe off each other so yeah, I am behind them as a couple.
– Producer Kate Brooks recently mentioned a storyline involving Meena doing anything to get what she wants – in this instance David. With Jacob being at the heart of this, would you like Leanna to be involved in what sounds like a major summer story?
It’s very exciting as an actor to have a character who will potentially get in the middle of serious drama. Obviously Leanna and Jacob are very close and knowing Leanna, she may get herself involved – she always gets involved in the drama! We will have to wait and see but Meena is a very interesting character, without giving anything away.
Were you expecting to still be at Emmerdale when you first joined? Is it a role you’d love to keep going with?
I came in with an open mind – knowing how many years some people have been in Emmerdale, I knew I could here for a few episodes or years and years. I love it there, I am challenged constantly and everyone is so lovely. I am super happy!
Who would you love to have more scenes with?
I’d love more time with Rosie Bentham and Daisy Campbell as we are so close in real life, they are my closest friends in the cast. We probably annoy the crew by giggling too much! But they’re such great actors. I’d also love to work with Claire King – a lot of tweets comparing our characters, I get it a lot that Leanna is a mini Kim Tate.
Are you glad that Emmerdale is showcasing its young talent in recent storylines?
Yeah, I definitely am. Knowing all the younger cast personally, we’re all so passionate so it’s nice to showcase what we can do, I love it. The cast is so strong. We all love what we do so much; they’re all so incredible.
How did your family and friends react when you got the role?
I think it’s weird but I feel everyone is used to it now. When I first got the call, my parents, friends, siblings, grandparents were all so excited and proud and I couldn’t ask for better people in my life.
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