EastEnders actor from Portsmouth tells others to 'follow their dreams'
During a visit to Highbury Primary School in Cosham as part of a new community project, the 44-year-old star reflected on her acting career that began during her time at Horndean College.
Emma, who joined the popular soap in 2005 as Honey Mitchell, said: ‘It was a real step up in my career because I’m a theatre actress. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a solid family cast and an iconic show. I have been a massive fan of it since it first started in 1985.
‘I had a scrapbook of newspaper articles that had anything to do with the show – before you could get the television magazines.
‘Got into acting back when I was at Horndean College, where I was in a production of the musical Smike. I really enjoyed it so I started going to the Bedhampton Arts Centre. I thought: “I really want this to be my career.” My parents weren’t so sure and thought I should have a back up.
‘So I invested in going to drama school – I went to the Guildford School of Acting and got a diploma in musical theatre. When you graduate you can then get an agent. The rest is history.
‘I still pinch myself all the time. I have moments where I’m in the square or the Vic and I can’t believe I’m there.
‘I would tell others to follow their dreams and work hard. Always be prepared for the hard work – you can’t cut corners.’
When asked about any highlights during her time on the square she added: ‘When I was 16 years old I did a drama course with Lorraine Stanley, who is also from Portsmouth.
‘The day I was told she was joining Eastenders to play Karen Taylor I almost fell off my chair. She was another Pompey girl and now here she was with me on TV.’
Emma has also had a successful musical theatre career, was on the TV show Spooks and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.
She currently lives in Surrey.