EastEnders star Nina Wadia has admitted it’s very hard to play a homophobic character – because the audience’s reactions can be ‘frightening’.

The actress plays matriarch Zainab Masood, who coldly insisted her son Syed (Marc Elliott) go ahead with his wedding to Amira (Preeya Kalidas) in spite of his gay love affair.

Asked if it’s difficult playing someone who’s homophobic, Nina told Loose Women: “Very much so, especially because the reaction on the street has been very mixed.”

She continued: “A lot of people say, ‘We really felt for her, we understand that as a mother she wants to protect her child, whether she’s saying that’s correct or not. Regardless, she’s protecting her kid.’

“Other people have come up to me and said, ‘You’ve finally said what you’ve been thinking.’ And that really frightens me because that’s not me. My character has to say that and it’s not necessarily me believing it. And that’s a bit frightening.”

During her interview, Nina revealed she’s recently filmed scenes where Zainab has her baby.

She let slip that it was ‘very harrowing’, adding: “Not everything goes well in EastEnders.”

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