EastEnders star Rudolph Walker has said he was keen to get his portrayal of character Patrick Trueman’s stroke as accurate as possible.
The Albert Square resident has been part of a stroke storyline recently in the BBC soap that sees him unable to use his left side or speak in the immediate aftermath.
Rudolph told What’s on TV: “First of all I thought, ‘What an honour’, because this is a massive storyline. It’s something that, as far as I know, hasn’t really been tackled on television before a lot. As an actor, it’s a hell of a responsibility. I hope I took the sensible route in that I did research and visited a hospital and spoke to patients.”
He went on: “Patrick has lost the use of his left leg, left arm and the ability to speak. Whether it’s something that will carry on is a question you’ll have to ask the executive producer.
“I know it’s going to be a slow process and the producers want to take Patrick through a realistic experience – through the pain, the suffering and the fight to regain his speech and his normality. He will face obstacles and for every patient there are different obstacles.”
Rudolph said of acting the scenes: “It’s very challenging and requires a high level of concentration. Even when you are just sitting there you have to be aware that your left side is meant to be weak.
“Part of it was make-up and part of it was what I did as an actor and responding to other actors – which was again challenging, but that’s what makes it exciting.”
He added: “He’s a very proud man. He likes to do things himself, but now he is unable to do all these little things that you take for granted and has Denise (Diane Parish) feeding him.
“Patrick also has a way with the ladies and the last thing he wants is not to be able to, well… I wouldn’t fill in the rest of that…”