Jac Naylor reveals a softer side in next Tuesday’s Holby City. But it’s not likely to last, says actress Rosie Marcel…

Hard-as-nails Jac seems to become emotionally involved when six-month-old Freya needs life-saving surgery…
“Yes, you do get to see a much softer side of Jac in this episode that you wouldn’t think was actually there. But it’s only the viewers that see it, not her colleagues – to them she’s tough Jac, but when she’s alone she has a little cry.”

Have you enjoyed revealing Jac’s softer side?
“Because it’s so rare for my character to show any emotion, I really do love to get those meaty, juicy storylines. On the odd occasion that I’m allowed to show some emotion, I will run with it.”

So, is this the beginning of a new, nicer Jac?
“Not exactly. The last thing you want is to feel sympathy for Jac, that’s not how it should be. I think it’s important, with a character like Jac, not go too far with the sentimentality because she might not be able to come back from it. She needs to remain misunderstood.”

What is the root cause of Jac’s frosty nature?
“Having been abandoned as a child, Jac’s had to grow up very independent. Her main aim in life has been to prove she wasn’t worthless or useless and, as a result, she went into an extremely competitive job. Jac doesn’t trust anybody and basically puts this guard up, cutting herself off from everyone. And I think she has every right to; everyone she’s ever loved in her life has basically screwed her over.”

Is that why she threw herself into her job?
“Jac is all about her work and nothing else matters. She’d probably live in the on-call room if they let her.”

You’ve played Jac for six years now – so you still enjoy being in Holby?
“I love it here and I never get bored of playing Jac. I get fabulous lines, great storylines, why would I want to leave? When I meet the public, there’s always a massive reaction to my character, which I love. Jac is like the Dirty Den of Holby City, people love to hate her!”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.