EastEnders star Matt Di Angelo says he does not mind getting ‘abuse’ from viewers for playing rapist Dean Wicks if the shocking storyline helps real-life victims.
His character will be shown attacking Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) in Monday’s episode which goes out on BBC One at 8pm.
EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said Matt was shocked when he was first told about the storyline and ‘argued’ with him about it before agreeing to do it.
He said: “The audience can get confused between the actor and the character and we were very, very aware of that and Matt was aware of it, but he has a profile outside the show anyway.”
Matt, who is back at EastEnders for the second time, said he was worried because his face was ‘so recognisable’ and associated with his character.
He said: “This show is so popular and you’re in people’s houses every night so to be associated with that crime, like I said if I have to get abuse on Twitter or a punch in the mouth I’m fine with that as long as one person speaks out”.
Dominic said ‘a lot’ was cut from the scene because it was ‘too close to the edge’ and the show worked with the charity Rape Crisis during filming.
He said: “That shot where Dean gets up and leaves the kitchen and Linda is left on that table like a piece of meat is shocking and simple and powerful, yet if your child walked into the room they wouldn’t know what was going on which I think is also important.”