The emotive words helped the actress convey Victoria's heartache following her rape ordeal
Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins has spoken candidly about her character Victoria Barton’s rape storyline, and revealed how the show’s director told her Victoria was “dead” in order to help her convey her character’s turmoil.
Back in April, Victoria was attacked in her own home by Lee Posner, a man she had met on the villagers’ big night out. She initially kept quiet about the incident, but later opened up to former mother-in-law Moira.
Speaking about filming the heart-wrenching scenes with co-star Natalie Robb, who plays Moira, Isabel tells us: “I was quite daunted by that, because I knew it was really important. They were big scenes, and the director said that each scene needed to have a journey.
“I’ve never had to really sob, and I didn’t want to just scrunch my eyes up and cry – it needed to be from the soul.
“But that’s so exposing. Even though I’ve worked at Emmerdale nearly 13 years and I’m friends with all the crew, I was a bit embarrassed; sitting there while everyone’s watching you sob your heart out. I just felt really vulnerable.”
The 25 year old adds: “The director was good at tapping into where he needed me to get to. He said ‘Victoria is dead; she doesn’t exist any more. She is broken, she is a shell’ and that makes you sad because of the woman she has become.
“I’ve been playing her for a long time and I’ve grown up with her. I’ve had to evolve from a girl to a teenager to a woman, and she’s been on that journey as well, and they were like ‘That’s all gone now, you’re starting from scratch.’”
Victoria, who is pregnant as a result of the rape, reported the crime to the police, but Lee hasn’t been charged to a lack of evidence. The chef has since found the courage to move forward and return to work, but in tonight’s episode (2 July), she is knocked for six when she comes face to face with Lee for the first time since the attack, and her stepmum Diane then accidentally blurts out to Lee and his mother Wendy about her pregnancy.
Says Isabel: “That makes a bad situation even worse. Victoria’s having the baby and she’s absolutely fine with that, but the worse thing would be for Lee to go ‘I’m that baby’s dad.’ In her mind, she’s ‘Absolutely not! If you’re that violent and vile with me, I’m not going to trust you with my child!’”
Emmerdale continues tonight on ITV.