Still fresh from leaving the BBC One soap in August, I chat exclusively to actor Jack Derges who spent 6 months alongside the Mitchell family. Jack tells us about his short-lived time in Eastenders playing the role of mysterious Andy Flynn and what's the next chapter of his career.
We saw Andy Flynn out for revenge and brought way too much excitement to the square. Who is he? Why's he here? Nobody knew until it was sensationally revealed he was the brother of Ronnie's late daughter Danielle and looking for answers of how his sister tragically died. He was the most mysterious and pleasure-to-watch character to ever grace our TV screens...
How did your acting career first come about?
I trained in Plymouth on a performing arts course and decided to take part in a vocational BTEC, as apposed to A-Levels. I felt it would be much better preparation for drama school.
Have you always wanted to be an actor?
No, as a life-long sports fan I always had dreams of being a rugby player but was never good enough.
Did you attend Drama School?
What was that like?
Mixed bag really. Some things I took to and other things I found counterproductive. I think drama School is useful for very young aspiring actors but the message should be loud and clear, 'take it from what suits you', nothing in this business is prescriptive.
Which famous actors have inspired you?
Nobody in particular. I'm inspired by my peers that are doing very well in the industry.
You've not long left EastEnders, what was the whole experience like for you?
Loved working on EastEnders, it was a fantastic opportunity. The whole team there work so hard! It was a great experience.
Have you always watched the soap?
I hadn't watched it regularly in years although now I know them all, I'm hooked!
What was it like working alongside the Mitchell sisters?
Sam Womack (Ronnie) and Rita Simmons (Roxy) were really lovely. I was so sad to hear they will be leaving soon.
Were there always long hard days working on set?
Not always. As actors, we like to have a whinge but we don't generally have to work as hard as any other department. There was long days from time to time but that's what we are being paid for.
How would you describe the role you was playing?
Very shifty! He was really fun to play. He's like butter wouldn't melt. It's hard to come across as disingenuous so I just played each scene for real. The audience then knew he started to manipulate things.
What made you decide to leave the soap?
It was always supposed to have been just a storyline based character. Initially 3 months but that didn't seem enough time to bed him into the square.
Would you of liked to have stayed on the show longer?
I would have been tempted to stay on for perhaps another six months but that would have counted me out of Boys in the Band. Everything happens for a reason!
What do you think might of happened if Andy did stay longer?
He would have probably been involved in Ronnie and Roxy's exit which would have been fun.
Would you ever like to return?
Never say never!
What reactions have you been receiving from fans and the general public?
The fans have all been so warm towards me since joining the show. Well, that's judging by the things they contact me directly about. I didn't go searching for other feedback. I did see some feelings from people that the whole stalker storyline dragged a bit which I tend to agree with. Whatever feedback you get, good or bad, it's important not to be influenced by it. Just take it with a pinch of salt at all times.
What's next for you in your career?
I'm currently performing in Boys In The Band at the Park Theatre. It's our final week before we head off on our short tour. Returning to the stage has been amazing and I've met some friends for life on the job. In an ideal world, I would go into rep with this bunch and just do plays forever although I'm not sure a group of 9 men doing only male plays would go down too well though. More stage work would be great! #Television