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Jacqueline Jossa Describes the Emotional Pain of Playing an Alcoholic Character on TV


Jacqueline Jossa is better known as Lauren Branning in the hit TV show Eastenders. This year she has taken one of the major plotlines in the soap opera, portraying a young adult who is developing full-blown alcoholism. Her life is falling apart in the show, and Jacqueline Jossa does and admirable job of portraying the reality of addiction – in fact, in 2012 she won Best Newcomer category at the National TV Awards. Playing this role has not been easy for Jacqueline, and in an interview with the Daily Mirror, she admitted that it is painful watching her onscreen character fall apart.

The Self-Destruction of Lauren Branning

Jacqueline Jossa is hopeful that her character will be able to escape the downward spiral of addiction, but at the moment Lauren Branning is starting to really struggle. It will be up to the screenwriters to decide if Lauren will be able to stop this deterioration. So far, the storyline has been very convincing and the show should be commended for providing not just a stereotypical portrayal of addiction. To outsiders, Lauren Branning will appear as if she has everything going for her – she is beautiful, young, and very popular, but she has still managed to end up addicted.

Realistic Depiction of the Process of Addiction

Professionals who work with the addiction community and people who have experienced problems with alcohol have praised Eastenders on its accurate portrayal of the addiction process. The story has been progressing over many months. Lauren Branning first began drinking when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a very stressful time, and she did what many other young people have done in the past – she turned to alcohol to help her cope. In the beginning, her drunken exploits just seemed to be the work of a teenager letting off steam but over the last few months, it has become obvious that her drinking is out of control.

The fact that Jacqueline Jossa’s portrayal of addiction is so convincing means that it may be upsetting for some viewers. This risk of shocking people is probably worth it though because there are so many misconceptions about alcoholism. The Lauren Branning character could be anyone’s daughter, and this portrays the reality of addiction. Hopefully this plotline will encourage people in a similar position to examine their own behaviour and seek help, and it will help the loved ones of this person recognise that there might be a problem.

Lauren Branning and Tough Love

One of the interesting plot twists in the Eastenders story line occurred when her family decided to force her to go cold turkey. They locked her up in the house in the hope that this would get her off the booze. In fact, this attempt failed miserably, actually making Lauren’s problems worse than ever. She did allow her mother to talk her into going to rehab though, and we will have to wait and see if this is going to lead to long term recovery.

The Future of Lauren Branning

It will be interesting to see how Lauren adapts to life after rehab. If the scriptwriters continue with their accurate portrayal, they will need to show that recovery is full of chances. It is never just a case of leaving rehab and living happily ever after. There are almost certainly going to be challenges in the future, and the way she handles these challenges will determine if she will survive her addiction problems.

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