Next week, Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell – Samantha Janus and Rita Simons, respectively – descend on Albert Square this week, when they turn up late for Phil (Steve McFadden) and Stella's (Sophie Thompson) reception, unaware of the events which unfolded at the countryside wedding venue.
After tidying themselves up in the taxi and immediately catching the eyes of Bradley (Charlie Clements) and Deano (Matt Di Angelo), the sisters barge into The Vic, instantly comparing the party to a morgue. The regulars, meanwhile, look on in astonishment.
The pair soon have their feet under the table with Peggy (Barbara Windsor) when they suggest that they look after the pub while she, Phil and Ben head off on holiday to see Grant. Shirley (Linda Henry), however, isn't best pleased with the arrangements.
And it's not long before the Mitchell-Beale feud is re-ignited, either.
Digital Spy caught up with Sam and Rita to talk about filming their first scenes, joining one of television's most well-established, well-known families and how they'd like Ray Winstone to play their on-screen father!
[SJ] "We met in a room at Elstree where they film the show and we both had a couple of independent meetings with the producers and the writers because they were so anxious to get the chemistry right. It's kind of like lovers; they're so co dependent they really needed to click. So we met in a room at one of the final meetings and both strangely enough…"
[RS] "…fell in love with each other straight away!"
[RS] "Yeh, we clicked. And when we read together for the first time we were aware that when you read, you have a pace and style in the way you deliver dialogue. It's either very tricksy, technical, fumbly, but we were coming at it from the same place so that was great and it worked for us straight away."
[RS] "We were so racked with nerves I can't remember! It's so nerve-wracking to come into a show like this. It's impossible to be expected to be the best you can be on your first day because you're so nervous."
[SJ] "And also, we were having to come in and take over the Vic, so it wasn't as if we could come in and disappear under the Cafe counter."
[RS] "Because we're not just wallflower characters, we're huge characters and we were aware of that - there was a huge responsibility."
[SJ] "But we had each other, so it was a lot better!"
[RS] "I felt much happier that Sam was there, it made it a lot easier. But after two days there – the pace of the place is so fast – that you learn everything in a couple of days. By day three you know how it works, it's so fast."
[SJ] "Now we're starting to come into a time where we're delivering scenes and we know who we're playing. The danger is that when you've got quite heavy storylines, you have to be really careful about who the character is and how you're colouring them. You need to be quite ambiguous in the first couple of weeks because you haven't made important decisions yet. It's a really rocky time, you don't want to commit to yourself too much until you find out their pace and their style."
[SJ] "It's interesting, it wasn't actually pitched in terms of 'this is what we want'."
[RS] "It's kind of organic, it grew.
[SJ] "I suspect there must be definite intention with the double names. I don't think that's a coincidence; I think instinctively they probably had that up their sleeves but weren't wanting to say 'this is what we want' because that's a big thing to say."
[RS] "It'd be too obvious. If you're reading for a casting and it's that obvious, you re going to probably read it as a gangster."
[SJ] "And these are females and; they're inherently dysfunctional in an interesting way. They are quite masculine, they're physically intimidating. They use their sexuality to get what they want but they're also, they're physically scary - they're not scared of a fight, they re not scared of confrontation, verbal or physical but there's something quite chilling about them. They're quite dark."
[RS] "They'll stand up to a man as well as another man would stand up to a man. They really don't care. They'll front out any man."
[SJ] "There's a strange loyalty - there's the Kray thing – 'don't cross my sister'."
[RS] "If someone is to cross one sister, the other will get in their way."
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[RS] "Roxy – we say she's the dumber of the two but not as much as she makes out."
[SJ] "She's the more honest; she says what she thinks, she wears her heart on her sleeve."
[RS] "Very, very honest. If there's anything to sum her up it's that she's so honest.
[SJ] "She's not guarded at all."
[RS] "She says what she thinks, which isn't that much all the time. She's a firecracker, impulsive, spontaneous."
[SJ] "Deeply vulnerable underneath, though, isn't she?
[RS] "Very vulnerable."
[SJ] "And it's not an obvious thing, but she has a great fragility."
[RS] "As much as she doesn't have any walls, that part of her she really hides. Nobody ever - apart from Ronnie - sees her soft side. And she doesn't soften very often. Everything is fun. She puts on a front of fun the whole time to cover up anything she might be feeling. I'd say mostly honest is Roxy."
[SJ] "And Ronnie is the complete opposite. She's not honest with herself and others, always hiding and guarding something. She's deeply damaged, she's been taught not to show her feelings. She's been taught to be a survivor. And the way she survives is by controlling: controlling her sister's life, controlling her own life and controlling others, and the minute she's taken out of that comfort zone, she starts to unravel quite quickly.
"She's definitely motivated by something that happened to her when she was younger that pretty much defines her - you'll find out what that is later on - but for me, that's certainly her badge, that's the thing that defines who she is.
What is their status within the family? They've been in Ibiza all this time haven't they?
[SJ] "They grew up in London - they're EastEnders. Obviously, their family have connections – there are three brothers: Archie, our father, being one of them; Peggy's husband, Eric, who's Phil, Grant and Sam's dad; and then Billy's father, Steven."
"The suggestion is that they've [the cousins] spent time together when they were kids at weddings and funerals etc.They didn't have a huge amount of contact with each other but these girls, when their family fell apart, their father became aggressive they bascically had to survive. Ronnie picked up Roxy and said 'we're out of here'. They've moved from bar to club to wherever to survive.
"And their latest venture, I think, probably wasn't going that well in Ibiza, so they packed their bags and do what they always do – move on to new territory. And this time around it's The Vic."
[RS] "They're constantly, from what we've gathered from the script, moving on. Any problem, move on. You pack your bags and you go."
[SJ] "But because there's family in Walford it's harder [to leave].
[RS] "They are opportunities for them to pack their bags and move on but they've not taken them because they enjoy it. Even down to their arguments in the Mitchell household – they love it. It's comforting to hear the rows and that's what they've grown up with."
[SJ] "And also with Barbara's character, Peggy – I believe probably the reason why they're hanging around so long is because she's becoming like the mother they always wanted. They haven't had a mother in their life for years and years and all of a sudden, they've got a woman saying 'I need you'. That's potent."
[RS] "That shows with Ronnie and her honesty. She just can't help herself throwing her arms around Peggy."
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[RS] "You will."
[SJ] "I don't think there's any major reason why they left. There are certainly things that happened to them out there which that will come out. There wasn't any major disaster that made them leave."
[RS] "There were a few factors - one of those factors is definitely going to be found out – we've already filmed that, so you'll find out about that. It wasn't just that alone though, it was many other things including a dysfunctional relationship among other things. So, in time, you'll find out bits and pieces and the jigsaw will come together."
Is there any chance of seeing your dad, Archie, around?
[SJ] "I bloody hope so! We'd both would love to get Ray Winstone or a similar iconic male like Terence Stamp or Malcolm McDowell. I would love the idea that this mad, iconic male comes back into our lives.
"It needs to be someone dark – someone that gives a really wiry performance."
[RS] "I don't know why I've got this thing about Bob Hoskins. I've always wanted him to be my dad."
[SJ] "Bob Hoskins, Terence Stamp or Malcolm McDowell I think…"
When the sisters walk into The Vic, do they see Shirley as a friend or foe?
[SJ] "She doesn't bother them, really. They've come across her type before. I think she's incredibly bothered. We've got some great one-liners towards Shirley. One of mine is 'that's right, Shirley, if you are one thing, you're a pro'."
[RS] "The line before is Shirley saying 'if you'll excuse me, I've got some demanding men that I need to satisfy' because they're all screaming for drinks at the bar."
[SJ] "You get to deliver these great lines."
[RS] "Also, the other day, Ronnie said to Shirley 'are you going to be alright running the bar?' Shirley said 'I might be a bit rough' and Ronnie said 'you can say that again'."
[SJ] "It's great, it's female bitchiness at its best. But what is great is that they're all strong female characters – you've got Barbara as Peggy – which is a great female iconic role – you've then got Shirley who's quite ballsy and then you've got us coming in. These are no ditzy, cutesy girlies, they are all in there."
[SJ] "Henpecking Phil straight away!"
And the men of Walford…?
[SJ] "Ronnie doesn't go near men. She's deeply damaged in that respect. The only person she lavishes time and attention on is her sister and she needs that in her life. Any man that comes along in Roxy's life, Ronnie is quite quick to - if it's serious - get rid of quite quickly.
[RS] "Roxy is very picky, very fussy. On the surface, she's a real good-time girl. Never commits to any of them. Yes, she will sleep around, she will have a string of boyfriends – but she'll never see any of them more than one day thereover, because she doesn't let them get close.
"Our dad [Archie] treated me like a princess and as far as Roxy's concerned, no man is good enough unless she's going to be told she's a princess.
[SJ] "And the minute anyone comes along and looks like he's going to be remotely serious she..."
[RS] "…Puts a stop to it..."
So who's the first on Roxy's radar?
[SJ] "She makes a play for Deano straight away. She says 'I fancy the dark-haired one'."
[RS] "You don't know how serious it is with Roxy, she just talks. So, as yet, no one she genuinely likes. There's no one serious, she doesn't care."
Thanks for chatting, Sam and Rita!