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Soaps Interview

'Waterloo Road' Chelsee Healey talks show exit, future plans

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Chelsee Healey as Janeece Bryant in Waterloo Road

© BBC / Shed Productions (WR)

Waterloo Road waves goodbye to Janeece Bryant this week as she quits the school for a fresh start.

Thursday's (September 27) episode sees Janeece's issues with childcare come to a head when her young daughter Cheryl has to be rushed into A&E, having suffered an accident after being left home alone.

Janeece's mistake leads to an awkward interview with social services, but the incident ultimately proves to be a catalyst for change as she realises that it's time to move on and put Cheryl first.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Chelsee Healey, who played Janeece, to hear more about her final episode and future career plans.

How do you feel now that your time at Waterloo Road has come to an end?
"It's sad! I've grown up with Waterloo Road and it's been part of my life for six years, so leaving was really upsetting. But I just felt that it was something I needed to do, and it was at the right time. I'll always have fond memories of my time at the show."

How difficult was it to make the decision to move on?
"It was definitely a tough decision. I'd been thinking about it for a while - should I or shouldn't I? It was a big decision that needed to be made, so I definitely didn't make it quickly. I thought about it a lot beforehand."

Did the show's move to Scotland play a part in your decision?
"No, it didn't really, because I think the whole new dynamic of moving to Scotland has been fun. I think it's been a good change for the show, so it was nothing to do with the move - it was just something that I felt I had to do for myself."

Are you happy with Janeece's final storyline?
"Yeah, I am. It's something that I could get my teeth into. In some ways it is a sad goodbye, but it's nothing too drastic - so it was a nice storyline and I'm glad that I could play it."

Janeece and Chalky in Waterloo Road

© BBC / Shed Productions (WR)



Your final episode has lots of Janeece and Chalky scenes. How do you define their relationship?
"At the moment it's plain to see that she's using him, but I don't think she's doing it maliciously, because she's not that sort of character. She's taking advantage of his good nature when it comes to childcare and looking after Cheryl, but not in a nasty way.

"I think it's a lovely relationship between the two of them - they're so cute together and I think it's such a nice friendship.

"I really enjoyed working with Mark Benton, who plays Chalky. He's one of the best men ever and we honestly got on so well. Mark would constantly make me laugh on set. He's brilliant to work with and he's a good friend."

How does Janeece feel about social services questioning her parenting?
"It makes her start to question herself as a mother and whereabouts she wants to be in life. That's what makes her decide that she needs to get away - she needs to think things through and have a bit of time out."

Was your last day of filming an emotional one?
"Yeah, of course it was emotional. Like I say, I was there for six years and I was gutted that I wouldn't be playing Janeece any more. It was emotional, but I got through it because I'm a fighter!"

Who will you miss the most, and is there anyone in particular who you'll stay in touch with?
"I stay in touch with Mark Benton, Darcy Isa, Jason Done, Will Rush, Jack McMullen - to be honest, everyone! I stay in touch with everyone."

Which of Janeece's storylines stand out as your favourites? Did you prefer playing her as a pupil or a secretary?
"There's been so many, but the one where I was jilted at the altar really stands out. I suppose when Janeece was a pupil I could have more fun with her, because she was funny and naughty, which I liked."

Chelsee Healey as Janeece Bryant in Waterloo Road

© BBC / Shed Productions (WR)



What was the secret behind Janeece's longevity in the show?
"I honestly haven't got a clue. I think people took to her because she's so funny, loving and cheeky. People just seemed really drawn in by her character - I don't know how, but maybe just because she was a sweet, sweet girl."

Which of the newer cast members are you particularly impressed by?
"Paige Meade who plays Jade is brilliant. They're all amazing, though, so it's difficult to pick people out!"

Janeece isn't being killed off, so would you consider returning for a guest appearance?
"Yeah - well, you never know, do you? Never say never, you just don't know what could happen in the future."

What are your future plans?
"Well, I'd love to do dramas and films - just something I can really get my teeth into. I'd like to do something that's deep - I want to go into more serious acting so hopefully that's what will happen. You never know, but that's what I want to do."

> Read our spoiler for Janeece's final 'Waterloo Road' episode
> Read more 'Waterloo Road' spoilers and news

Waterloo Road airs Janeece's final episode on Thursday (September 27) at 8pm on BBC One. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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