Emmerdale's Meena Jutla is undoubtedly a terrifying character, but now she's about to get even scarier as actress Paige Sandhu has confirmed she committed another, 'secret' murder before even arriving in the Dales.
So far, viewers will know Meena's kill count is at least two – as she murdered her 'friend' Nadine before arriving in Emmerdale, and then tossed Leanna Cavanagh off the humpback bridge to her death.
But, according to Paige, we can add another body to Meena's total.
Speaking to Daily Star and other publications, Paige confirmed she has a rather strange technique for getting into character as Meena.
"Now that I really know her well and I’ve been playing her for over a year, I find it a lot easier to get into character than before," she explained.
"But what I usually do before every scene I'm in… In my backstory – this hasn't been put in script, it's in my [personal] backstory, Meena has killed twice before she comes to Emmerdale."
So though it isn't officially something the writers have considered, Paige has inserted an extra death into Meena's kill list.
She continued: "So what I do is I replay one of the murders that she commits, and I change my body language. I stand like her, I clear my head of any thoughts and just imagine killing that person, and then I just feel like her. And that’s what I do!"
Paige said she's been "heavily inspired" by traditional film and TV psychopaths, including American Psycho, Villanelle from Killing Eve, Netflix series You and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.
"I would hope that Meena would live up to those characters, because they've been a massive inspiration for me," she divulged.
Paige regularly conducts her own research to get in character for Meena – and it can be difficult to switch off from that, she admitted.
She said: "If I'm researching real life people – psychopaths and serial killers – I often get quite freaked out.
"I’m reading a book at the moment about nurse Beverley Allitt, who was a serial killer in the 90s, and that really freaked me out so then I just watch a happy film, or play with my dog or something, and just go, 'Nope, I’ll come back to you in a minute!'"
But playing Meena is definitely a lot of fun, as Paige explained: "It’s so fun. It’s such a satisfying role to play, playing a character that really does things that are very, very out of the norm and not your average day normal activities.
"To have the satisfaction of the people who were suspicious of you being like, 'Oh, no it wasn't you!' and believing her when she manipulates them, and trusting that she’s this innocent person… It’s so fun to play, so I want her to keep getting away with it."
Emmerdale airs from 7pm weeknights on ITV.
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