HOLLYOAKS star Sarah Jayne Dunn has warned fans they'll be "torn" as Mandy continues to take drastic measures to protect her daughter Ella.
The waitress in the Channel 4 soap has had a lot on her plate since the start of 2021.
At the start of the year her daughter Ella confessed to killing drug dealer Jordan Price at the Hutch, and has since then been doing everything she can to make sure she's not sent down for it.
Mandy's ex Luke has been pressuring her to go to the police and to make things ten times worse evil drug lord Victor Brothers is back in the village making Ella's life a living hell.
39-year-old Sarah – who has played Mandy on/off for the past 24 years – believes that the current storyline shows what extremes a mother will go to in order to protect their child.
She recently told the Mail Online: "I think that's what been really nice about this storyline when I was discussing it with the producers is that it will make the audience question how far they will go for their children.
"I guess, I'm a mother, and until you're in a situation where you're a desperate as Mandy you don't know what lengths you would go to, your maternal instinct kicks in and of course you would die for your children, you'd do anything to protect them."
The star continued: "I think it's really torn the audience, I've had lots of people saying 'I can't believe Mandy's doing this' and 'this is going to ruin her relationship' and on the flip side Mandy's protecting Ella and I really feel for her because what else can she do and you can see the desperation there.
"It's been a talking point and I think it will continue to be a talking point for a while yet while people see what lengths she does go to."
This week Mandy showed a different side to her character and blackmailed her ex Lucas into keeping quiet and not telling the police.
Lucas himself is trying to tackle his son's drug addiction and Mandy said that if he says anything, she'll go to the police and tell them about Ollie stealing things to find his habit.
Over the past two decades, Sarah has never seen this side to her on screen alter-ego, but understands it's coming from a good place to try and keep Ella out of danger.
She said: "It's shown a completely different side to the character, I mean she's gone to lengths that I didn't even know she was capable of.
"I wouldn't say I was surprised as I know how much she cares about her daughter and how much she wouldn't want to lose her and she's been through that before and the thought of losing her again is just too much to bear.
"I was surprised at how much she would go out of her way and be deceitful and conniving to do so, but the way that it's worked as a character is she's desperate it's all come from a desperate situation."
Last night's episode saw Ella burst into tears after she bumped into an old face in the village.
Drug dealer Victor thought that the school girl had arranged to meet him outside The Hutch to start dealing again.
Ella accidentally blurted out that she was the one that killed Jordan last year and he was over the moon with her slip-up.
He told Ella: "This just gets better and better… You showed me what you're capable of, little girl, so from now on, you're going to do everything I say."
Will Mandy be able to save Ella from Victor's evil ways?
Catch the next episode of Hollyoaks tonight at 6.30pm on Channel 4.
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