Lorraine Stanley says her "EastEnders" character Karen Taylor has a "heart of gold".
The new family in Albert Square caused a raucous this week as they were introduced to the other inhabitants of the soap, and the matriarch of the family has hailed herself as a loving "lioness" who is "not to be messed with".
Speaking about her role in the popular soap to Inside Soap magazine, the 40-year-old actress said: "She's a lioness, she smokes fags - 20 a day - and she has a heart of gold.
"She doesn't have a job, as she's got two younger sons with learning difficulties, and that takes up a lot of her time.
"She does everything for her kids - she's a strong woman who's not to be messed with. She doesn't take nothing off no one!"
Although the family are undoubtedly going to rub people up the wrong way, Lorraine and co-star Danny Walters, 24 - who plays her on-screen son Keanu - hopes their vulnerability comes across.
Lorraine said: "Of course - that makes it more dramatic doesn't it? Come in roaring and then actually they're really nice.
"I think that's what's gonna happen. We come in with a bang and then you break us down. Everything they do is for a reason. It's not malice - it's honest."
Danny has agreed with his on-screen parent and claims people will see something more to the newcomers.
He said: "People will throw eggs at first, but then they might see something there."
With all soaps and all new families, there is always a secret they are hiding from the rest of Albert Square and the Taylor's have teased they have dark tales of their own.
Lorraine said: "It's soap, so there's a secret! It's a good one, that's all I can say."