Kacey Ainsworth says her "EastEnders" domestic abuse storyline had a "physical impact" on her.
The 50-year-old star admits the hard-hitting plot - in which her character "Little" Mo Slater was regularly attacked by her husband Trevor Morgan (Alex Ferns) until she fought back, resulting in him being arrested - used to leave her "very upset", so much so she would still be in tears while driving home after a long day on set.
She said: "When I was on "EastEnders", they're long days, they're 12 hour days and they're six days a week. So, I was being Mo longer than I was being myself, and I do think they do have a physical impact. I mean, I would be going home in the car, I would still be sobbing and still would be very upset, to kind of have opened up whatever door there was in there and used all of that and I would still be crying.
"And then I'd begin the next morning, I'd be up at five to be in the next morning and they'd have to turn me upside down on the makeup chair and put cold spoons on my eyes to try and get my eyes to go back to normal so that I could shoot a scene in the café where I gave Dot a bacon sandwich or whatever.
"So it was relentless and it was hard, but you were always aware that you were playing someone else."
Kacey left the role in May 2006 and now stars as Cathy Keating in ITV period crime drama "Grantchester", in which her alter-ego recently faced sexual harassment from a horrible colleague.
Speaking on the Series Linked TV podcast, she added: "What you get is the same thing. People saying, "I had a boss like that," or saying it's really awful that she doesn't have anywhere to go, I hope that someone will be able to help her.
"And they don't really know how the story gets resolved or if it does get a resolution. So I would imagine that after that, you'll probably get a lot more comments about it."
Last month, Kacey admitted she has "talked about" an "EastEnders" return, and would be "interested" in the possibility.
She said: "We have talked about a return.
"I am interested in what they think might have happened to Mo in this time, and the Slaters were such a fun family to be part of.
"It's just at the moment it's been completely nutty and continuing to be that way."