Linda Davidson turned down her "EastEnders" return before she was convinced over lunch.
The 54-year-old actress - who played Mary "The Punk" Smith on the BBC soap between 1985 and 1988 - admitted she wasn't won over right away with the idea of heading back to Albert Square three decades after her last appearance.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, she said: "I said no at first because I always do! I had lunch with [executive consultant John Yorke], who's been a mate for years.
"They told me about Len's storyline and asked me to be in the congregation when Dr Legg dies and I said yes. Then John said they'd given Mary a few lines and it went from there."
Linda will be back on-screen on February 19 with former co-star Tom Watt - who played George "Lofty" Holloway - for the funeral of the soap's late on-screen GP Dr. Legg (Leonard Fenton).
Being on set again after so long was an "overwhelming" experience for Lind, who is now working in digital media.
She explained: "It had been 30 years and was a little overwhelming.
"I walked past No.23 which was where Mary lived. We came in to do a photo shoot first and then just got on with it. But we did have a laugh."
The former actress is enjoying her new career, which saw her helping with the launch of some of the BBC's websites in the 1990s.
Now, she handles the technology side of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's brand.
She said: "My title is digital technology and information, looking after the website and all the technology that sits underneath it, plus asset management, video production systems, food technology, the data - it's really exciting."