Chanel Cresswell's heartache helped The Bay performance
3 April 2019 - 12:00 PM

Chanel Cresswell's heartache helped The Bay performance

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Chanel Cresswell drew on real-life heartache to help her play a grieving mother in "The Bay".

The "This is England" star plays character Jess in the new ITV drama, in which she has been left devastated after her son Dylan was found dead, and the 29-year-old actress asked her mum about her auntie and uncle's experience of losing their nine-year-old daughter.

She said: "When I got this role I already had some experience to draw on because my cousin died when she was only around nine years old.

"Obviously it wasn't my child in that situation, but I was able to ask my mum about it.

"I asked about how my uncle and aunt dealt with losing a child at quite a significant age.

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"It must have been awful. It's a very personal thing."

After the "Trollied" star's research, she was determined not to take on the role "lightly".

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She is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper as saying: "Learning about what they went through got me in the mindset of how to do the role. A lot of people have gone through this, so you can't take on a role like this lightly."

Chanel has played out several harrowing scenes on the ITV drama - which continues tonight (03.04.19) - and admits she was "nervous" but also "really excited" to test herself with such hard-hitting segments.

She said: "Those particular scenes were extremely challenging and happened early on in the schedule but it's so important to give them the respect they deserve.

"I was really excited but nervous also and rightly so.

"I really wanted to understand the grief that mothers go through so I watched a lot of documentaries, interviews and press conferences because Jess has to do an appeal, which were all very helpful in order to help me project that pain in a way that felt truthful."

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