oxy Shahidi says being "naturally protective" over Joe-Warren Plant in real life helped to play out "difficult scenes" on the soap.
The 36-year-old actress" alter-ego Leyla Harding was left livid after discovering her son Jacob Gallagher - played by Joe-Warren - has been groomed for months by his teacher Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein), and Roxy admitted her real adoration for the 17-year-old star assisted her acting.
She said: "I've worked with Joe-Warren since he was seven years old and I absolutely love and adore him and I don't think you can help but feel naturally protected over him.
"I've watched him from going from this tiny little boy on set to being this wonderful actor that he is today, and so having a storyline where you feel he's been taken advantage of or someone has hurt him, that's helped me to play the difficult scenes.
"Because the love you feel is there, so I think that's helped."
The plot exploded further into life this week when Leyla left Maya for dead after a fight in the woods.
The cast had to film gruelling night shoots for two weeks to play out those and other scenes, and Roxy says sometimes stars only had three hours sleep before appearing on camera.
Speaking on "Lorraine", she added: "It was two weeks of night shoots.
"I'd tell anyone who would listen that I'd been up all night and had to get back home and then I'd been up all day.
"But it was such a good group of us, and we do get on, so even at 3am and it was freezing and we were wearing thermal wetsuits because it was so cold - we still laughed.
"But because the storyline was so important, you still had to bring it, even if you'd only had three hours sleep.
"It's already like a war story. "Do you remember when we did the night shoot?" but we did really enjoy it."