Elaine was previously played by Maria Friedman on and off between 2014 and 2017, but is now being played by the acclaimed stage actress for a full-time stint.
Thorpe told The Mirror that she wasn't intimidated by taking on the role as each actress brings something different to these characters and "you have to find your own way" of playing them.
"All the women who have played those roles have been iconic," she said. "But you can't be like them, you have to find your own way to deliver that strength.
"Characters are re-birthed all the time, and that’s a tribute to the creativity the show has," she explained.
The actress also wanted to highlight older women who are still young at heart.
"I want to honour 65-year-old women today who are not little nannies with blue hair or a pencil skirt. Elaine is a forthright, amazing woman.
"She wears a pleather skirt and platform boots. She's in your face.
"I am who I am, my age is immaterial. And that's also Elaine. She isn't defined by a number. She can be forthright, strong, a businesswoman – and she's fearless."
The character arrived at Albert Square last week, and the rest of her family will be following soon.
Elaine will be bringing her new lover George (Arrow and Doctor Who's Colin Salmon) and his two daughters, Gina (A Discovery of Witches' Francesca Henry) and Anna (Molly Rainford). The family is complete with their chihuahua Tyson.
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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