EastEnders star Max Bowden opens up over "hardest ever" storyline

Note: This article talks about cancer in detail.

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders star Max Bowden has opened up about the current storyline for his character, describing it as the "hardest ever".

The actor, who has played Ben Mitchell on the BBC soap since 2019, posted a video on Instagram in which his character attempted to secure alternative treatment for Lola Pearce-Brown, who is suffering with a brain tumour.

ben mitchell lola pearce eastenders

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"This clip is from tonight's episode. This storyline has been the hardest I have ever had to deal with," he wrote in the caption. "21 months ago I lost my best friend in the world to an undiagnosed brain tumour. Friday afternoon we were on the phone for an hour discussing [Cristiano] Ronaldo's [Manchester] United return, 24 hours later he went into a coma and never woke up.

"Coming to terms with this grief has been the most turbulent, overwhelming, impossible thing I have ever had to overcome, and telling this story with Lola has been a tough old ride but an incredibly rewarding one. When we lose someone, we never know how we’re going to feel, how we’re going to change. Ben is no exception.

"He is a complicated man. Riddled with trauma, insecurities and complexities. Fear can turn us into monsters," he continued. "Many have picked up on this and I’m glad, this is exactly what we wanted to portray. Every one of the Mitchells are dealing with it very differently, and that's credit to the writing team and the story team.

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"Playing a character doesn’t mean I agree with his choices, however we can all appreciate that grief does different things to different people. I appreciate all of the lovely messages. Oh, and gentle reminder to be kind. Really proud of our EastEnders team for their constant good work and ambition to tell tough stories," he concluded.

It’s set to be an emotional time in Albert Square over the coming weeks, with Lola tragically succumbing to her brain tumour after a long battle.

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

Organisations including Brain Tumour Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and Stand Up to Cancer can provide help and support to those living with brain cancer and their loved ones.

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