EastEnders star Max Bowden has spoken out about the importance and the value of giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and admits that while he does feel the pressure of representing a gay character, he is proud of the role he and Ben play.
Metro.co.uk caught up with the popular actor as he revealed his proudest moment so far on the show and explaining why it’s important that Ben retains more than one dimension.
How important is LGBTQ+ representation in soaps?
I think it’s very important that soaps continued to build the LGBTQ+ representation within their shows. We have a duty to tell people’s stories that have been underrepresented and undervalued a lot in society. We are getting a chance to tell those stories and tell them accurately.
Do you feel the pressure of representing the LGBTQ+ community?
Absolutely – you feel the pressure of your character anyway. The show is so huge that we have a pressure to deliver on every front. But this story in particular, it’s vital we get it right because we are representing a community and it’s important.
Is it important that storylines don’t just revolve around sexuality?
Absolutely, I think if we only had stories revolving around their sexuality, the characters become one dimensional and weak. What’s great about EastEnders is they channel the layers and development of the characters. To round off the character and make the show work that’s what you have to do.
What has been your proudest moment of Ben’s journey?
It would have the be the POV episode recently. We shot it very much like a film and it was a lot of graft, dealing with another underrepresented community that doesn’t get to speak their voice loud enough. It was a joy to take that baton and try and raise awareness and give some idea on what it’s like to be a part of that community.
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