This story discusses topics including loss of a child and sexual assault.
Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Bosses at the ITV soap have been working closely with Rape Crisis England and Wales for an upcoming arc, which will see Lydia being raped by her childood friend Craig.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media, Blick emphasised the importance of telling stories such as these, though the actor did acknowledge she harboured some early reservations during the conception of the storyline.
“My initial reaction was: 'Please don't do this to Lydia. Please!' I felt very protective of the character and conflicted as an actor, because it's an important story and it needs telling,” she began.
“But then, it's this terrible thing happening to somebody you are so close to – and the repercussions for that character going forward. A few weeks after that, myself and James Hooton [who plays Sam] got an email regarding a story meeting with [executive producer] Jane [Hudson].
“James had no idea about it at all – it's a shocking thing to hear and I saw the look on [his] face. Both of us had tears in our eyes. It was a really moving and strong reaction. Certainly, it was the strongest reaction I've ever had to a potential story, emotionally,” she added.
Blick, who debuted as Lydia in 2016, also spoke about the work that went into providing an accurate portrayal, revealing that the collaborations with various charities helped with her performance.
“As an actor, my job is to portray Lydia's behaviour and state of mind following this attack, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible with regards to that. I found that really, really useful,” she said.
“The researcher kept bringing it back to Lydia. This is Lydia's experience – no two experiences of rape and sexual assault are going to be the same. There might be commonalities with feelings and thoughts. It had to be rooted in: 'How does Lydia react and what does this mean for her?’”
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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