Emmerdale spoilers: Mimi Slinger on Leanna’s death after quitting soap

Meena kills Leanna in Emmerdale

Pushed to the edge then over the edge (Picture: ITV)

Emmerdale viewers have been left nauseous by a tragic ending for Leanna Cavanagh, as unhinged Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) killed her by pushing her to her death from a bridge.

Leanna had uncovered secrets from Meena’s past and the cold hearted killer left her dead on the rocks below, meaning a family is going to ripped apart painfully.

And Mimi Slinger, who played the teen, admitted that she was stunned by what her ending would be after she quit her role.

She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I had taken the decision to leave the Dales and I was so looking forward to hearing how the producers were going to engineer my exit.

‘When Jane Hudson told me about my storyline, I have to say that I was shocked but so excited to be given the opportunity to be challenged and show my acting abilities. Of course, it is a very sad storyline and has been very emotional for me!’

As devastating as it is (why couldn’t she just have gone travelling, sob!), Mimi had a ball filming the intense showdown with Paige after the pair bubbled up to get around Covid restrictions.

She explained:  ‘I really enjoyed filming the scenes – those with my on-screen father, Jonny, were incredibly emotional. There were lots of tears but I actually enjoyed having the opportunity to challenge myself.

‘The scenes with Meena, played by Paige were emotional and dramatic at the same time. Paige is great at playing a bit of a psycho – it was actually quite scary!

Meena looks at Leanna's dead body

Just a day in the life of Meena (Picture: ITV)

‘I did have to do a few stunts in order to film my exit which I seriously enjoyed!  There was a stunt coordinator on set who was fantastic at guiding Paige and I. As I am pushed off the bridge to my death, falling 40 ft, that was going to be a bit too much of a challenge – a stunt double was used for that bit!’

She went on: ‘In order to film the scenes the best we could, we had to be closer than the social distancing rules would allow. Both Paige and I decided to form a “bubble” and we had to isolate for a few days in a hotel and have regular Covid tests to make sure that we were okay prior to filming. I was allowed to bring my mum with me to keep me company – thank goodness!

‘On the shoot days, we were driven to and from set in a pre-fogged car, and had to stay in our dressing rooms unless on set and travel back and remain in our hotel rooms until the scenes were complete. I really feel it was necessary to make the scenes feel as real and raw as possible.’

And raw they were!

Most of all for Mimi, who admits that she is going to miss her time on Emmerdale and the friends she made.

She smiled: ‘I have absolutely loved playing Leanna. I can’t believe it’s been three and a half years – it has flown by!  I have had the most amazing experiences and have learnt so much from some incredibly talented actors, directors and producers.

‘I am going to miss my Emmerdale family so much! Actually, I am missing them already! I filmed my final scenes at the end of May, so it feels like quite a while since I last saw them.

‘It is emotional to watch the build up to the storyline. Jonny has taught me so much and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him and Roxy, as well as others. I have built some amazing friendships, for example with Daisy (Amelia) and Rosie (Gabby). I know that, even though I am moving on, my friendships are here to stay.

‘I will miss the community more than anything. Everyone is so friendly and it has been such a fantastic few years. I do feel that it is time for me to move on and pursue other opportunities.’

Of course, Leanna’s exit is just the beginning of huge ordeals for Liam and Jacob; and the beginning of a dark story for serial killer Meena.

So does Mimi have any predictions on what might happen next?

The star mused: ‘I can’t imagine the pain that Liam will feel after Leanna’s death. It must be completely devastating to lose a child – it’s not the way it should be. Poor Liam has already lost Leanna’s mother, and has experienced huge amounts of grief.

He and Leanna were so close,I do hope that he manages to cope. Jacob and Leanna have certainly had their struggles but there seems to be something very special between them.

‘I think that he will be deeply affected. Jacob has had a complicated life with many unconventional relationships – let’s hope he can find a way to cope.’

With Meena lurking in the shadows, it’s fair to say the agony is only just beginning…

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