Ben Mitchell actor Max Bowden has revealed that EastEnders bosses told him a whopping great fib when they auditioned him for the soap.
When he was given a role on the soap, he had no idea that he would be playing Phil Mitchell's troubled son.
The actor believed that he was trying out for a completely different role.
"I didn’t know I was playing Ben. I think we pinned it as Tyler. It was all very discreet and all very top secret," reveals Max.
"I got in, and they had their Christmas holidays. I think they broke on the day I got cast.
"And then I came in on the first day back and they said: 'We weren't totally honest with you.'
"And then they were like: 'You're not playing Tyler, you're playing Ben Mitchell — you're free to walk away now!'
"It was terrifying because it's such a well-established show and such a well-established character.
You have so much history to work with and, for an actor, that's what you look for.
"But I think it made it more exciting because there was all of this heritage and all of this familiarity from an audience perspective.
"You have so much history to work with and, for an actor, that's what you look for."
Several actors have portrayed Ben in the past, and Max used the opportunity to but his own stamp on the complex character.
"If you work on any character in life you have your own view of who he is," he added.
"I wanted to have my own clear head of who I saw him as at this point in his life and a lot had changed in the year between when he left and when he came back.
"He'd been in Portugal and things had happened and he'd become more accepting of himself, and I wanted to discover that myself."
Ben is currently enjoying a clandestine romance with Callum, who is due to wed Whitney in scenes that begin on Monday, September 2.
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