Amy Walsh has opened up about boyfriend Tob-Alexander Smith’s experience with the public after portraying domestic abuser Gray Atkins on EastEnders.
Emmerdale star Amy, 34, has been dating Toby, 31, since last year and has admitted that some people find it hard to separate him in real life from his character.
She revealed on Loose Women on Wednesday: ‘Yeah, he gets a bit. He’s been quite lucky but you do get a bit. It’s more online than anything else.
‘But I just always say it’s because you’re so good, you’re doing a good job and that’s all that matters.
‘His storyline was such an important one to get people talking and raise awareness so as long as he’s doing that, his work here is done.’
Toby has been playing Gray in EastEnders since 2019 and his storyline has seen Gray subject wife Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer) to horrific domestic abuse, leading to her death when he pushed her over onto an upended knife in the dishwasher in their kitchen.
He was later seen pushing Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami) to his death in front of a tube train to stop him from running away with Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) to avoid arrest and get married as well as killing Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White).
While his character on the show might be an evil serial killer, in real life Toby is nothing like his character and has voiced his support for charities against domestic violence.
He previously revealed on BBC Radio 5 Live that it was hard to get used to fans wanting to see his character get his comeuppance and be axed from the show.
Toby explained: ‘I think initially it took a while to get used to that, that it’s not a personal thing about me.
‘Obviously social media can be very loud. When people started directing it at Gray, that was when I was like: “Ok, we’re doing our jobs here, people are calling out this behaviour, this behaviour is unacceptable.”
‘And that’s why we do it, for people to be able to recognise that there are people like Gray out there.
‘It may be a father, it may be an ex-boyfriend, it may be a brother, it may be a friend. It just gave people that platform to recognise those behaviours.
‘They usually say: “Are you Gray from EastEnders?” I’ll say yes, and then I’ll get a bit of a look.
‘It gets difficult when it becomes personal because people sometimes can’t differentiate between the character and me as an actor, but that’s fine. If one person gets out of an abusive relationship, then it’s worth it. I’ll take it all day long.’
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30 on ITV.
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