After a decade playing a much-loved soap character, there's always the danger of becoming typecast. No such issue for EastEnders favourite James Alexandrou, though. Lounging about in a messy stage set wearing a brown dressing gown and snacking on junk food the talented thesp - who played Martin Fowler in the hit soap - has successfully made the transition from soap to theatre.
The 22-year-old leads the cast of the new drama In My Name - described as "a bold, dark and funny insight into the consequence of allowing life to pass you by".
Savvy James certainly isn't letting his own life pass him by. The young actor seems to be making lots of plans for the future. "I'm looking to do more stage stuff now," he says. "Now I've left EastEnders it's left me with a lot more freedom to explore what I want to do. To be able to just pick and choose your jobs and not have the ongoing commitments of a soap is great!"
"I can see myself doing some work on films in Hollywood some day," adds the ambitious star. "But there's plenty of time for that and there's a long way to go first."
And despite no longer being an Albert Square resident, Alexander is still in regular contact with close pal and former co-star Natalie Cassidy, who played his onscreen wife Sonia. "Me and Natalie are like family, as we pretty much grew up together," he says. "I was 11 and she was 13 when we started EastEnders and we worked closely together till the end."