Emma Rigby misses out on roles at times "because of 'Hollyoaks'".

Emma Rigby

Emma Rigby

The 30-year-old actress shot to fame on the Channel 4 soap when she played Hannah Ashworth from 2005 to 2010, but she has now admitted the part has been both a "blessing and a curse" throughout her career.

She said: "I've aged in reverse - everyone still thinks I look like the teenager I played in 'Hollyoaks'.

"It's a blessing and a curse. No matter what I do, everyone will recognise me for 'Hollyoaks'.

"I sometimes miss out on roles because of 'Hollyoaks' - people think I'll be a certain way and I'm still battling against the stigma of that."

Emma's latest role saw her star in BBC drama film 'Make Me Famous', about new reality TV stars dealing with the pressures of fame and social media.

She added to HELLO! magazine: "I related to the script because I've grown up in the public eye.

"Becoming famous at such a young age has definitely shaped who I am."

Emma recently admitted she hopes 'Make Me Famous' will raise awareness of mental health issues and hopes the programme encourages conversations about it.

She said: "When I read the script I really connected with it, as I know what it's like to feel so exposed from a young age.

"I started on 'Hollyoaks' when I was only 14 years old, was there for a long period of time and on screen every day - I know how it can make you feel vulnerable.

"Now, so many reality contestants are confronted with these life-changing experiences, they are recognised and judged all the time.

"I'm also from St Helens in Merseyside, which has the highest rate of suicide in the country, so I know it's a really pressing issue. Mental health affects us all, no matter who we are and where we are from. I hope this film helps to raise awareness of the issue and encourages conversations about it.

"I've watched a lot of the other BBC Three standalone dramas like 'Murdered By My Boyfriend' and 'Murdered By My Father' and I thought they were incredible, so I knew the story would be in safe hands. This is the work I want to be doing."