EastEnders’ Reiss star Jonny Freeman looks very different away from character

EastEnders fans were left flabbergasted after realising what one of Walford’s newest characters looks like away from the small screen.

Jonny Freeman, who joined the soap back in December 2022 as Reiss Colwell, Dot Branning’s great nephew, looks completely different from his soap character, whose current storyline involves being long-standing resident Sonia Fowler’s (played by Natalie Cassidy) new love interest.

When he’s off-duty, his appearance is much more chiselled and groomed, with his hair and beard being neatly styled.

Reiss – who plays the trombone in a band – made his first appearance at Dot’s funeral, with the newcomer quickly bonding with Sonia over their love of instruments. The episode saw the two later hook up, before Reiss left and ghosted her.

Jonny’s character eventually returned after Ricky Butcher called him to help Sonia with her inheritance tax troubles. When quizzed about why he was ignoring Sonia’s calls, and why he left after their fling, Reiss revealed that he hasn’t had many girlfriends and doesn't want to mess anything up.

In the soap, Reiss is known for his nervousness and awkwardness, and regularly dons corduroy trousers, grandad cardigans and oversized specs. His hair is also regularly astray and his beard is much bushier and less tamed than in reality.

So, when fans actually recognised him for the first time away from Albert Square, they couldn’t help but take to social media to let off some steam.

"That's crazy, people definitely aren't going to recognise him in the street are they!" one fan gushed as another said: “OMG so different.”

A third offered their opinion to EastEnders bosses, suggesting they shouldn’t have strayed too far from his usual looks, typing: “Very handsome, should have kept him like that."

A fourth chimed in on the conversation too, specifically to add how “he is so good looking,” and that “he looks so different in real life."

Fans could start to lose their love for the bumbling character though after it was revealed that he is harbouring a secret – a wife that Sonia doesn’t know about.

Apart from EastEnders, fans may also recognise Jonny from a fair few other big shows. In the past, the actor has made appearances in Channel 4’s Top Boy and BBC’s Silent Witness.

On top of this, he also had a stint in medical drama Holby City back in 2010, plus other roles between 2009 and 2014. This included appearances in Bloods, Dalziel and Pascoe and playing Frank London in M.I. High.


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