Jake Wood enjoys playing Max Branning because he doesn't think the character is "that bad".

Jake Wood

Jake Wood

The 45-year-old actor believes his 'EastEnders' alter-ego - who he has played for 12 years, during which time the Walford hard-man has been involved in numerous feuds, had several affairs, and was wrongly convicted of murder - is "complicated" rather than evil.

He said: "Max has never been that bad. That's one of the reasons I've enjoyed playing him so much.

"I see him as more complicated. He always does the wrong thing."

Jake has deliberately tried to ensure Max - who recently attempted to wreak revenge on the likes of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) after he was wrongly imprisoned - doesn't come across as "one dimensional", and admits his alter-ego has plenty of flaws.

Speaking on 'Good Morning Britain', he added: "I've always tried to make him very human, so he's got these great flaws and always feels bad about what he's done.

"He doesn't feel one dimensional."

Jake recently said he wants Max - who recently married his former sister-in-law Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks) as part of a business deal to try to get custody of his granddaughter Abi - to find "happiness and stability", but admitted that was probably not going to be the case.

He explained: "I've always thought Max can be redeemed.

"I hope he finds some happiness and stability this year but knowing Max, that might be unlikely."

Max's daughters Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa) and Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) left Walford earlier this year, with Abi dying after falling off the Queen Vic roof, and Jacqueline has admitted Jake questioned if it was right to kill off his on-screen kid.

She said: "I could tell he was gutted. At first I think he questioned if it was the right decision, but when he heard the storyline he changed his mind.

"Adam Woodyatt was really upset too. We used to have visions that Ian would become a father figure to Lauren, so it was a shock to him that I was being written out."