|Portrayed by||Robert Kazinsky|
|First appearance||Episode 3208
22 August 2006
|Last appearance||Episode 3712
1 January 2009
|Introduced by||Kate Harwood|
Sean Slater is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Robert Kazinsky. Sean left the Square temporarily on 27 March 2007, as Kazinsky was suspended from work for two months. He returned on 28 May 2007. It was announced on 18 January 2008 that Kazinsky would finish filming the show in October 2008, but that the character would remain on screen until New Year. He made his final appearance on 1 January 2009.
Growing up, Sean adored his father Brian and younger sister Stacey (Lacey Turner), but had a fractured relationship with his mother Jean (Gillian Wright) due to her bipolar disorder. He became rebellious, constantly going out of his way to scare Jean. Sean punched his father during an argument, causing Brian to suffer a brain haemmorage and die whilst working on a building site the next day. Sean panicked and on his sixteenth birthday, he ran away, joined the army and lost all contact with his family. Stacey, aged 11, was left alone to take care of their mother.
Sean arrives in Walford on 22 August 2006, to take revenge on the newly arrived Al (Andrew McKay), who is responsible for Sean losing his job in the Army. He breaks into Al's flat and follows him into the Queen Victoria pub where, by chance, he sees his sister Stacey, whom he had lost contact with for seven years. After taking revenge on Al, Sean decides to stay in Walford to look after his sister. Sean immediately begins pursuing Tanya Branning (Jo Joyner), before deciding to date Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) after learning she is wealthy. Sean soon proposes marriage but continues to pursue Tanya and has sex with numerous other women, including Karin Jones (Anna Lauren) and Preeti Choraria (Babita Pohoomull). However, when Ruby starts interfering in his relationship with his mother Jean, Sean is so angry that he splits from her.
In 2007, Sean starts dating Chelsea Fox (Tiana Benjamin) and also has sex with her stepsister Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley), causing a number of rows. Scorned, Chelsea and Deano Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) try to get revenge on Sean by attempting to frame him for assaulting shopkeeper Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker). Sean's attempt to escape arrest fails and he is held on remand. From prison, Sean has Deano attacked so Carly ends the relationship, but discovers that Chelsea has CCTV footage proving that Sean did not attack Patrick. Despite her family's protests, Carly takes the footage to the police. Sean is released, and Deano and Chelsea are arrested for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Sean takes revenge by cutting Chelsea's hair while she sleeps and assaulting Deano again.
Sean and Tanya start dating at the beginning of 2008, and Sean tells her that he was responsible for his father's death. In March 2008, they plot to fake Tanya's reconciliation with Max (Jake Wood) in order to gain control of his assets and then leave the country. Tanya pretends to split up with Sean and reunite with Max, but secretly they conspire to bury Max alive. However Tanya feels guilty and releases Max. Much to Sean's surprise, Tanya scorns and rejects him when he says he wants them to be a family and reveals that she used him to get revenge on Max. Sean threatens to tell her children what she has done but Tanya retaliates by threatening to tell Stacey that Sean killed their father. Sean keeps quiet but takes the rejection hard. He then begins dating Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) and torments his flatmate Gus Smith (Mohammed George). Sean reveals that he plans to kill Gus and make it look like suicide but Stacey stops him and makes him move back in with the Slaters. Roxy and Sean split up, and Gus reveals to the Slaters that Sean is involved in drugs.
When Roxy reveals that she is pregnant, Sean assumes that he is the father, unaware of her one night stand with Jack Branning (Scott Maslen). He offers to support her but Roxy refuses his offer and returns to Ibiza. Sean leaves Albert Square briefly and returns in July after learning that Roxy is in Weymouth with her father, Archie (Larry Lamb), so he goes to see her. Archie encourages Roxy to stay in Weymouth with him but her sister Ronnie (Samantha Womack) and Sean persuade her to return to Walford, and she moves in with him. Ronnie disapproves of Roxy and Sean's relationship as she suspects him of selling drugs, but comes round after they get married in August. Sean has a difficult relationship with Roxy's father, Archie, and is unhappy about accepting his money for a deposit on a flat. On 13 November 2008 when Roxy goes into premature labour, Archie pretends to call Sean but doesn't so he misses the birth of Amy.
On 3 December 2008, Jack Branning asks Roxy for a paternity test. She receives the results on 12 December and hides them away, however Archie finds them and makes a copy. A few weeks later, Archie persuades Suzy Branning (Maggie O'Neill) to help him reveal the DNA test results to Sean on Christmas Day. Sean is devastated and attacks Jack (Amy's biological father), then goes on the rampage, kidnapping baby Amy. On 1 January 2009, Sean asks Stacey to look after Amy for a few days, knowing that she will return her to Roxy. Sean soon returns himself, and convinces Roxy to leave with him and Amy but she is scared and calls Ronnie so she and Jack follow them. Sean drives them to an icy lake, intending to drive into the water and drown as a family. Roxy escapes but cannot get Amy out so when she sees Ronnie and Jack arrive, Roxy coaxes Sean out onto the ice so they can rescue Amy. With Ronnie and Jack watching, the ice breaks and Sean and Roxy go under. Sean frees Roxy from the weeds that she has got entangled in as Ronnie dives into the water to rescue her. Roxy and Ronnie escape safely but there is no sign of Sean. Roxy then sees Sean crawling out of the water whilst Ronnie and Jack are warming up back at the car. She signals him to leave and Sean walks away.
In May 2015, Stacey makes a video call to Sean via Skype, however, while he does not appear on screen, he reminds her to take care of her mystery key due to its link to their father. When Jean reacts badly upon seeing her with the key, Stacey attempts to find out what the key represents but Jean catches her and, unwilling to tell her the truth other than Sean apparently couldn't trust her with it, seemingly throws it down the toilet. However, after Stacey leaves, it is revealed that Jean still has the key. She returns the key to Stacey four months later, revealing that it unlocks a deposit box in which Brian left Stacey and Sean some information about his other family, but Sean took the key from Jean after Brian's death before she could give it to Stacey when she turned 21.
Sean was created as an addition to the soap's existing Slater family - comprised initially of sister Stacey Slater and mother Jean. He was first mentioned on 9 December 2005 when his sister, Stacey, unfolded a family picture to reveal a fourth member (Sean). It was first announced on 13 April 2006 that the character would be joining EastEnders in the coming months, with the revelation made that: "He's going to enter the Square with a bang and will be at the centre of some of the biggest storylines of the year." A month later, on 18 May 2006, it was announced that Rob Kazinsky had been cast in the role of Sean. Kazinsky said of his casting: "I've grown up with EastEnders so I can't quite believe I'll soon be part of the Slater family."
|“||He’s a violent person with a violent disposition. He lashes out. He can’t differentiate between friend or foe and he won’t allow anyone to get close to him. [...] He’s not naturally aggressive; he chooses to be because it gets a reaction. It’s a cry for help. The reason he challenges the alpha male characters in the Square is that he wants a father figure. He wants someone who can basically run him into the ground, then take him under his wing. [...] He’s a nice guy, a good kid. He does the things he does because he just wants someone to help him. He’s a charming, affable guy when he wants to be. It’s just that you don’t cross him, ever.||”|
Kazinsky has also spoken extensively on several of his character's romantic relationships, declaring in August 2007 that: "Until he knows himself and can forgive himself and actually let his guard down, he’s never going to be in a position where he can give to anybody other than himself. At the moment he’s a completely selfish, self-serving character." At the time, he speculated that "There’s not a single woman who can bring him out of himself, because he’s plagued by inner turmoil. Women can have a tempestuous fling with Sean, but they can’t ever have love with him, because he doesn’t love himself." This idea was expanded on during the character's relationship with Tanya Branning, of which Kazinsky explained: "I don't believe he loves Tanya, I think he's obsessed with her which is a different thing entirely. I think that unconsciously he wants to pay homage to his dad Brian by being the father that he was. And stepping into Max's shoes and taking over his family would have helped him to do that. It's all to do with the guilt he felt over killing his father which is silly really. He didn't stick a knife in him or anything. He hit him and the next day he died of an aneurysm. But as a 16-year-old boy Sean blamed it on himself."
In January 2007, Kazinsky was suspended from the show for a period of two months, following allegations he had sent raunchy, inappropriate text messages to a model. The character was temporarily written out of the soap, with a statement released by the BBC which explained: "Following the story in the Sunday People on 7 January 2007, EastEnders executive producer Diederick Santer has taken the decision to suspend Robert Kazinsky from early February for a period of two months. In addition, Robert Kazinsky would like to apologise for any offence caused to EastEnders' viewers and for bringing the show into disrepute."
On 18 January 2008, it was announced that the character was to be written out of EastEnders following Kazinsky's decision to quit the soap. The actor said of his decision: "If I had done everything I wanted to do as an actor before I joined EastEnders I would have wanted to stay forever. I have really enjoyed my time with the show - it's such a wonderful place to work and it's become more like a second home to me. I'll be sad to leave." In December 2009, Diederick Santer was asked if anything in the year had not gone as he expected it to. He replied: "[F]or whatever reason, I don't think Sean's exit on New Year's Day was our finest moment. Unusually for EastEnders, we peaked Christmas and New Year with the story and the same bunch of characters and by the time we got to New Year it had rather played out."
In May 2009, Kazinsky revealed that he would return to EastEnders if Roxy was leaving and would be part of her leaving storyline. Talking to Digital Spy he said, "I've always said that whatever happens if Rita ever leaves, I want to be in her exit storyline... I'd love to do that." In 2017, Simons did leave EastEnders, however Kazinsky was not a part of her exit storyline.
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