Helen George has praised Call The Midwife for creating strong, female roles and allowing her character to be “more than just the blonde”.
The actress, 34, was cast in the BBC drama when it started in 2012 and said it was an “amazing” opportunity.
She said prior to landing the role of midwife Trixie she had mainly been up for “boring female parts” such as girlfriends and lovers.
Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, she said: “The BBC and the producers took a punt on some unknowns, which was amazing.
“But also what they did was create jobs for some older actresses who hadn’t been seen on TV for quite a while – and they weren’t just playing mothers, wives or victims.
“They were strong, empowered women and definitely, in 2012 when we started, there was very little like that.”
George continued: “For myself as an actress I’d only been up for girlfriends, lovers – boring female parts to be honest.
The actress’s alter ego is known for being glamorous. But George said although that was the first part of Trixie Franklin that viewers saw, her character has been developed further.
“What was brilliant was then the writer delved into her past and really expanded on her character,” she said.
“She became more than just the blonde and more than just the girl who wore nice clothes.”
The drama, about midwives in the East End of London in the 1960s, was created by Heidi Thomas.
Last month it was announced the show has been renewed for two more series.
A ninth series had already been confirmed, and producers have also given series 10 and 11 the green light.