It is a bit rude: viewers and experts have been openly speculating for a long time about the question of when GTSTveteran Jette van der Meij is leaving the soap. The 69-year-old actress herself responds to the rumors.
Jette van der Meij goes in front of the cameras RTL Boulevard addresses the fact that her character Laura Selmhorst learned a season and a half ago that she has Parkinson’s.
This seemed to start a clock regarding Laura’s shelf life in the series. Parkinson’s is an incurable brain disorder that is causing more and more complaints. The chronic illness dominates most of her storylines, but that doesn’t mean she’s about to disappear.
Van der Meij delicately points out that the debilitating disease is a slow process. “Parkinson’s will not go away. But it can last a very long time. For example, there is Michael J. Fox, who has had it since 1990.” That is 33 years, coincidentally also the time that Jette has already been seen as Laura.
That does not alter the fact that Jette will not be left in the cold. “It is intense and confrontational, but I like being able to play and do it.” The consequences of her illness will become more and more noticeable in the near future.
Parkinson’s and the use of medication can have consequences for behavior. Laura will also experience this, as Van der Meij reveals. “The environment will see that Laura is changing. “Some realize that it has to do with the disease, others don’t at all. They think: ‘How strange she is, how stubborn she is?’
Van der Meij believes it is important to portray the course of the disease as realistically as possible and to emphasize that people with Parkinson’s are more than their diagnosis: “That is why we take a long time to deal with it. Because Parkinson’s lasts a long time, not only at Michael J. Fox but also with people in the Netherlands. We consciously take the time to show that life goes on, even with Parkinson’s.”
It is clear that life goes on for Laura: Jette is currently in the Antilles for outdoor recordings GTST.