On Sunday, newspapers reported that the actor, who played Hayley Slater in the popular soap and is also known for a leading role in the film Fish Tank, was now working as a security guard at a B&M Bargains store in Romford.
The 28-year-old has now spoken out about the story which made it to the front page of a number of tabloid newspapers over the weekend, calling it "nasty".
Speaking to the Victoria Derbyshire Show on Tuesday, Jarvis said she woke up feeling “ashamed” when she first saw the story and revealed she had done her best to keep her family life as private as possible throughout her acting career.
She added that despite appearing on television and in films she has always had other jobs including working on a doughnut stall, as an administrator and a waitress.
“That’s the life of an actor – I like to be busy and learn new things,” Jarvis said.
The actor continued by praising her colleagues at the B&M Bargains store where she works, calling them “amazing”.
“As long as you’re working, that’s all that matters, no-one should be shamed for what they do,” Jarvis said.
“The way the story was portrayed wasn’t very nice. It was quite nasty – to be made to feel degraded is wrong. Security guards put themselves at risk, there’s a lot goes into it. I feel I need to stand up for working class people.”
In the wake of the tabloid story, a number of celebrities from the soap, television, film and showbiz industries took to Twitter to support Jarvis, revealing that they have also worked other jobs in between acting roles.
“Person gets job so her kids don’t starve?” tweeted actor and comedian Kathy Burke. “Good for her.”
Fellow EastEnders actor Tamzin Outhwaite added: “Yes, I am a landlady, a voice over artist, car boot salesperson, art dealer, up cyclist, interior designer, motivational speaker, and many other jobs... it's what artists do to earn a living. They work in between jobs.”
Similarly, comedian Rufus Hound tweeted: “No job that supports you is beneath you.”
Jarvis admitted that she was overwhelmed by the show of support from people on social media, saying: “I didn’t realise. I’m not on Twitter so didn’t see any of it.
“It’s kept me away from the bad stuff but to hear that was amazing – I am so glad to have their support.”
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