An actress became so involved as she filmed her screen death that her own heart dramatically stopped because of the trauma.
Elaine Rhoades had spent a whole day repeatedly “dying” in her role as a gangster’s mum on her deathbed.
Her character emotionally dishes out advice to her family as they surround her in her final hours.
But early next morning after filming the harrowing scene, she collapsed at home and was rushed to A&E with what doctors told her was “broken heart syndrome” – often suffered by people who experience intense grief and loss in real life.
Mum-of-four Elaine, 53, said: “I was playing a mother who died and I totally got into the zone. It was very intense – I had to say goodbye to my son.
“I have a son around the same age and put myself in that position. It was really emotional.
“I pretty much spent the whole day dying, getting the take right.”
After leaving the set Elaine became unwell.
But it was only the next morning she called an ambulance and was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London.
Doctors there carried out a series of tests and eventually diagnosed her with a “broken heart” – known medically as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Elaine, of Epsom, Surrey, said: “When I left the set I knew something didn’t feel right. I got home and felt as though someone was sitting on me.
“I collapsed the next morning and was rushed to intensive care.
“They later told me my heart had actually stopped beating from the trauma of the day.”
After a course of blood-thinning treatment and five days of round-the-clock care, she was released with a clean bill of health.
It is thought around 6,000 heart attacks in the UK each year could be down to broken heart syndrome.
Elaine, now fully recovered, said: “It’s very odd why it should happen. They said it was like I’d had a major trauma or massive shock. Doctors can’t really explain it.
“They couldn’t understand how this happened and how I survived the first night without being in hospital.
"I’m very lucky. They said I literally could have died from a broken heart.”
Elaine had been filming upcoming Brit-flick C.O.O.L.I.O., in which she appears alongside War Horse’s Geoff Bell and ’Allo ’Allo! star Vicki Michelle.
The movie, due out later this year, also stars Kellie Maloney, who plays herself as boxing promoter Frank.
Her scenes were filmed before she started on sex-change surgery.