What’s it like being back on the Neighbours set after all these years?
It’s great, kind of a bit weird. I’ve been living in Sydney for the last eighteen years and I moved back down to Melbourne about four years ago. My old band, the Chantoozies, reformed so we’ve been doing gigs and now I’m back on Neighbours. I’m pretty much doing everything that I was doing twenty nine years ago, except for dating the same people! It’s great seeing all these familiar faces. I keep running into the odd person from wardrobe and the camera department and the more I talk to them we remember each other.
Did you always want to pursue a career in acting?
Not when I was really really young, I actually had my sights set on more of an academic pursuit - I was really interested in studying journalism and archaeology. However I always enjoyed singing and when I went and had some singing lessons, upon finishing school, my signing teacher suggested I try acting. The minute I went along and did some acting classes I sort of got bitten by the bug. So I started acting from the age of eighteen onwards.
What was it about the role of Nene that interested you?
Initially I was drawn to that kind of relationship where the daughter is the parent and the mother is the child, that dynamic really interested me. Nene also suffers from a lot of anxiety, a lot of things haven’t gone right in her life and I think people have written her off as being a little unstable. That may well be true, but I think they’ve written her off too early. It’s fun to play someone who’s constantly fighting to overcome an obstacle. The bigger your obstacle is, as an actor, the higher you have to climb to get over it.
Why has Nene returned to Erinsborough?
Nene’s going through a little bit of a bad patch in her life, she’s just come out of a romance that didn’t go her way with a doctor from a hosptial she was working at. She’s also having a few problems with her career so she’s had to leave her job. She’s without a job, without a partner she just felt like getting out of town and by town I mean the small community in the Blue Mountains. She’s seeking the comfort and security of family so she comes to see her daughter and grand son and hopes to start a fresh.
How does Nene feel seeing her daughter again?
She’s feeling delighted to be seeing her daughter and grandson again but she’s a little anxious about that ‘parent child’ dynamic. She also really wants to prove herself to her daughter, there have been many times in the past where Nene’s been quite unstable around Amy. She’s really determined to prove to Amy that she’s in a good spot, she can handle things and that she can be responsible. That she can be a worthwhile part of their lives and not a liability.
Do you there will be much bonding between Sheila and Nene?
I’m not sure because I don’t know anything about Sheila yet, I love Colette Mann though! I said to Colette the other day ‘What type of character is Sheila? Is she a bit antagonistic? Could Nene and her clash?’and she said who knows. It could swing really either way!
Any hints as to what’s coming up for Nene and Amy?
They’re very pleased to see each other, some other people on Ramsay St will help Nene find a job. For the time being everything seems fine but you know Erinsborough, things can turn very quickly!