Ashleigh Brewer says goodbye to Erinsborough

As seen recently on Australian screens, after five years playing Kate Ramsay, Ashleigh Brewer has bowed out of the show. Find out what she really thinks about Brennan moving on, her loyal fans and Kate’s shocking exit.

When was it that first you realised you wanted to become an actor, and from that point, what did you do moving forward to achieve your dream? It was always just in me. Ever since I was a kid I just was always performing. I know it’s a bit of a cliché and it’s what every actor says, but I would put on plays for my family and it was juts something I really wanted to do. In year 5 or 6 my drama teacher said to my mum, “Oh you should think about putting this little one into a class outside of school, because she’s quite good,”. And my mum was all like “oh no, I don’t think that’s the right thing.” So my drama teacher ended up enrolling me in a course outside of school, when I was 12…with my mum’s permission. And from then on the rest is history. I ended up meeting my agent in that class as he was the teacher at the time - it really all just worked out!

What’s been one of your favourite parts about being on Neighbours?

I think the best thing is that I came in young. I was never trying to fight the system. I didn’t know anything else but this place. So I think the best thing about being here was that I started so young and when you’re young you just want to make friends and make the experience so good. I’ve never really let go of that. You’ve got all of your friends here everyday. So I think that’s the best thing, you see these people every day and it’s not like a normal office job…you’re allowed to form the close connections.

What was your reaction when you first read the script for your departure scene? Was it what you expected?

Often I would read blocks, and for me, when I know the characters so well now, it’s rare that I’d read a script and it’d be a page turner…but with this one, I wanted to know what was happening. I loved reading it because I could tell how much care went into it and it just made me really happy. I was overwhelmed by the effort that had gone into it. It’s really intense. The cool thing is a lot of people will leave, and they’ll have a crazy story line because they’re trying to get out. But with mine, Kate’s just so happy. And I for me, I love playing Kate’s positive side, because she can be so bright and happy and she’s been down for so long…it’s like finally she’s back on track. It was nice to be a happy positive character again and be like this juxtaposition for what actually ends up happening. I loved the proposal scene…it was just so beautiful. I was like “I would love to be proposed to like that!” … It was just so cute.

With Kate out of the scene, and Brennan sticking around Erinsborough, do you want him to find love again?

No! I do not want him to find love again. Well…if he does it has to at least be months down the track…definitely not immediately. But I’m really weirdly possessive…not in real life, just over Kate’s boyfriends. Even with Kyle. The second I see him onscreen with Georgia when I’m in the greenroom…I’m just like “Ummm…what the hell?!” What are they doing? So for some reason I really care about the men in Kate’s life. So no I definitely don’t want him to find someone else…I want him to be miserable. (laughs).

I can’t imagine Brennan with anybody else…but how did you feel when Sienna came back?

Well, I was jealous. Mainly because she’s stunning and skinny and amazing! No, she’s beautiful. But yeah, for Kate I was immensely jealous. the first time I’d really seen Kate’s jealous side, which was really fun to play.

What is the most difficult part about being an actor?

I think the most difficult part is learning to trust your decisions. Well, for me as an actor that’s been the most challenging part. Just committing to an idea and knowing that was enough. In my early years I sort of always wanted people to just tell me how to do it. But as a creative person, you can’t really be like that. Or I would want somebody to tell me I did it well. But just learning to accept that the way you did it was right for you at that time – that’s very hard. So that’s my biggest thing.

There’s been a mixed reaction to Kate’s departure, some fans are really happy for you that you’re taking the next step in your career, and others are devastated…

I’m so sorry that I’ve ignited such an upset…It’s nothing personal. Basically, even though people are voicing their disappointment in me, for me it’s still such a lovely validation that they’ve appreciated me and my character on the show. But there will be other characters! I promise!

What’s next for Ash Brewer?Well, basically I need some time to myself. I went straight from school, to obviously this as a full time job. So I’ve never really even had time to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Which is probably stupid…I’m heading over to LA to do pilot season, so that’s obviously my initial focus for the early part of 2014. But after that, if it’s not successful, I’d really like to just travel a bit and be by myself.