It’s a brand new era for Neighbours and as we welcome back some familiar faces, some brand-new ones will be joining the iconic Ramsay Street. The Varga-Murphy family, wives Cara and Remi and their sons JJ and Dex, will be the newest family on the block.
For the past few weeks, Sara has been keeping hush-hush on the news, having moved from Sydney to Melbourne to start working on the new era of Neighbours.
“Not all my friends in Sydney know entirely why I moved so that’s been the hardest thing, picking up my life and not being able to say a proper goodbye… it definitely feels like I pulled a bit of a smoke bomb,” she told 10 Play, laughing.
“But everyone in the Melbourne team has been really welcoming. I’m really excited to be part of Neighbours and Ramsay Street.”
As the newest family to move in, there was a lot of focus on the Varga-Murphys, with Sara calling the first few weeks a “baptism by fire”.
“We jumped right into the deep end,” she added, “it’s been a great way to learn how the whole show works, it’s an absolute beast of a machine and everyone’s just so on top of it. It’s been really good to be part of something that runs so well.
“Our first day was so bizarre. Naomi Rukavina, who plays my wife Remi, and I were just cracking up and laughing all day, pinching ourselves at just how iconic it was to be standing on Ramsay Street and be part of the show.”
While there isn’t much that we know about the Varga-Murphy family yet, so far an official description says that they’re from the other side of the city and that their move to Ramsay Street is initially a temporary change “and it quickly becomes evident there is more to their arrival than meets the eye”.
Keeping things extremely mysterious, Sarah told 10 Play, “Naomi plays my wife Remi, I play Cara and we’ve got two beautiful teenage boys… and I’m a tradie! That’s probably as much as I’m comfortable saying.
“It’s just so refreshing to be part of a really solid, wholesome, nuclear family with queer parents and just to know that that’s going to be blasted out across Australian televisions,” she added. “It’s so reassuring to know that I’m part of a legacy that will hopefully go into people’s homes and make some people feel a little bit less alone.”
Continuing Neighbours’ commitment to representing families of all types, Sara said she was thrilled at being able to star in such a major series, representing the LGBTQIA+ community.
“If I had seen queer women on screen when I was in my teenage years or early 20s, they would have been far less confusing and isolating and way less daunting,” she continued.
“I’m hoping that, by having the Varga-Murphys on a show like Neighbours, we can show that queer families are possible and they can thrive and be really lovely, and they have the same love — and issues — that everybody else has as well.
“I’m really excited to be a part of that representation moving forward and I think Neighbours is one of the shows that does that really well in Australia and I’m happy to be part of that continuing legacy.”
When Neighbours returns later this year, it will be easier than ever for global audiences to catch-up with all their favourite families, and reaching a brand new audience too.
“I’m excited about it going into the UK, my mum is English and so I’m excited about getting to know that fanbase over there,” Sara said, “but also it’s going to the US for the first time on Amazon Freevee so that’ll be really exciting and a new chapter for the Neighbours team.
“My sister’s got a photograph of doing the Neighbours tour - her and her best friend hanging out of the windows of the Neighbours bus on Ramsay Street. So to be actually standing on Ramsay Street myself now is totally surreal.”
Neighbours will continue to be broadcast in Australia on Network 10, its home for over three decades. UK and U.S. audiences can view the series on Amazon Freevee plus Prime Video in Australia and New Zealand seven days following free to air viewing on Network 10.