What can you tell us about your upcoming storylines in Neighbours?

Mavournee Hazel as Piper Willis

Mavournee Hazel as Piper Willis

Piper has taken responsibility for organising Lauren's Hens party, in an attempt to bring them closer together, given that she's going to be marrying Piper's dad. The Hens party has a flying theme, giving the women of Ramsay St an opportunity to get dressed up in a range of flying-themed outfits, some more bizarre than others.

The Hens party also includes a dawn ride in a hot air balloon, which ends up not so great, but you'll have to tune in to find out what happens… And why!

We've got the building romance between Piper and Tyler - will that be something we see a lot of moving forward?

Piper is in the process of rebuilding her friendship with Tyler after the fallout from the Formal and the Divorce Party. Is romance in the air? Who knows? She's very aware that she needs to build a friendship before she can begin a relationship.

Is there anything you see in Piper that you also see in yourself in real life?

Oh, gosh, there are lots of similarities between us and that made it hard when I first started. Fans of the show are very protective of it and you really need to win their trust and respect when you first come in. In the early days, some viewers weren't particularly happy with some of Piper's qualities, and you're thinking to yourself - that's me! Things have really settled into a groove over the last year, though.

Other than that, I think - like Piper - I'm a social commentator, calling it as I see it without a filter (sometimes too much!) I also think - like Piper - I'm happy to spend time alone. And, of course, we both love Doc Martens.

Piper's English teacher Elly Conway has a big grudge against Piper - we know vindication is coming, but can you give us any hints about that?

One of the things I love about Piper is that she listens to her gut and stands up for what she believes.

Piper has tried to explain to the adults that Elly has been bullying her, deliberately marking down her school work and even calling her unpleasant names. Elly has always denied this and the adults up to this point have always taken her word over Piper's. Yet Piper keeps fighting and her resilience eventually gets Susan to think there may be more going on than Elly initially claims.

It's Susan who finally exposes Elly and forces her to apologise.

Piper has been through a lot in her first year on Ramsay Street - the death of her brother and Pops, her parents getting a divorce, etc. - how difficult is it to film these hugely emotional scenes?

Right. What a year! The storylines about Josh's and Doug's passing was hugely draining, but they were also the most rewarding scenes to film as they really pushed me to do my best and test my ability. The Funeral Scene with Josh was horrible to do, but it also didn't feel like acting, because all the cast felt so emotional and melancholy as we knew that Harley Bonner - who played Josh - was leaving the show. So, there was a real authenticity there. Ari Kaplan, who played Imogen couldn't even rehearse the eulogy scene for fear of breaking down.

What has been your favourite storyline to be a part of so far?

Josh's funeral scene, for all the reasons I've just explained; I learned a lot as an actor and as a person. I've also enjoyed some of the storylines that I've got coming up, which I hope you'll also enjoy when you see them.

Can you tell us a little bit about a typical day on the set of Neighbours?

There really is no typical day on set, to be honest. Most of the time I'll work from 7am to 4pm or until we wrap at 6pm.

I'll wake up early, shower, have a coffee, make a smoothie and then head to the studio. Once I arrive I'll be in hair and makeup for about an hour. It doesn't require much as I'm playing a 16-year-old schoolgirl!

Mondays tend to be the most hectic as we'll do rehearsals; pick-ups from any scenes that we have left over from the previous week; location filming and wardrobe fittings.

If I finish early then I'll head to the gym for a workout. Otherwise if I get home on time, I'll watch Neighbours, learn my lines, have dinner and then go to bed, ready for the next day. It's a very 'grandma' lifestyle.

What advice would you give to young talent like yourself hoping to break out into the acting industry?

First and foremost, don't be ashamed to say what you want to do and let people know. Start off by doing any workshops or courses - anything that will allow you to build up material for your show reel. Go out and meet casting directors and start building up your network; pull together a show reel and take this to agents as that's how you get auditions.

What's next for you in the coming months?

Neighbours is on a production break at the moment, which means we stop filming for two weeks to give the cast and crew a break. I'm here in London for the next week and will return to work at the beginning of October. I don't yet know what I'm filming, but I'm sure that the Tyler and Piper storyline will be part of it…

Neighbours, weekdays on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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