Joining Neighbours in 2013 became an easy decision for Morgana O'Reilly when she realised the name of the character she would be playing. Now Naomi Canning is one of the most intriguing characters on the soap, and here Morgana explains all about upcoming storylines, her passion for acting and her one-woman comedy show!
Has acting always been a passion of yours?
Yes! Since I was about 14. That's when I realised it was what I wanted to do. I kept it as an extra curricular activity, then when into drama school for three years straight after high school. There I found exactly what I was looking for. Something I was good at!
What was it that initially drew you to the role of Naomi Canning in Neighbours?
When the role first came through from my agent, the name stood out first of all. Naomi is my Grandmother's name, and my middle name. I saw it as quite a good sign (you can't help but get a bit superstitious as an actor). When I got the scripts, I really loved how Naomi works on lots of levels at all times. That is extremely satisfying to play as an actor. Lady Macbeth said 'Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't'. That's what Naomi can do.
Can you tell us a bit about a typical day filming the soap?
Painfully waking up around 4:45am and stumbling into the shower. Out the door by 5:20 to drive to work. Start at 6am in wardrobe putting my costume on, then over to makeup for an hour an half, where they do my hair and face and cover a few tattoos. Then it's on to set to shoot some scenes! Some days it could be up to as many as 15 scenes to shoot. That's a big day. Other days you might get a lucky early finish after just one scene.
You're currently involved in a feud with Sheila on the show, what can we expect from that going forward?
You can expect some really good fights! But in the end some better understanding between the two of them.
Will we soon be finding out the identity of mysterious erotica author E.M. Williams?
He he he. Yes!
If you could play anybody else in the world of television who would you pick and why?
Elaine from Seinfeld or Detective Rustin Cohle from True Detective. Because, they're great.
What's your guilty pleasure in regards to TV?
Anything with cooking in it. But I can't watch them for too long, they make me hungry.
You're performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, what can you tell us about your show The Height Of The Eiffel Tower?
Its a one woman comedy/drama about a family in New Zealand. The main character is a mother, Terri, she's always keeping a smile on her dial, but she's also just figuring out her life didn't turn out the way she's hoped. You also meet her kids. Anna-Lousie is 16, pregnant and horrible, Nathan is 13 Awkward and obsessed with facts, Duncan is a 22 year old sleaze and Katie, her eldest is sending letters from aboard, as she gets caught up in fads and fashions and life as a hand model. It'll make you laugh, and maybe cry, but in the end smile.
The show's directed by Abigail Greenwood - what's the experience like working with her?
I love Abigail Greenwood. She is an amazing director. Actors love her, because she's perceptive and charming. She knows when to push and when to let you figure it out yourself. Thatss a truly special quality in a director, especially when you're creating a show with her! We're a great creative team.
What advice do you have for young aspiring actors?
Refuse to do anything else. When no one is giving you work, make your own. There's so many outlets these days, web series, little YouTube clips, podcast, story telling. Just find your thing, and do it.
Neighbours, weekdays, 1.45pm and 5.30pm, Channel 5.
The Height of the Eiffel Tower plays at Assembly Hall, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX from July 31-August 25.
Tagged in Neighbours