On and off screen, Summer Bay’s newest cop is tackling life with all guns blazing.
Kirsty Marillier, a South African-born actress, made her debut in April as police officer Rose Delaney, a half-sister Jasmine (Sam Frost) didn’t know she had, at the same time her first play was being played to sold-out audiences in Sydney.
Her first film, the time-travel drama The Greenhouse, had just released on Netflix a few months prior, in February.
“I’m a playwright as well as an actress,” she explains, “although, perhaps, I’ve been an actor longer as playwriting is still a new venture for me.” “I’d say I’ve been all guns blazing since January, when (the Home And Away cast) returned from our Christmas vacation.”
Marillier won the 2019 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights’ Award for Orange Thrower, an Australian coming-of-age narrative, and the 2020 Max Afford Playwrights’ Award for The Zap, her second play.
“It’s such a gift to have written something and see it come to life while still acting in Australia’s number one drama during the day,” she says, adding that she is grateful she hasn’t had to pick between the two jobs yet.
“I believe I require both of them.” I’m lot more at ease in the acting world, but writing is something I’m very interested in.
“I truly hope to do both of them for the rest of my life.”
Marillier and her family relocated to Perth from South Africa when she was ten years old. While acting has always been a goal of hers, she admits that breaking into the profession from Perth was difficult.
She was admitted into the Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts (Waapa) after three auditions, where she studied with her Home And Away co-star Lukas Radovich, who plays Ryder.
“Once I got into Waapa, everything just started to make sense to me, and I realised, ‘OK, this is the road I’m going to take,'” she says.
Marillier relocated to Sydney after graduation and worked there and in Melbourne for several years, largely on stage.
Her first major television job is on Home And Away, and she is embracing the opportunity to recite words penned by someone else.
“I believe figuring out how to construct a character from the stuff they put down on the page is really a great element of teamwork,” she says. “I’m learning a lot and feel like I’m putting my skills to the greatest possible use.” Every day is such a pleasure to get up, go to work, and act.”
When Rose and her brother Xander (Luke Van Os) arrived in Summer Bay after their father’s death, they caused a ruckus.
Their goal was to track down Jasmine, their father’s little daughter, and pass on a bequest he had made to her. Jasmine gave them a cold welcome at first, but the brother and sister are finally settling into the coastal town.
Marillier adores the role of Rose.
“She’s really dear to my heart, and I understand so much about her,” she says. “She’s a complicated character who genuinely wants to help everyone, especially her brother, Xander.” Rose has the greatest of intentions at all times. She’s devoted to her family and will go to great lengths for them, which I believe is a fantastic quality.”
Even the high number of female officers killed in Summer Bay – Rose’s predecessors Charlie Buckton (Esther Anderson) and Kat Chapman (Pia Miller) were also killed off – hasn’t dampened Marillier’s enthusiasm.
She did confess, though, that it was not a career choice she had contemplated.
“I’m not sure why,” she continues, “but it’s something that’s never occurred to me.”
“However, I’ve begun to seriously consider what that may be like.”
“I believe you must be tenacious, cautious, and keep your wits about you.” As an actor, it’s a really, really exciting position to be.”
While she is fully aware that the drama has served as a stepping stone for many actors on their way to Hollywood glory, she is currently content to be in Summer Bay.
“I think it’s a fantastic environment for young actors.” “It feels like you’re actually working on your acting,” she says.
“I hope to pursue a lot of different things (in the future), but for now, I’m just concentrating on my job and doing the best I can.”