Hollywood actor Guy Pearce visits his Neighbours roots to say goodbye as the venerable Australian soap opera ends its 37-year run on television.
The Oscar-winning actor first gained notoriety as Mike Young, a Ramsay Street student, before going on to have a successful career. He most recently co-starred with Kate Winslet in the Sky Atlantic crime drama Mare of Easttown.
He revealed a lot more as he joined other returning Neighbours actors like Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue for the soap opera’s two-episode finale…
What is Guy Pearce’s attitude toward returning to the Neighbours set?
“It was unbelievable! Considering how sentimental I naturally am, I’ve always wanted to revisit Neighbours at some point. Now that the programme is ending, it felt like the perfect opportunity. Fortunately, I was already arranging a vacation back home, so everything just worked. Being a tremendous fan of the programme, Kate Winslet is practically weeping because I’m back. In the past, she was completely smitten with Mike. She was shocked when I told her I was returning.
Do you recall your first day working on the Neighbours set?
“Neighbours” premiered on December 2, 1985, just a few days after my final high school exam, according to Guy. I had to leave my hometown of Geelong when I became 18 in order to work on this television programme. It was quite crazy.
Do you attribute your successful Hollywood career to your time on Neighbours?
There are those occasions in life that truly serve as milestones, says the guy. The confidence I gained from getting the part on Neighbours and the lessons I learned from working on the show are priceless. Never again can I forget that. I always consider myself really fortunate to have been cast at that time.
Did you get a chance to reconnect with your other cast members, such as Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue?
Guy admits: “Actually, Jason and I frequently interact, but we still refer to one another as Scott and Mike, which is kind of sad! So anytime I’m in London, I’ll meet Jason and, if Kylie is there, catch up with her as well. Other people I run into in Melbourne include Stefan Dennis and Annie Jones.
How did you approach the final day of Neighbours filming?
Coming back was a little strange, and I was wondering, “Who is Mike now, and how can I play this guy?” I had to search through my memory bank, but it all came gushing back to me. Interestingly, the producers possessed Mike’s old motorbike gloves, which had been stored in a box since 1987.
On Friday, July 29 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5, Neighbours comes to an end.