Ryder Jackson’s final scenes from Home and Away will play on UK TVs next week.
Ryder leaves Summer Bay to start a new career as a bartender on a cruise ship. He takes advantage of the opportunity because he eventually intends to work as a croupier in the ship’s casino.
Lukas Radovich has played Ryder since 2017, and his final scenes were shot at the end of last year. He discusses his departure from Home and Away, as well as his memories of playing Ryder, in this clip.
Do you think you’ll miss playing Ryder?
“Yes, I’ll miss portraying him because I’ll miss the set’s environment and the people with whom I’ve worked. However, I believe it was time to let go of the character, as Ryder had completed a number of storylines and it felt like the perfect moment.”
Have you ever had a favourite storyline?
“Cameron Daddo, who played my father, starred in it. That was a plot in which I had a lot of say, and it was almost like a workshop where the idea for the long-lost father came from myself and the chief writer.
“It was the ideal chance for her because she’d been thinking about it for a while. It was fantastic to work with Cameron, and I felt the narrative was fantastic, with gritty passages that Georgie Parker [who plays Roo] and I were able to accomplish. It was the most satisfying storyline I’d ever worked on.”
Which narrative was the most difficult to follow?
“It was the coffin stunt, as the days on set were really demanding. I’m also learning to surf because I’m not good at it! Even after a few lessons, the outcomes were dismal. I’m pleased that plot was short-lived.”
What are your thoughts on Ryder having such a happy ending?
“I consider myself quite fortunate that the character was able to have a happy ending, since many characters do not. It was satisfying to be able to bid the character farewell. It provided me, as an actor, a sense of finality for both the character and the individuals I’d have to work with.”
Could you tell us a little bit about the concluding scenes?
“Ryder receives a call from his mother, who informs him of this job possibility. He just has around 24 hours to make a choice. He follows his instincts and realises that this is the best course of action.
“Ryder makes his choice and departs the following day. It everything happens very rapidly, but I believe Ryder has been preparing for this for quite some time.”
On Ryder’s leave plot, did you work with the writers?
“Although there wasn’t much collaboration, I was told ahead of time that there would be a casino storyline, and that’s how Ryder departs the Bay.
“I also had a hunch things would go that way because, in all of the plots, Ryder’s work has always been a major part of his life, and I couldn’t imagine him abandoning it. It would be absurd for the character to do so.”
What was it like to be a member of the Stewart clan?
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with the folks I’ve had the opportunity to work with. If you’re a Stewart, you can rest assured that you’ll never be killed off! That level of security is pretty appealing. It’s difficult to put into words just how legendary the character is. It was a fantastic opportunity to become a member of the family.”
Was it difficult to film your farewell scenes?
“Because I’d been working so hard, I hadn’t had much time to consider how emotional they’d be. However, Courtney Miller [who plays Bella] and Georgie Parker had a few moments.
“There will be a scenario on broadcast in which Ryder is driving away in his car and Bella comes out, and we say our final goodbyes. Because we were hiding from it, the filmmaker wasn’t getting the correct reactions from us.
“He sat us down and said, “This is the last time you’ll see each other,” referring to Lukas and Courtney rather than Bella and Ryder, and that’s when things got emotional.
“It took a while, but once we were in the moment, it became clear that it was going to be an extremely emotional scene,” she says.
Isn’t it great that Ryder hasn’t been killed off yet? Would you like to come back at a later date?
“I appreciate that the door is always open, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. In the following few years, anything might happen. We’ll keep the door open – it’ll never be closed – but for now, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.”
What do you want to get the most out of your time on set?
“The community will be the most important factor. I had to give a speech to the cast and crew at the end of my time there, and one of the things I mentioned was how vital the community is, which made me want to be a part of it even more.”
What would you say is the best way to sum up your experience on Home and Away?
“Iconic, all-consuming, exhilarating, enjoyable, and gratifying.”