Saturday, December 10, 2022

“My most important female friendships are here on this set”: How the leading ladies of Summer Bay are lifting each other up on International Women’s Day

TV WEEK talks a number of motivational stars from Home and Away.

It is a key slot for Australians in the country in the night routines. An escape into a different universe, full of light, sand and plot.

Well, every evening Home and Away is still a valuable TV programme – so it’s no wonder we are looking at the tv stars who put the people we love to life.

Among the many topics of the soap is one purer – the bond between women.

Naturally, over the years, Leah and Irene have persisted with their stalwart companionship to give us warm fumes. And all of us are able to connect to the lovely sisterhood between Jasmine and Willow – full of higher and higher, but simply a representation of unconditional love and encouragement.

You would be glad to hear that these special friendships on-screen are also off-screen.

And what better way than on International Women’s Day to look into the amazing ties between the actresses of Home and Away?

A day to celebrate women’s strength – who have raised us, who raise us and who keep fighting for good gender equality – regardless of the obstacles.

The TV WEEK got in touch with Emily Weir (Mackenzie), Sarah Roberts (Willow) and Courtney Miller (Bella).

There is an inspirational group of people from Summer Bay. (The Commission notes)

 Emily Weir,

Emily: TV WEEK! We will talk to you so happily about March’s best day – what does International Women’s Day mean for you?

Emily: Oh it’s just about me. The connections with other women are the most important and inspiring of my life and the workplace.

Of what I do, I’m very lucky. I was always nurtured and encouraged by all the women I work with on and off the screen – and International Women’s Day is a chance for you to share and enjoy this with people.

Will you tell stories of how you have been influenced by your female cast-mates?

I was so fortunate that my main female friendships have been created. I’m near Sarah Roberts, Sophie Dillman (Ziggy) – I know Sophie from Queensland, actually and we went to act together, so we still were really close.

And of course, the women I love on the set include Georgie Parker (Roo), Emily Symons (Marylin) and Ada Nicodemou (Leah) – simply because of their work attitude and care about their mother.

They are the most competent, diligent and kind women and they can see how they support and hold each other – it is the most inspiring thing. They can see the workplaces float and swirl.

Since I’m a little girl, I’ve been a fan of the show and it was way beyond my dreams to meet them and work closely with them. They are inclusive, strong and smart and pave the way for us young people.

On the set Home and Out, Emily Weir noticed some of her significant female friendships. (The Commission notes)

How would you celebrate International Women’s Day with your female cast-mates?

Many of us that are on set will surely go to lunch or celebrate – and we’re going to all give lovely messages to each other.

We love to celebrate those stuff – possibly cupcakes will even be available in the make-up space!

Tell us about the guys, are they super helpful and elevating?

All of us are one dream team – this is never a male-to-female thing.

Patrick O’Connor (Dean) and Tim Franklin (Colby) were the key actors with whom I started working on the set, and these two men made me feel incredibly relaxed, welcome and nourished. They truly inspired me to do my best. They’re also fantastic Queenslanders fellows!

It’s just only a family atmosphere.

Who is the inspiration of your biggest woman?

My mother, Christine, is the lady in my life who taught me everything I know. I owe it all and I am ever too fortunate to have an unbelievable, confident lady like her.

“It’s a setting for family,” says Emily. (The Commission notes)

Roberts’ Sarah

Week television: Hello, IWD happy! Hello, Sarah happy! What’s it for you every day?

Sarah: This year, Choose To Challenge is the subject of International Women’s Day. Question the identity that culture has embraced, challenge gender labels. Women are so often portrayed as calm, gentle, kind, lovely, girl, wife, mother… But we are more than society’s stereotypes has made us and we will channel it into our wings and fly if we challenge you!

Were you aware that every day 33,000 girls are coerced to become child brides and that 132 million girls are not at school. Why does that happen? This year and beyond, we have the opportunity to question it.

What do your future children want to teach you to be a woman?

I’d like to show my kids how to choose. As a woman, you have choices and the world can become your oyster. You can do everything! You can do everything! You can have everything! You can have everything! Dream BIG. You can be a mother and female and you still have a healthy, prosperous career. In reality, financially stable, more competitive than financially.

Then there are also expectations and goals and goals in addition. Enjoy good optimistic women who know that you deserve this and are encouraging you to get there.

You have such a lovely friendship with your 8-year-old scout Stewart, can you tell us any of your connection?

Scout and I both feel very fortunate to have one another. She’s looking up at me, as I watch her. I teach her things, and she teaches me at the same time. It is a wonderful connection that we never get in our lives and we are both so thankful to share this journey.

Sarah says of her step-daughter Scout: “I teach her stuff and she schools me at the same time.” (image: Instagram) (instagram)

How is it best to be a woman in the film industry and what is the most difficult?

The messiness of being a person, particularly a woman, intrigues me. For me as an actor as we talk about equality, not just the portrayal of races and society, but women.

I vividly recall the failure to watch conflicting women grow up in cinema. There was a severe anxiety that a woman would not be brilliant or attractive in circumstances. In this sector, this can be quite difficult indeed.

The greatest thing, though, is to be a woman in this business and see it flourish, transform and develop, so society begins to realise that all of these feelings and spaces can also be ugly and furious and rageful and possesses. It is also fantastic to see that more and more women have those responsibilities.

As you know that you are a role model for young people, what are the ideals that you aspire to live through?

It’s just that you have a view, I understand you are sticking up for yourself and what you believe in. It’s a gangster, and be kind!

Tell us about your unique connection to your castmates? H&A Sisterhood?

The cast from Home And Away and the crew are always your kin, so we castmates are like sisters! Among the women at work there is a strong sense of unity. At the end of a long shooting schedule we stay together and enjoy winding down girl’s cheeses and wine evenings.

Whose castmates are you nearest to, in particular?

Sam Frost and I’ve played some of my best friends on the phone, which makes life real. She’s such a lovely person. So sweet, careful and funny! It is just an utter joy to be there and knows both my inside and out so that with only a smile she can make me feel better.

Emily Symons and I still have a lunch to plan because I wanted her brain to pick up something, and Ada Nicodemou was there for me last year while I was going through a really dark time in my life. We go for walks and match lattes at least once a week! Zoe Ventoura is my very close friend.

Sam Frost and Sarah Roberts are better on the stage, in the life of reality. Jasmine, Willow forever. (image: Instagram) (instagram)

And the special men who love you in your life, of course?

My father always had the same faith as my mother had in me. He taught me never to give up and I could do anything I thought I could. He was too high averages, an inspiration to me, and he was my number one cheerleader too. I was fortunate that I had such a smart brother for 35 years in my life. While he’s no longer with us physically, I still can hear him cheer me up!

Every day, I learn new stuff from my husband [James Stewart]. We challenge and learn too much about each other. I feel fascinated by growing together with him.

How does Willow inspire you with your H&A character?

It’s such a blessing to be able to dig my teeth into the last three-and-a-half years of playing such a woman’s firecracker. She follows what she wants like a bull at a fence, and is faithful to her family and friends. She has many very good strengths, and I love them, but she is also very vulnerable.

Have you two any resemblances?

I want to think I’ve injected into Willow’s character the power that I possess. I am still very open in my heart and committed to family and friends. For them, I’d do something.

Any H&A female story lines you’re proud of in the recent memory?

I was proud of Zoe Ventoura’s story and I was working with him when Dr. Alex and Willow fell in love.

One of her greatest cheerleaders was Sarah’s late brother Karl, who died sadly after 15 years of fighting brain cancer in October 2019. (image: Instagram) (instagram)

Miller Courtney

Hi Courtney, Hi Courtney, Thank you so much for the TV WEEK talk. Would you like to hear what you are symbolising for International Women’s Day?

Courtney: I have realised that International Women’s Day is so important since I have grown older. For me, this acts as a reminder of the extent of women’s past.

It encourages us to celebrate all the people who have fought for the rights openly shared by most women in the Western world today. It is also a regrettable recall that the freedoms we have not yet shared other women from other cultures.

What do you mean by being a woman and a feminist to educate the next generation of girls?

To me it’s a little blurred to be a feminist. I’m a woman who trusts in herself, I’m my own little feminist, who fights for her own beliefs.

In addition, women are emotional beings who have been sympathisers, peacemakers and caretakers throughout history. I want to tell the next generation of girls that our “feminine” qualities have tremendous potential and that we will succeed. I am my most favourite character, my ability to grasp feelings, has brought me where I am.

Can you think about any novels, television programmes, films or podcasts that you have only read or heard about as a woman?

I’ve been consuming books and podcasts in the last year. I’ve had the challenges as a young woman grow up and have supported me enormously with these opportunities

The dance of wrath by Harriet Lerner – an oldie but a goodie, Something Brene Brown (Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and Dare To Lead). Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given – a superb perspective in the opinions of various women – not the typical dating book and Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller.

I have listened recently to Emily’s Sex Podcast. It provides great understanding of sexuality and gratification both women (for women and men), a subject which is still tinted with guilt.

The letter of Emily to her teens? “Will you soon be polite?” Be patient. (Image: Are Media Syndication/ TV WEEK)

There look up to you too many young fans of the show. What morality are you trying to embrace?

I try not to be ashamed of sticking up for myself, whether I publicly express my opinion or face someone who has crossed my boundaries in a behaviour. It’s quick some weeks and I’ll ruminate on what I’ve said and done some weeks.

These emotional swings and morale appear to match our menstrual cycles, which means that they are totally natural. I learned to recognise over the years that I need to “hibernate,” sit alone and be kind to myself. This time of winter is as vital as when I have confidence and confidence in my mind.

What are your adolescent words of advice?

You’re going to find yourself soon, be careful.

Who is your life’s most inspiring woman and why?

My mother is my best supporter and friend. We are growing together and helping each other.

My grandmother is my queen, too. She is our 6 grandchildren’s most intelligent, hard-working and loveable grandmother. Thank you Grandma for she has been an example and gave me such a kindly daddy.

Who helped you to raise yourself in your whole career?

One of the few reasons why I am the woman I am today is our acting mentor at Home And Away, Gen Hegney. In this troubled industry, she kept both our hands close and loosened her hold when we had to rise.

I’m grateful that she helped me thrive in this industry and that she helped me become more and more confident women like my psychiatrist.

The girl gang Home And Away looks so special…

Here at Home And Away, I couldn’t request a finer sisterhood. It is my tribe and a board on which I have to provide advice.

We still joke. We never quit laughing, whether we joke with the crew or with each other. Yes, we get in trouble several times.

What are you most women’s co-stars?

During my whole tour, I was with Emily Weir and Sophie Dillman. Lynne McGranger, she is my idol and very special for me…I couldn’t wish for a better gal.

Does Bella mould you in some way for your H&A character?

Bella’s a young girl, strong-minded. Those features in her, I admire. Her “fire” represents the “fire” in me for life.

She taught me, ironically, to “drop off” and talk honestly. She stands with all the young ladies who have suffered tragedy in their lives but still remain firm.

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