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Melina: 'I'm the next Margot'

Until '800 Words', Melina Vidler was relatively unknown, but that's all changing...

Not too long ago I was appearing for five seconds in Hungry Jack’s ads,’ laughs Melina Vidler about her speedy rise to stardom courtesy of Channel 7’s top-rating new series 800 Words.
Starring as Shay Turner, the daughter of writer George (played by Erik Omson) who relocates his family to a small but vibrant town in New Zealand after the passing of his wife, couldn’t have been more perfect for Melina.
‘My life keeps getting better and better,’ exclaims the 22-year-old as she sits down to chat with OK! about her Hollywood dreams, blushing over boys and what her dad thinks about her nude scenes…
So, you’re on Australia’s number one drama – the sky’s the limit for you now!
I’m so over the moon!  The show is amazing. When I was filming in New Zealand I’d go in on my days off because I just wanted to be on set. I told them I was there for the free lunches [laughs]! They couldn’t keep me away.
At what age did you know that you wanted to become an actress?
I was 11, and told my best friend what I wanted to do. She’s very honest and told me my chances of becoming an actress were one in a million [laughs]. From there it was planted in my brain, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Did you try out for other roles before landing the part on 800 Words?
I’ve been auditioning since 2013, two or three times a week, plus making tapes to send to the US. I tried out for Home and Away and got close to a Neighbours role that Olympia Valance now has [Paige Smith].
What would be your dream gig?
I really like Margot Robbie, she’s gotten the best roles, and that’s the path I want to take. I’m so jealous of her!
Who would be your ultimate co-star?
Johnny Depp. I’ve always been in awe of him, not just because he’s so beautiful but he’s also so talented. And Daniel Day-Lewis. I would love to see how he works – it would be the most intense, memorable experience.
In 800 Words you play a pretty ballsy teen – what were your teen years like?
Mine were not ballsy at all! I was very much a good girl and I hated getting in trouble, and if I ever did, I would cry to get myself out of it.
Shay has some issues fitting in; did you experience anything like that?
There was some teasing from boys in primary school. I was pretty shy and I sort of fell out on my own for a little bit, but there was a group of friends that brought me in and they’re still my best friends today.
Are you in a relationship at the moment?
I’ve only ever had three serious relationships, but right now I’m happily single. I’m a bit too busy. I’m just enjoying being focused on acting.
You’ve got your on-screen romance with Ike (played by Alex Tarrant), which is quite hot and heavy…
Alex is phenomenal; he is so, so lovely and made me feel so comfortable on set. His lovely girlfriend was one of the make-up artists and she’s a legend as well.
Was she around when you filmed the intimate scenes? Was that awkward?
During those scenes they had as little crew on set as possible. They were extra cautious about making me feel comfortable. I had bits covered up under the covers and Alex calmed me down and I knew he wasn’t judging me. That’s what I worry about – whether someone is judging me or not, especially in that vulnerable environment.
Have your parents given you a call about those scenes?
My parents are so cool and so easy. Dad is such a blokey person and he’d be screaming at the TV, ‘Get off my daughter!’ [laughs] but he actually wouldn’t care.

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