Home and Away

EXCLUSIVE: Marny Kennedy reveals the surprise connection she shared with her Home And Away character and what it’s really like growing up in the spotlight

''There was a lot to draw from.''

By Stephen Downie
As a former child star, Marny Kennedy would often have parents asking for advice as to whether their children should pursue acting as a career.
Without batting an eye, she'd tell them their kids should go for it. It's a fun career path, so why not give it a try?
These days, she's more circumspect when it comes to career advice.
"In the past five years, my answer to these parents is, 'Is it all they can talk about?'" Marny, 27, tells TV WEEK.
"Is it something they really want? If it's not, I tell them they should do anything else. If there's anything else you love to do, anyone in the right mind should do it.

"For me, my first and greatest love is acting. Sometimes I wish it was anything else. That's the truth of it."
It's strange to realise that Marny, after more than 16 years, is now a veteran of the industry.
She found fame as a youngster as Taylor Fry in children's TV series Mortified. Then came The Saddle Club and A Gurls Wurld, before years later being cast in TV miniseries Hoges, Wentworth and Bite Club.
She's had success, but it hasn't always been easy.
Growing up on screen is difficult, she says, thinking back to trying to balance her final year of school with being on a TV show.
"I was so stressed," she recalls. "At 17, there were so many things going on. My hair was dyed, my skin was breaking out and – not taking my appearance into account – seeing myself as a woman on screen was confronting."
And then there's also the pressure of simply landing a job.
Marny plays Rachael Young, a skydiver who crash landed into Summer Bay Channel Seven
"I've definitely had years where I thought I might walk away [from the industry]," Marny reflects. "In hindsight, I'm so glad I didn't."
If she had, she wouldn't have crash-landed – literally – into Summer Bay. Marny's character Rachel Young is a skydiver who suffered a terrible accident and was rescued by neurosurgeon Dr Christian Green (Ditch Davey). Rachel must wear a stabilising halo brace 24/7 as she recovers from her injury.
What was that halo brace like? It's a question that makes Marny laugh.
"We're very well acquainted now," she says. "At the start, it took about half an hour to assemble and someone who came in and fitted it on me.
"I remember the solemn faces of Laura [Vazquez], our make-up artist, and Ditch, who could see my terror as it was being constructed. But by the end, I had it down to an art and I'm proud that I was able to just flick it on and off.
"I kind of miss it now. [Wearing it] was a good trade-off – normally in Summer Bay, you'd have to accept that you're going to be in a bikini."
Given the role, you might think Marny would be deterred from ever skydiving. Turns out, she's a qualified skydiver with 18 jumps under her parachute.

She took up the sport in 2017 while doing a web series with friend Liv Phyland.
In a coincidence, Marny is also friends with Em Carey, known as "the girl who fell from the sky" after a skydiving accident in Switzerland in 2013 left her badly injured.
"So there was a lot to draw from," Marny says of her role.
One of the first she told she'd landed the part of Rachel was Lincoln Younes, who played Casey Braxton in H&A.
"We met in Los Angeles years ago, and then reconnected at the wedding of Todd Lasance, who I did Bite Club with," Marny explains.
"Growing up, I didn't have many friends in the industry, other than who I was working with, so it's nice to have friends who understand the ins and outs of the industry."

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