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Neighbours

EXCLUSIVE: Neighbours’ Rebekah Elmaloglou on her relationship with Stefan Dennis and saying goodbye to the soap

''Stefan and I couldn’t be further from our characters if we tried.''

By Woman's Day team
The love-hate relationship between Terese Willis and Paul Robinson was made completely believable and hilarious due to the wickedly talented Rebekah Elmaloglou and Stefan Dennis.
Speaking exclusively to Woman's Day ahead of the hotly anticipated final ever episode, soap icon Rebekah reveals that while Paul and her are nothing quite like their popular characters, as actors they made it work so perfectly.
After almost a decade, Rebekah, 48, admits she's emotional about the show's end - and has even resorted to swiping a few props from set - but is mostly grateful for everything the iconic show has afforded her.

How did it feel for you all to see so much love for the show as it comes to an end?

Oh, it was amazing. It was so beautiful, the outpouring of love like that, it's just incredible. I mean, the petitions… at one stage I heard that they had bumper stickers with two QR codes, so you could register to sign the petition. I mean, it's just insane.
For me personally, it really has been very helpful in just knowing that it was so loved, so I think it's beautiful.
The actor posed a storm at the 2022 TV WEEK Logies. (Image: Getty)

What does Neighbours mean to you?

Well, a massive chunk of my adult life has been committed to the show, and I have to say that I have loved every second of working on that job, I really have. I've done hundreds and hundreds of jobs in my 40 years.
For me, Neighbours gave me a second chance to fulfil my burning passion for what I love doing.
Fast-paced soap is a very unique style - not a lot of actors can actually do it properly because it is so fast-paced. I just thrive in this environment.

How has it changed you?

I think it's made me appreciate work ethic and professionalism, and what it means to share, be grateful to act on a long-running series. I mean, not many actors get that opportunity.
So, for me, I've pinched myself every day. How grateful I am that I've had 10 years.
Rebekah and Stefan have a lasting friendship. (Image: Getty)

What do you love the most about playing Terese?

The fact that she's quite dynamic. I've always said that she's always been the incredible businesswoman, the power woman that can run an empire but also is a committed family woman and is always involved in the children's storyline and in their lives.
I just love that there's been a lot of angles that I've been able to play with her. I just love all her stuff with Paul, it certainly doesn't get better than that. I'm lucky to have Stefan Dennis to play with.

What is Stefan like to work with?

Where do I start? Stefan and I couldn't be further from our characters if we tried. We are both absolute nutters - we're just nutty, and we're goofy, and we have fun, we get along really well. Neither of us have got executive business bones in our bodies.
Well, Stefan might have a bit more than I have, I don't know! I've actually been really lucky with the partners that I've had in Terese's life, like Damien Richardson, Richard Huggett, Tim Kano, the list goes on. I've been really blessed.
But Stefan and I have a very, very deep connection and I'll really miss him, because we just work. We just really work. The Terese-Paul dynamic, for me, just feels so natural. He's crazy and he's fun and he's silly and he's gorgeous. And he's an absolute delight to work with. I don't think I'll ever, ever find a male co-star again that I work with closely like that.

Have you got a favourite storyline?

Oh look, it's so hard to choose. There's been so many! So many great opportunities in the storylines. The breast cancer storyline was quite special because the opportunity was sort of given to me just after my mum in real life had breast cancer.
And they were sort of a little bit worried, but then they sat me down and talked to me about how I'd feel about doing it so close to Mum having it. And of course, I actually embraced it because the statistics of women getting it are so high, it was an important story to tell. So, I think for me probably, it was that storyline.
"I've always wanted to play an Aussie cop! I love British cop shows." (Image: Ten)

Have you got any idea what you want to do next?

I've always wanted to play an Aussie cop!
I love British cop shows, my husband and I are addicted to Happy Valley with Sarah Lancashire, we love those sorts of shows, so I'd love to play a detective or a cop in one of those types of shows.

Would you consider working on another soap?

Go and work on a soap in the UK, why not?! I don't know which one, they're all amazing. And they've all got such longevity like Home And Away and Neighbours had.
There's quite a few, isn't there? There's EastEnders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale. I mean, it's just amazing. I don't know, whoever would have me really!

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