Nothing bonds strangers quicker than the prospect of danger.
For Home And Away actors Courtney Miller and Tim Franklin, that's precisely what happened during their first scene together, which involved a crossbow – and a whole lotta nerve!
In her role as rebellious teen Bella, who recently reunited with her brother Colby, played by Tim, the 22-year-old actress had to point the weapon directly at her co-star's head.
"Standing in front of Courtney, who is aiming it directly at me and doesn't know how to use it, was quite terrifying!" Tim, 28, tells TV WEEK with a laugh.
Courtney adds that while a safety officer was on standby at all times, the potentially hazardous moment helped the duo become good friends.
"It was a full-on day, but he really calmed my nerves," she says. "We had a good laugh."
As we take time out from our fun photo shoot to sit down and chat with Courtney and Tim, the pair open up about getting to know each other and bringing a new dynamic to Summer Bay.
TV WEEK: Welcome to the cast, Courtney. You must be so excited!
Courtney: Thanks, it's very exciting. I've been in lockdown since June, so I couldn't tell anyone besides my family.
How did it feel for you both to see this storyline come to fruition?
C: It was exciting. But the action scenes were my first day on set, so I dived in the deep end! I was very nervous…
Tim: You didn't show it. Colby has been searching for Bella for ages, so it has been amazing to bring them together. It was a really fun day and I was so jealous of her carrying a crossbow.
C: He wasn't allowed to touch it. And they took it away from me after every take!
Did you know each other beforehand?
T: No, I met Court in the audition room. It was a hard day because everyone [who auditioned] was so good. But she was my pick! Not that I have much influence.
C: They told Tim to walk around the room, and for me to be defensive and fight. It got me really pumped up.
Did she surprise you, Tim?
T: Absolutely. She was really good and made me change the way I was doing things.
Courtney, how have you settled into the cast?
C: Everyone has been so supportive. I was a bit nervous because I wanted to step up and bring justice to my character, but it truly is a family.
What's your friendship like?
C: This guy is very easy to get along with.
T: Pat [O'Connor] and I like to tease her a bit, but she gives it straight back to us. We always say something like, "Hey, freshman, wait till your training wheels are off."
C: Oh, they always make fun of me. But Tim makes me laugh so much.
T: I'm incredibly professional. She's only been on the show six months, give her time. [Laughs]
C: See, there it is!
Who else have you formed a bond with on set?
C: Probably Lukas [Radovich], who plays Ryder. We're a similar age and we connect really well. Emily [Symons], Lynne [McGranger] and Georgie [Parker] have also been such a huge help to me.
What do you guys get up to off set?
T: We often grab coffees and run scripts. We go and check out movies and enjoy critiquing it together.
C: We saw [2018 neo-noir thriller] Bad Times At The El Royale recently.
What have you learnt from each other?
C: Tim has taught me to take life slower and enjoy the moments. He got me into meditation too.
T: If anything, she's taught me the opposite! [Both laugh] But to keep learning. She is an inspiration to do more and I've been working on my own projects as a result.
C: He has really taken me under his wing.
T: If anyone messes with her besides me, they'll get a clip over the proverbial ear!
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