Fresh from the set of Neighbours, setting herself up in LA, Olympia Valance was happily adjusting to her new American life. That is, until the 25-year-old got the call about brand-new show Playing for Keeps, as she exclusively reveals to OK!...
The brunette beauty jumped on a plane back home and is now filming what she thinks will be "the next big show in Australia."
The new Channel 10 drama follows a group of AFL WAGS, with Olympia starring as Tahlia – a socialite engaged to an AFL captain, played by Home and Away alum Jackson Gallagher.
Here, she tells OK! all about her new gig…
Congratulations on the new show! What drew you to the role?
It's a very fascinating world and we are really digging deep into behind-the-scenes, which is really fun! I've been living in LA, and I was sent the script and I was like "OMG, I have to play this character – it was meant for me!"
So when I auditioned, I just gave it my all. It's witty, funny and revolves around five females and delves into all of their relationships. It's nice to be on a show that revolves around inspirational women, written by women for women – but guys will love it, too.
So tell us what you got up to in LA...
I finished Neighbours late last year and was going to take a year off because I had been on Neighbours for just over four years; a big stint. So I said, "I'm going to take a year off and go set up in LA to see if I even like it, and see if I want to live there."
I wasn't even auditioning much, I was just living. It was nice having so much time during the day to just go for a walk; I hadn't had that for so many years. But when this job came along, I was like, "S--t, I have got to do this!" I will go straight back after we finish filming.
To work or to just enjoy LA?
I'm just going with the flow at the moment. When you're fully relaxed, you're not worrying about the next step – everything comes to you.
Tell us about your character, Tahlia.
Tahlia's built an empire in her own right. She is a model and an entrepreneur – she has fragrance lines! But she's also a social climber.
In the beginning, we see more of a stereotype and then we delve deeper. I was out with Jonathan Brown [former Brisbane Lions player] and Kylie Brown last night, and I was like, "OMG, I am literally playing you, Kylie!" And they are gorgeous, I love them.
Your love interest is played by Jackson Gallagher. You've met before, right?
We worked together a couple of years ago and got along so well! When I got the job it was a secret and he obviously got the job as well, but couldn't say anything. We were talking online and I thought, "This is weird, I haven't spoken to you in two years!" Then I worked it all out. I love him!
And you look so gorgeous together, everyone will be wondering whether life is imitating art…
No comment! [Laughs]
Have you ever dated a footballer in real life?
I actually haven't dated a football player. I've got a lot of footy friends, though. I've always been in long-term relationships, so this is the first time I've been a free lady for a while. I'm constantly travelling, so it makes it hard to properly settle down. I'm heavily focused on work right now.
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