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EXCLUSIVE: Olympia Valance teases her departure on Neighbours

Olympia has her sights set on Hollywood.

By Rachael Gavin
After almost four years starring in Neighbours, Olympia Valance is ready to fly the nest. The 25-year-old has set her sights on conquering Hollywood.
Olympia follows in the footsteps of Neighbours alumnus Margot Robbie, who has become so successful, she's potentially on her way to winning an Oscar this year. Just like Margot, Olympia started out with natural talent and charisma. Then she added the kind of finesse to her acting that can only come from working on a soap.
But she hasn't done it alone. Olympia (whose sister is previous Neighbours star Holly Valance) has benefited from working alongside acting veterans on the popular soap. And she still seeks advice from her fellow cast members even as she prepares to leave.
Baby Gabe was recently kidnapped but is back in Paige's safe hands.
"I have so much to learn from the incredible people who have been here for quite a long time," she emphasises.
"Jackie Woodburne [who plays Susan] is phenomenal, and I still turn to Kate Kendall [who plays her on-screen mum, Lauren] all the time. She was heavily involved in helping me develop my skills, and has been pushing me from day one."
That advice has helped Olympia tackle some meaty material during her time on the show.
And while there's no word on how Paige will be written out of the show, there's plenty of exciting stuff going on with the character right now. As Mark's (Scott McGregor) girlfriend, Paige is caught up in the aftermath of Hamish's (Sean Taylor) shock death.
It led to her son Gabe being kidnapped by Hamish's ex-lover Louise (Maria Theodorakis) in her attempt to get revenge. Mark has been an emotional wreck since Hamish's death, especially now that his brother Tyler (Travis Burns) has been charged with his murder.
It's meant Mark is pushing Paige away, leaving room for the father of Paige's baby, Jack (Andrew Morley), to get closer to her again. This love triangle has been simmering for months now. It recently escalated into a brawl between Mark and Jack.
Whether Paige is meant to be with Mark or Jack remains to be seen. The one thing that is certain is just how much Paige has blossomed since becoming a mother.
"As an actor playing a character, I've loved exploring this completely different part of her," Olympia reveals. "I don't think Paige saw herself as being maternal until she was pushed into this unexpected situation."

Olympia is tight-lipped as to what lies ahead for Paige.
"I think the fallout from Hamish's death will ripple through the entire Erinsborough community for the first part of the year," she hints.
Paige might not be around for much longer, but Olympia promises there's so much more for fans to look forward to in Neighbours this year, especially the return of Natalie Bassingthwaighte's character, Izzy.
Olympia loves working with Nat, and says the set has been buzzing since she returned.
"Nat is a ray of sunshine, with so much energy and excitement," she smiles. "It's a contagious energy.
"Her character Izzy is just so fantastic as well. I've loved watching the dynamics of Karl [Alan Fletcher] and Susan shift and accommodate her whirlwind nature. Fans are going to love this storyline."
Nat's return shows there's scope for Olympia to one day come back too. In the meantime, we can't wait to see what the rising star's next move will be.
To read the full story, pick up this week's issue of TV WEEK.

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