Maria Thattil is joining the cast of Neighbours in 2024!
The Australian presenter, author, speaker and now actor will be portraying the role of Amira Devkar, Haz’s older sister.
The news was announced this morning via Instagram, with both Maria and the Neighbours account sharing the exciting news.
Maria expressed her gratitude at having landed the role of Amira, writing: “I couldn’t be more proud to join the beautiful Neighbours cast at a time when the show is evolving to tell even more Australian stories. Imagining 10 year old me turning on the telly to see herself is pretty surreal … even more so because I can’t remember ever seeing a gay female South Asian character on an Australian TV show. Can you? Grateful to @neighbours & @channel10au for the honour of being authentic representation of what we’ve been missing. And to do it with a bang 💭💥”.
Neighbours also shared their excitement to have Maria joining the cast, saying, “We’re delighted to announce that Maria Thattil will be joining the cast next year in the guest role of Haz’s big sister! But just why she turns up suddenly at Harold’s is yet to be revealed 👀”.
While Maria hasn’t delved into the world of acting before, she’s no stranger to the camera after shooting to fame as Miss Universe Australia in 2020, later starring on various reality television programs including RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia in 2022. She was her most authentic self while presenting a TED Talk speech in 2023.
She did however have a one episode premiere on the series Mother and Son which features Denise Scott and Matt Okine, did this inspire her acting career?
In speaking with Channel 10, Maria revealed her character Amira is “coming in with a bang!”
“It’s a pretty surreal thing to get to play a queer woman of colour on one of the most iconic shows in Australia, as seeing that representation was unheard of when I was growing up. I couldn’t be prouder to join the Neighbours cast and I can’t wait to stir up a little fun,” she commented.
Maria’s role of Amira Devkar is the older and sometimes bossy sister of Haz Devkar. It’s expected to be an emotional reunion for the siblings who have had challenges with their strict parents. However, despite having her brother’s best interests at heart, not everyone on Ramsay Street is thrilled with Amira’s arrival.