> Cleo Coleman
Early in 2007, Boyd and Janae's short marriage was torn apart by his feelings for Glenn Forrest and here, Cleo Coleman, the actress behind Glenn, shares a few memories on her time on the Neighbours set and her homewrecking character...
What led you into acting and what did you do before Neighbours?
I grew up dancing constantly. Since I was four I was doing ballet. I guess it was a natural progression... and eventually I just got sick of dancing!
How did the audition and casting of Glenn Forrest come about?
I had done a couple of auditions for Neighbours, just like most Melbourne actors, before the role of Glenn Forrest came along. I guess it was just a matter of finding the right role to go for! I was actually really sick on the day of the audition, so I hardly remember it! My nose was probably running all over the place.
Had you been a fan of Neighbours before you got the part?
I used to be when I was younger. I guess it's one of those shows that you grow up with and is always on at dinner time... I have a strong memory of the theme music being on when mum was cooking.... so it still makes me a bit hungry when I hear it!
Any particularly memorable moments on the set?
My most memorable was also my first, when I had to drown... I had to jump into the Yarra River in the middle of winter, and it was FREEZING! I actually couldn't breath, it was so cold!! But there were safety guys perched on either side of the river so it was safe. Still, very memorable moment! I hated it at the time, but it was one of those things that as soon as you finish doing it, you just want to do it again!
What was it like working alongside the well established Neighbours cast?
It was pretty cool sharing a couch with Dr Karl and Lou and Harold actually. They were all really nice to me. They must be so used to seeing new actors coming in all the time with a bewildered look on their face, so they were very welcoming.
Who in particular did you like working with?
I loved working with Eliza Taylor-Cotter (Janae). Although we were actually friends off-set, we loved pretending to hate each other. It was so funny when she slapped me, we kept getting it wrong because we were giggling!
How did you feel about playing “the other woman” in splitting the popular pairing of Boyd and Janae?
It was a bit daunting at first, I didn't want people to hate me... but it was a fun and juicy role. I liked playing a scandalous character.
Kyal Marsh has recently expressed his dislike for Boyd’s affair storyline. Was this apparent to you at the time of filming?
Yeah, we talked about it. I guess he didn't really like the idea of it because he would never do that in real life, he's very sweet natured.
Did you receive any negative feedback from fans who we’re upset about Glenn’s part in Boyd and Janae’s separation?
Nothing serious. Luckily for me, most of the fans I had happened to know the difference between fantasy and reality, and were really nice. Apart from the drunken teenage boys often encountered on a Friday night or something! That's always interesting....
Do you think you’d consider a return to the role of Glenn or perhaps another role in Neighbours?
I'd definitely consider reprising Glenn or playing someone else... Glenn's twin sister!? I have some friends who are new characters to the show at the moment, so it would be cool to be able to hang out with them on a daily basis.
Have you kept in touch with any of the cast?
Yeah, I'm doing a children's show called The Elephant Princess with Damien Bodie who played Dylan on Neighbours. Although we only had one scene together while I was there, he went to my school so we knew each other already. I've been meaning to catch up with Eliza but we're both so busy... it will happen eventually. Eloise Mignon is also an old friend.
What are your plans for the future?
Well the immediate future looks very busy. I'm filming this kid's show at the moment at the same time as rehearsing for a play I'm doing with Patrick Harvey (who played Connor) called Antics. It's for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and is kind of based on Neighbours. That opens in a week!! Then in a few months I'll be heading to LA and London for a while. If all goes well, I may never come home!
Finally, after so many years, what do you think accounts for Neighbours' ongoing success?
They have been really good at recognising what works for them and why they have been successful and they have maintained it. I think it's as simple as that. It's safe, but it works.
Interview by David. Added on 26th April 2008