Main Pages

Actors & Crew
Year by Year
Magic Moments

Message Board

Interviews > Peta Doodson

Last year saw family psychologist Paula Beeman called in to make assessments in the custody battle over Rachel and Zeke Kinski. This week, she's back to help in the fight over young Mickey Gannon and here, actress Peta Doodson chats about her recurring Neighbours role...

Can you tell us a little about your career prior to your first Neighbours appearance as Paula in 2006?
Well, as you know, I had a semi-regular role on Blue Heelers for 10 years, playing Inspector Monica Draper, which was fabulous, plus guests on Stingers, Marshall Law, Wicked Science, some small film roles and a couple of commercials. But I'm also a huge music theatre person having played in 42nd Street, Jesus Christ Superstar and most recently Fiddler On The Roof.

How did the role of Paula come about? Was it just a typical audition for you?
I was very lucky - I was offered the role with no audition - heaven!

Did you enjoy your time playing Paula? What do you remember most about working on the Neighbours set?
I enjoy (hope it's not over) playing Paula very much - it's the first time I've had the chance to play someone "normal" ie not a tough person! I think the most memorable thing for me is how welcoming the regular cast were toward me.

Was there anyone you particularly enjoyed working with during your time on the show?
Jackie Woodburne (Susan) - I did a few scenes with her in my first ep - she's so talented and made me feel like I belonged there.

What was it like to work alongside such an established cast?
Scary! But as I said, they were all very welcoming which made it a lot easier. My director, Tony Osicka, was also wonderful - I trusted him!

You’ve appeared twice now – 18 months apart – as Paula. Is there any chance we might see her back again?
As I said, I hope so, but as a Family Law Court Child Psychologist, we'll need a few more children to run into trouble!! Maybe I could move into adult psychology and help out the rest of the cast - I reckon they could use it!!

Would you ever consider a regular role on Neighbours, if the opportunity arose?

Having appeared in several other Australian dramas, such as Stingers and Blue Heelers, how did Neighbours compare?
Really well - amazing what they can do in the time available - it's fast!

Have you ever been a Neighbours viewer yourself?
No, only in the lead up to a role.

What are you up to these days?
I've been really lucky - I worked on Fiddler for a few months at the beginning of the year, then there was Neighbours and I do regular voice overs. But I'm also a Nurse Unit Manager with a full time job at a fabulous hospital. I have a wonderful, understanding boss who lets me go off and do all these things, so I have the best of both worlds!

Finally, as it enters its 24th season on Australian television, what do you think accounts for the show’s enduring success?
Well, that's the $64,000 question, isn't it - if we knew that, there'd be masses of Australian shows on TV. They certainly stay current and deal with universal issues - it's a good combination.

Interview by Steve. Added on 1st December 2007