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Interviews > Kaiya Jones

Spoiler Warning! Please note that this interview contains spoilers!

Kaiya Jones joined Neighbours in 2009, as Sophie, the youngest of the three Ramsay siblings. After growing up on Ramsay Street, Sophie departed for Sydney last year, but it was recently announced that Kaiya would be reprising the role for a story set to air in the coming weeks. Here, we chat to Kaiya about her time with Neighbours, past, present and future...

When you think back on your time with Neighbours, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
What an amazing bunch of people I got the privilege of working with and becoming a family with. They are all so incredibly talented, kind and hardworking.

Can you tell us a little about how you first got into acting, and some of your roles before you joined Neighbours in 2009?
I decided I wanted to be an actor when I was 11 and discussed with my parents how to get into it as I had loved doing acting classes and performing from a young age. I then searched for an acting agent and things took off from there. My first job was Saddle Club series 3 and after that I jumped right onto Neighbours.

Had you ever been a Neighbours fan yourself?
Iím sorry to say I hadnít even watched the show before I began but because I was born in the UK I was very much aware of the show.

Do you remember much about the audition process and how you originally won the part?
Bits and pieces. I remember auditioning with Ash (Kate) and Will (Harry) and running round the room pretending to be playing quidditch. After we finished the final audition I remember thinking that this other girl would get it and was totally overwhelmed with joy when I found out I had gotten the role.

Were you aware of the Ramsay family heritage when you first joined? Did you feel any pressure because of this? Did you ever wish that more was made of Sophie living on her family's street, and in the old Ramsay family home?
I did a little research on my families history and found it very confusing, haha. Not at all, there are clearly some fabulous and famous cast members relating to the family, I donít think I really thought about it too much.

Having joined as a trio of siblings, were you sad to see Will Moore leave after only a year?
Myself, Will and Ash were very much like real siblings, we fought a little but mostly had so much fun together on set. So I was sad to see him go.

Do any of Sophie's storylines stick in your mind ≠ either fondly or because you didn't enjoy them?
The car accident storyline I loved! I have this unusual love for night shoots and we filmed the crash until 3am. I also really enjoyed it because it went for a while and involved a huge emotional rollercoaster which challenged me, in a good way.

Sophie's life revolved around music during much of her time in Erinsborough ≠ is that something you're interested in too?
Yeah, I believe the scriptwriters found out I play guitar and thatís why they wrote about Sophieís passion for music. I myself am a little more contained with my music but itís definitely a fave hobby of mine.

Why did you choose to leave the role after four years as Sophie?
It was just time to move on. I left because I had 2 final years of school left and I wanted to be able to focus more on that and also because I wanted to have time to do my own film projects and other acting jobs.

What was it like to film Sophie's final scenes? Was it made any easier because Jordan Patrick Smith and Valentina Novakovic were going at the same time?
It was a crazy couple of weeks with so many cast leaving at once and this definitely diluted the sadness and nerves of leaving. Filming the last scenes was sad but very exciting at the same time.

Which of your Neighbours co-stars did you particularly enjoy working with?
Everyone! Ashleigh I just loved working with because we bonded as sisters very quickly and I felt very comfortable acting around her. But seriously I cannot narrow it down, I had a blast working with everyone.

It's just been announced that Sophie will be back on screens shortly for a guest stint. How does her return come about? How has Sophie changed in her time away?
Something BIG happens on the street and I said Iíd come back as a guest if it did. I think she has become more comfortable in her own skin being surrounded by like-minded musicians.

Would you ever be interested in returning to the show again if the opportunity arose?
Who knows...

What are your plans now?
To complete school and to continue acting and creating my own films.

And finally, after 29 years on Australian television, what do you think accounts for Neighbours' enduring success?
A highly dedicated, amazing fan base and continuous hard work and passion from all cast and crew.

Interview by Steve. Added on 8th March 2014

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