> Dichen Lachman
As Katya Kinski, Dichen Lachman has been a regular Neighbours cast member since 2005, joining the show as the Australian 2005 series was coming to an end. Katya was involved in some of the biggest storylines of 2006 and fast became a popular addition to the action on Ramsay Street. However, Dichen has now finished filming on the show and Katya's final scenes aired on Australian screens this week. In this exclusive interview, Dichen shares with us some of her experiences...
Can you please give us some background on your career prior to winning the part of Katya Kinski in Neighbours?
I realised I wanted to be an actor when I was 19 and then took the next step by moving to Sydney when I was 20. I did the usual, worked in retail, and at a resturant called Jimmy Licks. I didn't have much luck to begin with but two years later, after many classes and several auditions, I got the part of Beth Ann in Aquamarine, which was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot! Then I was asked to audition for Neighbours, not for a part, it was more of a general and they seemed to like what I did because two weeks later they told me that they were going to write me in.
Do you recall how the role of Katya came about? Your audition, getting the news you had won the role?
I was working at BaySwiss at the time, with my friend, Julia (fantastic girl) and had just taken my parents to the airport and my agent called me and I think I nearly peed in my pants! It was a fantastic moment.
Can you share with us your memories of your first day of work on set and what were your first impressions of working on the show?
I remember thinking 'this is really strange'. It was very weird working with people that I felt I already knew in a strange way. Growing up watching these people, then being in the same room as them, working with them was a bizarre feeling. I was also very nervous because I didn't have much experience and took a while to settle in and get used to all the technical side of things.
Your first appearance on the show conincided with the filming of the 2005 finale. Did this make it a frantic entrance for you?
Everything was kind of frantic. My grandfather, Gus, who was very dear to me, died two weeks after I started. I was moving, a relationship I was in was seeing its final days, in a very ugly fashion, and everything was kind of overwhelming. But in the end, my grandfather had a long and very happy, content life. The relationship should have ended anyway, and I needed the challenge of Neighbours for my own personal growth... So, even though I miss my dear grandfather, I still consider it was a very significant and important part of my life and I am lucky to have experienced it.
What was it like to be working within an already established cast on the show?
Very comforting because it is like joining a family. I loved it! It was one of the best experiences of my life and the friends I made there will be friends forever, especially Caitlin (Rachel Kinski) and Matt (Zeke Kinski), they were my
two shining stars.
How would describe the character of Katya?
She is just a bit lost. Wants to be loved, looking to fit in. Never means to be nasty, deep down she is soft and very vulnerable.
What was it like to be involved in a large storyline, such as the Robert/Cameron Robinson one, so soon after joining the show? Did you enjoy working alongside Adam Hunter?
Yeah, he was great and I felt privileged to be part of that exciting storyline and being able to work with the other actors who were heavly involved in it.
Katya played in a role in the breakdown of one of the shows favourite couples, Steph and Max Hoyland. What did you think of the storyline and what kind of feedback did you receive at the time?
I didn't get much. I thought it was an interesting way to go. I never found out what the audience thought of it... I really enjoyed working with Stephen (Max Hoyland), he was fantastic! I remember a lot of scenes, where I had to
concentrate really hard not to laugh during the take because he was funny. I also remember the camera man, who we call Biggsy, had to stop at one point because the camera was shacking from him laughing so much.
Are there any particular stories or scenes that Katya was involved with that you are most proud of?
The shooting and the work with Ned (Dan O'Connor) at the start of their relationship.
Did you receive any memorable fan mail or have many encounters with fans?
Yes, it is wonderful to get that support from the fans, with out the fans there would be no show. I still have a lot of letters to reply to, but if people go to my myspace I usually respond within a few days.
How did you find the public recognition, at publicity events and in everyday life, after your scenes had first been on air?
It was a rush, but I tried not to think about it too much, I just kept reminding myself that everything is transitory... because it is an amazing feeling being recognised for doing what you love and if you get used to that, and then don't get it anymore it can be demoralizing. But what you have to remember is that the work is really what it should be about.
How does working on show like Neighbours differ from the experience of having worked on a film set?
Very different! Neighbours shoots 25 minutes a day, on a film you might do 4 minutes if you're lucky.
Without giving away too much, do you ever envisage a return to your Ramsay Street role, with Katya returning to Ramsay Street?
We will see ;) But I don't know if they would want her back... it's hard to know these things.
What have you been up to since you finished filming and can you give us a hint as to what's in store for you next?
Well, I'm in LA at the moment doing some classes, but I will be sure to let you know if anything exciting happens ;)
Finally, thank you very much for taking the time to share with your fans.
Thank you! Without you guys there would be nothing. I really mean that. Thank you for watching and writing. I'm off air now (in Australia) so good bye and enjoy the show.
Click here to read a full biography of Katya...
by Darren. Added on 10th February 2007