> Rob Lobosco
With so many Ramsay Street residents losing their minds in recent years, we've seen a few psychiatric nurses come and go. In 2006, Rob Lobosco played two such nurses, including the infamous Tom Jones. Here, he chats about his time with Neighbours.
Can you tell us a little about your career before your first Neighbours appearance last year?
I have been working as an actor for the past eighteen years, in various guest roles on Australian television - Blue Heelers, FrontLine, Halifax FP - and film - AMY, The Interview. I have also been involved in many theatre productions in Victoria - Tait Theatre and Williamstown Theatre. In 1997 I started up my own touring theatre production RL Productions, and wrote four educational plays which are still touring to Secondary Colleges today. The plays look at body image, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexuality, youth mental illness and a vast array of youth issues. We are looking at taking these plays out of Victoria and maybe even to Secondary Colleges abroad - maybe even England! The past four years have been dedicated to working with an experienced producer and writer to bring the characters from my four education plays into a TV series for youth - The Valley. As well as that I have written another drama play The Long Drive, and a comedy feature film called Groomless Bride. And I am working hard at writing my second cheeky, provocative and sweaty TV series called Workout...
How did your first role as Tom Jones come about? What was it like filming that part, in which you delivered the infamous “It’s not unusual” line?
I auditioned for a role earlier that year and then I got a call saying that I didn't have to re-audition and that I got this guest role. So that was cool! It was great filming this role... funny... and loved delivering that Tom Jones classic song line - "It's not unusual... to be loved by anyone....haha..." I so wanted to sing it during rehearsal and hopefully get to sing it during filming. But I wasn't game enough and besides I take direction very, very well. The director was great...
You returned later in 2006 as another psych nurse, Doug Marshall – were you surprised to be asked back in a different role so quickly? What was that filming experience like?
To be quite honest, when I got the call from my agent, I thought I had been called back to play Tom Jones... I was very shocked to learn that I wasn't! That was fine. I'm an actor and the beauty of acting is we could play many different characters. The secret to acting is never playing yourself and having the ability to change with every character. I think I succeeded - no one thought I was Tom Jones- did they? Hahaha.
Which of your two roles did you prefer?
I would love to go back on and play Tom Jones. Or a character like him. He was funny and quirky. I like to make people laugh so Tom Jones would have to be my favorite, and hopefully the director will allow me to sing "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone... It's not unusual to be loved...."
Were there any actors you particularly enjoyed working with?
Tom Oliver and Ian Smith were great. That is Lou and Harold. They are so good! And so consistent with their characters. Even after so many years they still play the character as it is. It is so funny when I watch the Neighbours re-runs during the day, you just notice how well sustained the Lou and Harold characters have been over the years. It's great! And Carla Bonner [Steph] was great to work with also.
How did it feel to be working alongside such an established cast?
It was great to work alongside an established cast. They have a great sense of timing and are meticulous in their every action. I was fortunate to slip in and perform alongside them and measure up to the talent - and do it well!
Would you ever consider a permanent role in the series, if the opportunity arose?
I would never turn down a role on Neighbours. It is a fantastic show with a hard working team. I like hard work and would enjoy it immensely...
Have you ever been a Neighbours viewer yourself?
I grew up with Neighbours. I try to watch it now, but it is hard as I am either working or rehearsing, etc in the evenings. But I enjoy a good episode every now and then - with a nice cuppa and biscuits hahaha! Oh and I particularly like to watch the work of my mates who are on there too.
Do you ever find yourself running into familiar faces from your Neighbours days, either through work or socially?
All the time. I am very social and love going to different events etc. I am also very good mates with old faces from Neighbours, so it is nice to catch up every so often... I also work alongside two old faces from Neighbours in my educational plays... Gemma Bishop (Kat Riley) and Georgia Bolton (Chrissy Taylor).
What are you up to these days?
I think I answered that one earlier hahaha- I have been touring my educaitonal plays, writing writing writing my TV series and film and working on The Long Drive - a theatre play - which is based on a true story about AIDS. Hopefully that will begin rehearsals mid 2007... Other than that I am auditioning and waiting for my next role - hopefully a Logie award or AFI award winning one. I am also looking at maybe coming abroad to audition for some UK stuff. Working for a show like Heartbeat or Teachers or any other UK Tv series would be great! It could be a BAFTA award winning role!
Finally, as it enters its 23rd season on Australian television, what do you think accounts for the show’s enduring success?
Many reasons but I would say - the hard working team -particularly the writers and creators - would have to be at the top of the list alongside the viewers who relate to the newly created character after character! And of course let's not forget the actors who portray our characters so well! Hahaha!
by Steve. Added on 21st April 2007