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Interviews > Madison Daniel

Last year, Madison Daniel made her Neighbours debut as bitchy Claudia Howard, who clashed with Sophie Ramsay at her new private school. More recently, she's returned to Erinsborough as the quiet Josie Lamb, who's been doing her best to catch Callum's eye. Here, Madison chats to us about her time working on Neighbours...

Warning! This interview contains spoilers!

Can you tell us a little about how you first got into acting?
Everyone has something that they are just in love with and for me it's always been acting, singing and my guitar. I have always loved the super power of making others, as well as myself, feel certain emotions. How am I supposed to accomplish that without the above? My first proper television role was in fact the role of Claudia Howard in Neighbours in 2012.

What was it like to film that first role as Claudia?
Playing Claudia Howard was such a fun couple of weeks, I enjoyed the character very much. It gave me a taste of what it's like at Neighbours which made it even more exciting when I heard I was coming back!

How did the role of Josie come about? Was it just a typical audition for you?
When I read the character breakdown of Josie Lamb I thought it would be such a great opportunity. I hadn't ever played a role like Josie before but I really liked the character. As I had previously worked on Neighbours I was very hungry for the role of Josie so that I could come back and play some more with a character which is so far from myself. It was quite a big part so I was pretty pumped for the audition.

Josie is very different to Claudia are you enjoying playing her? How would you describe the character?
Yes, I would say Josie and Claudia are quite opposite characters. I am very much loving playing Josie as she's a likeable character and Claudia was nothing but nasty! Josie starts off insecure, lost and unhappy with herself. It's great how the topic of body-image issues and eating disorders is being bought up in the show as it is such a common problem with teenagers today.

How did it feel to join such an established cast?
I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know the cast. Everyone is just so welcoming and beautiful, a dull moment is never had.

Are there any actors on the show that you've particularly enjoyed working with, so far? And any that you haven't worked with much, that you hope to share more scenes with?
I have mostly worked with Morgan (Callum) and Eve (Sonya) which has been a cracker of a time and has also had its challenging moments. I haven't had any scenes with Colette Mann (Sheila), but I would really like to because I just love her character! I also hope to eventually have some scenes with Stefan Dennis (Paul) as trouble is always fun to play with!

Since Josie started to appear, we've learnt a few things about her life - that she has two mums, and that one of them is Detective Ellen Crabb. Would you like to see Josie's home life explored more on screen?
I think it would be fantastic to show more of Josie's home life. It's great how same-sex couples have been brought into the show and it would be really good to see more of Josie's mums. With Detective Ellen Crabb as one of Josie's mums, that has the potential to really spice things up.

Would you like Josie to become a regular character, if the opportunity ever arose?
Oh, definitely! That would be a dream come true. Working on Neighbours has been such a blast, I'm not looking forward to it ending!

What can we expect from Josie in the months to come?
In the months to come you will see that Josie eventually finds her true self and you will see a different side of her. Josie has been quite down lately and her love-life hasn't been going so well but change is just around the corner.

Have you ever been a Neighbours viewer yourself?
Yes! Neighbours was my favourite show when I was younger! And as an actor it's always important to keep up with Australian TV, so I have always been a viewer.

Where would you like your acting career to go from here?
In the future I definitely see myself travelling to the UK and the US seeking opportunities for both acting and singing.

Finally, as it approaches 30 years on Australian television, what do you think is the secret to Neighbours' success?
Neighbours has been such a popular show for so long simply because it is relatable. Neighbours raises awareness to so many issues and the good thing about the show is that it's appropriate for all ages, so it can be watched as a family.

Interview by Steve. Added on 26th October 2013