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Interviews > Rowena Mohr

Back in 1987, Des Clarke got quite a surprise when he met Sally Wells, the half-sister he'd known nothing about. After six months in Ramsay Street, Sally left for pastures new, while actress Rowena Mohr found herself a new career - and a connection with the Neighbours of today...

Can you tell us a little about what you were doing before you won the role as Sally?
I had been working fairly consistently on a number of TV shows and films - including Starting Out, Carson's Law and Flying Doctors.

You entered Neighbours during the peak of its popularity. How did it feel to enter into such a successful show? Do you remember much about your audition?
The audition is a bit hazy now ;-) but I do remember being a little nervous my first day on set. Everyone was so lovely though - very welcoming and helpful that I soon felt right at home.

Your arrival coincided with the departure of Daphne. Do you know if Sally’s arrival was a deliberate attempt to replace Daph as the female influence in Des’ life?
Possibly - I hadn't really thought about that. I think I was brought in more to be a love interest for Craig McLachlan [Henry] but I guess you could be right too.

What was it like to work so closely with the late Myra De Groot during her final days on the show?
I knew Myra quite well as she was very good friends with my agent before I was cast in Neighbours. I have to say she was a trooper right through to the end - in fact most people had no idea she was even sick. She was very professional and I don't remember her once letting her illness get in the way of her performance.

How would you describe the character of Sally?
Sally was a bit of a control freak really. I think she liked to think she was easy going but she wasn't at all and she didn't cope very well when things didn't go the way she planned. She was good fun to play actually because she did get a bit cranky at times and said what she thought. I think she was probably just trying to compensate for not really having any parents and having to make her own way in the world.

What was your most memorable storyline during your time on the show?
I think for me it was the storyline where Sally finally met her Dad - Malcolm - played by the wonderful Noel Trevarthen. Noel and I had worked together on Carson's Law and it was lovely to do these quite emotional scenes with him knowing him so well.

Were there any other cast members who you particularly enjoyed working with?
We had a lot of fun on set - despite how hard we all worked. Craig McLachlan was hilarious to work with, always finding new ways to entertain us, but I really loved working with Guy Pearce [Mike] and Jason Donovan [Scott] and some of the more experienced actors like Ian Smith [Harold] and Anne Charleston [Madge] too.

What led to your departure from Neighbours after six months as Sally?
I'm not sure, but I think maybe my character didn't fit into the new story lines that were planned - or the writers decided to go in a different direction. Who knows? It was still great fun.

Are you still in touch with any of your old cast-mates?
I do occasionally run into people from the show - especially since I'm still in the business - but we don't really go out and party together or anything. We're all a bit past it now ;-)

Were you a fan of Neighbours before joining, and have you ever watched the show since?
I was a fan of the very early show - particularly Geoff Paine's character Clive Gibbons. And of course I still watch it now - mostly to see my own actors performing. I'm a theatrical agent and I represent quite a few people who've been in the show - Sweeney Young who played Riley Parker and Danielle Horvat who played Taylah Jordan to name a couple.

Do you ever get recognised from your Neighbours role these days?
Not in Australia - but I suspect I would still in the UK.

Would you ever consider a return to the show?
Not as an actor - those days are over!

Where did your acting career take you after leaving Neighbours?
I actually worked in the UK for a couple of years - mostly doing theatre - but when I returned to Australia I decided to change careers and went back to university.

What are you up to these days?
As I mentioned before I work as a theatrical agent and put my own experience as an actor to use in helping young actors on their way in the business. I also write and am just about to publish my second young adult novel.

What do you think is the reason for Neighbours' long running success?
I wish I knew! I think it might have something to do with its accessibility and ordinariness. The characters aren't rich or overly glamorous - they are just ordinary people with ordinary problems. They really are the people living next door. I think people find that kind of reassuring.

Interview by Steve. Added on 30th August 2008