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Interviews > Ryan Moloney

Kent resident James Elliott caught up with Ryan Moloney (better known as Toadfish Rebecchi from Neighbours) in his dressing room at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, where he is currently playing Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella.

Is this your first visit to the UK? Have you seen the sights?
Iíve been here once before but it was only overnight so I just wandered around the cathedral the next day but itís really nice here, I love it. Iíve been to London a couple of times but havenít really done a whole lot in the way of sightseeing.

With a name like Ryan Moloney, could it be you have Irish connections?
Somewhere there, a long way back though Ė no idea where (laughs). [So youíre a true Aussie at heart?] Yeah, well and truly. One of our ancestors was the Roses and they were one of the first free settlers to buy land.

How did you first get into acting, Ryan?
Umm, Iíve been acting since I was eight doing musicals and comedies - there was a musical company that came to our school Ė they wanted to use it as a rehearsal base doing Oliver and they needed kids so asked if we wanted to audition, so thatís what I did Ė it was great fun. [And it went from there to Neighbours?] Yeah. Pretty much!

What would you have done if you hadnít been an actor?
I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but Iím a bit old for it now, I donít think theyíd let me in! (laughs)

What would you definitely not want to do?
Probably work at the sewage farm!

What advice would you give to young people wanting to pursue a career in acting?
Most important, enjoy it, have fun and donít take it too seriously. I donít know what itís like here Ė itís more of an industry and I think thereís more chance to get work. Normally in Australia Iíd say get another job as 90% of actors are out of work so you just do it for fun Ė youíre very lucky to make a living out of it, but I think itís different here.

You certainly have made a living out of it and been a huge part of Neighbours since 1995 Ė what storylines have you enjoyed most?
I actually like the wrestling storyline weíve just done Ė that was heaps of fun, every boyhood dream Ė to be a wrestler. [And the tragic death of Dee Bliss, your on-screen wife?] Oh yeah, off the cliff. That was great Ė I loved that, it gave me an opportunity to sink my teeth into something really decent Ė havenít really had anything like that since! Iím living on the glory days arenít I!

Most viewers can relate to Toadie, his sense of humour and straightforward character Ė how different is Ryan from Toadie?
Weíre fairly similar I dare say, though my sense of humour is far more warped than his. But when heís messing around thatís me seeing what I can get away with. We have a great laugh. [Are you allowed to improvise with the script?] We do that all the time Ė its wonderful and the writers think they wrote it! (laughs)

Who do you get on best with on set?
Blair and Paddy, thatís Connor O'Neill (Patrick Harvey) and Stuart Parker (Blair McDonough) - weíre like brothers.

How long are you written into Neighbours for?
Well, the contractís up for another year and a half - two years or so. At the end of that time Iíll have a crack at something else. I never wanted to be an actor Ė itís just something Iíve always enjoyed but weíll see what happens at the end of Neighbours.

Is panto a refreshing change from Neighbours?
Itís completely different and I love it. Itís a new challenge so Iím really relishing the opportunity to improvise on the stage and learn from the other actors too. Although there are very long stints - sometimes with up to three shows a day, itís great.

Whereís home in Australia?
I come from Melbourne, in the Yarra Ranges.

How do you think Australia compares to here in the UK?
I like being in pretty places like Canterbury but not a concrete jungle. This is a great place to wander around, take it easy and go for a nice walk. [Do you like the buzz of the City of London?] Well I havenít much experience of it yet but from what Iíve seen itís a great place.

Youíre married now. How did you meet?
We met through friends of friends in Sydney Ė she was living there and is actually a Kiwi, and I just travelled back and forth from Melbourne to Sydney every weekend for eight or nine months, before she moved down. [Sheís not an actress?] No, I wouldnít go out with an actor, theyíre insane!

Do you have any brothers or sisters? Have they led your way into acting or did they do something different?
Iíve got one older and one younger, and the younger one is in stand-up comedy.

Your star sign is Sagittarius, which indicates that youíre loyal, ambitious, intellectual and jovial. Would you say thatís about right?
Well there you go! Iíd say thatís roughly about it Ö yeah! Not sounding up myself but that about sums me up! (laughs)

It was a pleasure to meet Ryan, who lives up to his on-screen character for being a thoroughly likeable character with a great sense of humour.

Interview by James Elliott. Added on 17th January 2006