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Interviews > Darius Perkins

Back in 1985, he was the first actor to play Scott, Jim Robinson's youngest son, and this year, he returned to Neighbours as mystery man Marty Kranic, one of the suspects in Robbo Slade's hit-and-run. Here, actor Darius Perkins takes a little time out to answer some questions for us...

Can you tell us a little about how you first got into acting?
I first started acting in grade 1 at primary school. Val Lehman (Bea Smith) of Prisoner fame was my drama teacher and she was truly inspirational.

You first appeared in Neighbours back in 1985, playing Scott Robinson. What was it like to work on the show during its first year?
The first year of Neighbours was extremely hectic but also a lot of fun. The cast and crew were fantastic, including my father who designed the show.

What are your memories of working with the late Anne Haddy?
I loved Anne Haddy. She was a real trooper and a wealth of advice and experience.

Did you ever imagine, back then, that the show would still be around nearly 30 years later?
When I was first offered the part I was told that it may not even go to air. You can't imagine how surprised I am that it is the longest-running show in Australian TV history.

You left Neighbours after its first season, before it moved to Channel Ten. How did your departure come about?
When Neighbours was axed at Channel 7, my contract became null and void so I was no longer under any obligation to go to 10. They wanted me to stay but at the time I had other plans. The rest is history.

Where did your acting career take you after that first stint with Neighbours?
I worked on Home and Away for three months, I did some theatre and parts on a few assorted shows including Skirts, Ratbag Heroes, Flying Doctors and High Flyers. I then went on to Art Direct two Bollywood films shot in Australia.

You returned in 2013 as guest character Marty Kranic how did that come about? Did you audition, or were you offered the role based on your previous connection to the show?
I had won a Logie award in 1983 for my role in All the Rivers Run, of which Alan Hardy was the producer. I have always had a lot of respect for him so when I heard that he was now the producer on Neighbours I was very curious and had to give him a call. He organised me an audition and I am forever grateful.

Were you surprised to find yourself working on Neighbours again, after so many years?
I had to call about five times, so no I wasn't that surprised!

Did you enjoy playing Marty? How would you describe him?
I love playing Marty. He is quite complex. He is extremely ruthless but deep down there are the ruins of a once good heart.

How had things changed on-set in your 28 years away?
The shooting process is much the same, but faster. However the schedules and the contact side of things is mostly online. On my first day back I walked into the building and our sound engineer from Channel 7 looked at me and said "Hi Darius. Don't you dare think I`ve been here for thirty years - I`ve just come back too!"

What was it like to work alongside Stefan Dennis again?
Stefan has been fantastic to me, and it has been a very real pleasure to work with him again (he`s my bro).

Have you even been a Neighbours viewer?
I'm more of a science fiction, suspense thriller kind of guy but I have kept my eye on Neighbours every now and then over these many years.

Would you ever return as Marty if the opportunity arose?
I'm not sure how much I'm alllowed to say about that at the moment - keep watching!

What's next for you?
Doing the show again has made me realise just how much I love acting. So I`ll work on creating further opportunities to play more roles.

Finally, as it approaches 30 years on Australian television, what do you think is the secret to Neighbours' success?
I think that in this crazy world, we sometimes need a simpler and a sunnier place to go, and for many that has been Ramsay Street.

Interview by Steve. Added on 11th October 2013