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Interviews > Eliza Taylor-Cotter

SPOILER WARNING: This interview contains spoilers for Australian and UK viewers. To read a spoiler-free version, click here.

James Elliott caught up with Eliza Taylor-Cotter (better known as Janae Timmins from Neighbours) at the Pavilion Theatre in Weymouth, where she has been playing Snow White in this yearís pantomime.

How did you first get into acting Eliza?
I was 10 years old and doing drama classes after school for about 2 weeks when my teacher suggested I go for an audition. It was for one of the lead roles in a kidís series called Pirate Islands. I got the role, got an agent and the rest is history!

What would you have done if you hadnít been an actress?
I actually wanted to be a Marine Biologist! Obscure I know, but I was infatuated with sea life and conservation of the reefs and mammals such as dolphins etc.

What would you definitely not want to do?
I suppose cleaning toilets isnít really appealing to me!

What advice would you give young people who want to pursue a career in acting?
I think itís a really tough industry and you canít go into it if you donít have thick skin. People can be cruel, and rejection is a part of the whole auditioning process which you spend a lot of time doing. But itís incredibly rewarding, and if itís what you want then you just have to believe you can get it.

You've completed filming for Neighbours - what are your plans now?
Well Iíve just finished Snow White in Weymouth which has been such an amazing experience. So now my plan of attack is to travel around England visiting friends and family, and after that Los Angeles to meet agents and producers. Scary stuff!

What storylines did you enjoy most?
I really enjoyed the Boyd and Janae break up! I love the emotional challenges they throw at us, and that was a big one.

How different is Janae Timmins from Eliza Taylor-Cotter?
They are incredibly different people! Janae loves confrontation and I run away from it, Janae likes to show off skin at any given opportunity and I prefer to cover it up and I gave her a really broad Australian accent when I started on the show whereas I donít sound anything like that in real lifeÖ Wow I sound a bit boring compared to Janae actually!

Who do you get on best with on set?
Thatís like asking which one of my children I prefer! I really got along with Ian Smith (Harold) He taught me a lot and has become such a dear friend. I adore him.

Is this your first panto? Is it a refreshing change from Neighbours?
It was my first panto yes. Iíd never seen one before let alone been in one. But I took to it really quickly, the cast were absolutely fantastic and I miss them to bits. It was such a refreshing change to Neighbours, just what I needed in fact. Canít wait to do it again next year!

Whereís home in Australia?
Melbourne.

Do you come from an acting family? Are your sisters and brother also actors?
No and no. My step dad was a stand up comedian in Australia but apart from that my mumís an author and graphic designer and my dad used to own cafes around Melbourne.

Is this your first visit to the UK? Have you seen the sights? What impressed you most?
It is my first time overseas. I havenít really seen much yet but thatís why Iím not going back to Australia straight away.

How do you think Australia compares to here in the UK?
Theyíre just very different places. I love them both though; obviously the weatherís rather different though!

Any romantic attachments?
Not at this point in time no.

What are your interests/passions?
I play guitar and song write, but donít worry Iím not releasing an album any time soon! My songs are just for me, itís a very personal thing. But I do adore it.

Your star sign is Scorpio, which indicates that youíre intuitive, passionate and determined. Would you say thatís about right?
I most certainly am. Determined or just blatantly stubborn thoughÖ HmmÖ itís a toss up.

Interview by James Elliott. Added on 19th January 2008

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