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Interviews > Ryan Moloney

Ryan Moloney has now been portraying Ramsay Street resident, Jarrod "Toadie" Rebecchi, on Neighbours, for over 12 years. The character of Toadie has gone through many changes during this time; entering the show as a teenager and having endured many different storylines along the way, to now being a lawyer. Here, Ryan shares some of his many memories of working on Neighbours with us.

Firstly, can I begin by saying "Congratulations" on the birth of Erin Grace last November. How has fatherhood been treating you?
It's really good. It's the best thing I've ever done. She is seriously so much fun, just love her. It's really good coming home to her. She is growing so much and is a giant of a baby. She is like the height of a nine month old, and she's only six months. She's giant, huge. Obviously didn't get that off me! (laughs)

For those who don't know about them, can you please explain the NEW Meet the Stars from Melbourne's Famous Street trivia nights?
Yes, firstly, they can expect to see the current cast. They will get to see like Harold, Paul Robinson, Elle Robinson, and see myself as well. Pretty much all the current cast and it costs only $28 usually, but we're actually doing a winter special, which is only $19.95. We're trying to make it accessible to everyone so they can come and come, without having to worry about breaking the budget of the traveller really. At the moment it is really cool, as we get the chance to sit down and have a chat and take photos and it's actually really quite nice. Like how we first started it off and the venue is fantastic, very nice and we have got some pretty cool prizes. We're getting some more on the way too. We have a lot of prizes at the moment.

Had you been a fan or regular Neighbours viewer in the past before joining the show?
No. I never really have and still don't watch a lot of telly. I don't now why. There are shows that I love watching but I just always forget that they are on and just sit down you know. The only thing that I might watch regularly would be boxing on Friday nights. Friday night fights, I just love boxing!

Do you ever watch yourself on Neighbours though? Maybe such as when Dee departed, go back and check your own performance?
Oh yes, for that kind of stuff. Mind you, no I don't usually normally watch. I never really watch but I caught myself on tape the other day, the other week actually. It was like ahh ok. It was good to see because what I was doing and what I thought I was doing, was not what was coming out on the screen. I thought oh, ok I had better pull my finger out and do better work I think! (laughs)

Do you recall how the role of Toadie came about? Your audition and getting the news you had won the role?
I definitely remember the news, but the actual role (Toadie), this wasn't an audition for. No I auditioned for Brett Stark. Yeah, so it was obviously that I didn't fit the nerd category. (laughs) However, the character of Toadie was only supposed to be in the one scene. So, going along they would call and offer another couple and another couple of weeks and then another couple of months and there here we are. The first thing was that Mum got a phone call at home and the first thing she asked was, "is his hair still the same?". At that stage I had grown dreadlocks and so I still wanted him to be in dreadlocks. They were pretty dready! They were pretty knotty! She hung the phone and said you got a role in Neighbours and I was like "wow, great", but "we have got to brush your hair, got to get them out. You've got to get rid of the dreadlocks". So we spent the next two nights, like four hours a night trying to brush them out. It was painful but it certainly worked didn't it?

Can you share your memories of your first day of working on set and what were your first impressions of starting work on the show?
I thought it was weird. I remember being in the Coffee Shop, because it was in the Coffee Shop and it was just hassling Stonie to get him to take him (me) down to the beach and he goes and storms off out of the shop and has a bike accident or something like that. But, yes, I remember there was a very strange vibe. Everybody there knows what they are doing and from an outsiders point of view coming in, it'd be a hard thing to come into. Everybody just knows what they're doing and just get on with it. It just moves so quick and of course everybodys got their own kind of way in which they relate to each other and the banter that happens. It'd be very tough to come in, getting used to something and then out they go.

How would you describe the character of Toadie and what do you think of him?
To be honest, the kind of storylines, at times, the character changes to suit the stories and quite often I find the character being a bit, he's got double standards and he just kind of changes his point of view just to suit the storyline, which I don't really like. In general, he just tends to muck around a lot. Yes, I think he'd be pretty cool. I think he'd kind of be like my brother actually. (laughs)

During the 20th Anniversary episodes, many former cast returned to reprise their various roles. How was it seeing all these familiar faces and working with them again (eg. Andrew Bibby [Lance] and Ian Rawlings [Philip])?
Oh Bibby's awesome and someone I always enjoy playing with. We're really good friends and I see him up in Sydney often. So, it was really good to play with him and just kind of to see people. There were a lot of people that I actually hadn't really worked with before. But, Ian and Bibby were the best ones to come back. It was a shame that Bibby was only there for a short time.

Are there any particular scenes or storylines, involving Toadie, that you have enjoyed filming most?
We were laughing today about when the boys at Number 30 (Daniel McPherson [Joel], Andrew and myself) when we had to do this stuff where they had this bet that they wouldn't wash or shower for something like two weeks or something like that and then they got egged, tomatoed and floured and all that kind of stuff at the Uni. Everyday, when we turned up for work, they would just dump a whole heap of crap on us and our clothes just stank. They were never washed. It was Yuck. It was yuck, you know, getting in there for a 6:45am and then them hot plastering this stuff on you. But, it was so much fun, that was so much fun. We would just wander around and especially in the set, we'd literally just wander around and just throw things at each other, like just throw food. The set never got changed either and it was covered in all this crap. Like we'd be eating pizza and then just throw it at the wall. Stupid stuff like that. Ultimately, it was getting away with what we could but I just loved having a barbeque in the lounge room. That's one of my favourite things to do, barbeque in the lounge room and take my pants off! (laughs)

Do you enjoy it when you get the opportunity to work alonside your on screen family (eg. Angie, Stonie)?
I love it, yeah, I love it when I get to work with those guys. She's [Lesley Baker - Angie] crazy, she's insane. Just like my mother but different. Most amazing woman I've ever met.

How did you find the public recognition that can come with working on Neighbours, doing publicity events and in your everyday life?
I find it alright. I think probably my wife finds it the hardest cos she normally gets ignored. People kind of come up and ask inappropriate things in front of her. You know like "how was it pashing Dee?" and stuff like that. It's like, c'mon my wife's here. You know, just kind of have a bit of sensitivity. But yeah, I don't mind it, it beats working for a living.

Lastly, with Neighbours now screening for over 22 years, what are your thoughts on it's enduring success and the future? Do you think it can go on for another 22 years?
I don't see why not. I really don't see why not. It's going to be changing, it's going to be going back to it's heartland. I'll stay there for a while. I'll stay there as long as they're happy to have me really. You know or if I get sick of it, either one, but that hasn't happened yet. Hopefully it won't happen either! (laughs)

To read a character biography of Toadie, click here...

Interview by Darren