Will Griggs Christian Clark
Sebastian Barnes (alias Will Griggs) 2006-2007
Lived: 30 Ramsay Street
Born: c. 1983/'84
Parents: Clifford and Pamela Barnes
Siblings: Oliver (adoptive)
Family Tree: Barnes
Occupation: Barman, Hotelier, Part-Owner of Lassiter's Hotel
When Ned Parker was looking to fill the rooms at number 30 Ramsay Street with new tenants, one of the applicants was the quiet drifter Will Griggs. Will claimed that he’d been backpacking around the world for several years, but had decided to settle down, though, when questioned further by Ned’s girlfriend, Katya Kinski, Will clammed up or directed the questions back on his interviewers. Despite the mystery, Katya decided to give him a chance and offered him a room, though, when another applicant, Rosetta Cammeniti, arrived, Will was given the tiny box room so that Rosie could also move in.
Although Rosie, as well as the other new female in the house, Pepper Steiger, were happy to have Will around, Frazer Yeats, who had also moved in, pretending to be Pepper’s fiancé, wasn’t quite so sure. Upon first meeting Will in the Scarlet Bar, Frazer commented on his expensive watch, which Will claimed was just a cheap fake, before quickly walking away. Unbeknownst to his new housemates, Will was also being followed by mysterious benefactor Alan Napier, who sent him money and stopped him in the street one day to hand him the keys to a house in Eden Hills. Although Will visited the house, alone, and was moved to find photos and objects from his childhood, he decided not to stay and left with just an old teddy bear, a can on condensed milk and a ring. Seemingly desperate to get away from his past, Will managed to get himself a job at the bar, after stepping in and covering for underage Janae Hoyland, who had been running the bar due to a family crisis and was about to be caught by the police.
Meanwhile, inexperienced Rosie was struggling to hide her growing feelings for Will and, desperate to avoid dealing with them, she instead pushed him towards her sister, Carmella, who lived across the street. Carmella, a former nun, had recently taken time out of the convent to reassess her life, but was strongly attracted to Will and agreed to go on a date with him. She was impressed when he took her to the theatre and managed to get them backstage, claiming to have contacts from an old job there, before surprising her with a picnic and some stargazing by the lake. Although the night finished with a kiss, Carmella refused to take things any further, as breaking her vow of chastity would mean that she couldn’t return to the convent. Things then took a dramatic turn on the evening of the second date, when Carmella, with Rosie’s help, was busy planning an Italian feast, cooked at number 30, then served up at number 24, where Carmella had been lodging with Harold Bishop.
As Rosie left to do some work at the office and Will went to collect some wine for the date from the Scarlet Bar, Carmella spotted her mentally unstable cousin, Teresa, loitering outside number 24, and wearing the uniform Carmella used for her part-time job as a hospital orderly. A scuffle followed, and Teresa ran into number 30, where she told Carmella that Harold’s granddaughter, Sky, was in labour and she had to go to the hospital and get her baby. When Carmella tried to stop her, Teresa throw some boiling water from the stove in her face and ran off. Having been disappointed to find number 24 empty and in darkness, Will returned home, only to find Carmella on the ground in agony. He then rushed her to the hospital, which Teresa had managed to set light to and, in the chaos, Sky’s newborn baby, Kerry, went missing. The following morning, Carmella revealed to the police that she had known something like this would happen – Teresa had been mentally unbalanced ever since she gave her baby up for adoption and it later died. What Carmella didn’t reveal was that she had been the one to give away Teresa’s baby, selling it for $100,000 and, fearful of what Will would think of her if he found out the truth, she told him that she couldn’t see him again.
Will, however, promised to stand by Carmella during her recovery, but was shocked when she decided not to have plastic surgery to fix the scar on her face, feeling that it was God’s way of punishing her for selling her cousin’s baby. It wasn’t until Paul Robinson, who had lost a leg the year before, told her to stop feeling sorry for herself and have the operation, that she changed her mind. It quickly became evident that Paul also recognised Will from somewhere, eventually placing him as Sebastian Barnes, son of hoteliers Clifford and Pamela Barnes and heir to their fortune. Following their deaths, Sebastian and his brother, Oliver, had inherited everything, but Oliver, not interested in the money, had taken off travelling. Sebastian had then adopted Oliver’s carefree persona, changed his name to Will and made a new life in Erinsborough. Will explained that he was desperate to keep this information from Carmella and lead a normal life, as he didn’t want her to love him for his money. With Will owning a 2% share of Lassiter’s – and the only thing separating the other shareholders, Paul and the Timmins family – Paul proceeded to blackmail Will into voting with him in any board decisions.
As Will tried harder and harder to stop his past from catching up with him, he was forced to continue lying to Carmella. He lied that his father was an accountant in the city and even paid family friend Selma Atkins to pretend to be his mum. Although this briefly made Carmella think that her boyfriend was just a normal guy, she then spotted Will paying Selma and confronted him. He explained that she had loaned him the money to pay the bond on number 30, but Carmella’s doubts about the relationship were starting to take over. Backed into a corner, Will took Carmella out to dinner and told her the truth, but, having been spun so many stories already, she failed to believe him, and he was forced to take her to one of the hotels he owned, in order to prove it all. Relieved to finally know the truth, Carmella told Will that she would have loved him, rich or poor, but the trust between them had been destroyed. As Paul’s daughter, Elle, tried to get Will and Carmella back together, she realised that he was the mysterious Mr 2%. With Oliver on his way to Erinsborough and his lies about to be exposed to everyone, Will decided that he had only one option left, and he disappeared from Erinsborough for good.
Six months later, Will, now once again going by the name of Sebastian, learnt that Oliver had been adopted by their parents, and Alan Napier was his grandfather. Following Sebastian's disappearance, Oliver had successfully managed to win back the hotel empire that his brother had inherited, but Sebastian decided to fight this, since he was the only biological son of Clifford and Pamela. Though Oliver attempted to fight back, he had little legal ground to stand on, and so accepted when Sebastian offered, through his lawyer Tim Collins, a settlement of $100,000 if Oliver simply walked away and gave up the fight. Though Oliver agreed to this, he told lawyer Toadie that he needed the money, but wasn't about to give up his inheritance just yet. However, the decision was taken out of his hands when Oliver's newly-found brother Declan was kidnapped. The kidnappers were using both Oliver and Declan to get revenge on Paul, who was now dating Oliver's biological mother, Rebecca Napier, and were demanding $500,000 for Declan's safe return. Though he still had the $100,000, Oliver knew that Sebastian was the only person he could get the extra $400,000 from at such short notice. Oliver met with Tim, who explained that Sebastian would have the money transferred, but only if Oliver signed a document agreeing not to fight for the inheritence. Realising that he had little other option, Oliver signed away his future, leaving Elle and Sebastian as owners of Lassiter's hotel.
• Although Will was added to the opening titles sequence, he was not added to the regular cast credits list at the end of episodes
• Click here to read our interview with Christian Clark
Episode 5074: Frazer, Pepper, Rosetta and Will's Arrivals
Episode 5132: Will's Departure
Biography by Steve