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Reference > Erinsborough News > Could This Be Neighbours' Jane?

Annie Jones confesses that she isn’t at all like her goody-goody Neighbours character.

Is Neighbours star Annie Jones really as nice as the super-sweet Jane she plays in the Aussie soap?

The beautiful blonde with bewitching grey-green eyes confesses “not really”. She says: “Jane’s a real goody-goody. Sweet, innocent and honest. She never smokes or drinks or swears. She’s not a bit like me. I get angry and I get mad because I’m a real normal human being!”

But Annie thinks all those nice and normal characters are the reason Neighbours is such a success.

Dallas and Dynasty are about people with problems who are very rich,” she says. “EastEnders and Coronation Street are about people with problems who are very poor. Neighbours has been a success because it’s about ordinary people who get on with life.”

Annie was born Annika Jasko. But her Hungarian parents decided to Anglicize their names. So she became Annie and they changed from Erszbet and Pishto to Elizabeth and Steve. Annie speaks Hungarian and didn’t learn English until she started school. “My parents left Hungary 35 years ago but they still speak fondly of the place. I would love to see what it’s like.”

Annie’s childhood ambition was to be an archaeologist. “My father’s an opal miner and I loved digging around in the dirt in places you’ve never heard of like Coober Pedy and Andamooka. I found a lot of fossils which are now in museums, although I kept one particularly beautiful shell,” she says.

But after a stint of teenage modelling she was spotted by a film producer who gave her the lead role in the movie Run Chrissie Run. Annie says: “I didn’t study drama or do any school plays although I’ve always been a good mimic. But even though I had no experience they wanted a little blonde 16-year-old for the part and I fitted the bill.”

After that, she was bitten by the acting bug. “I kind of fell in love with it,” she says. “I thought it was so glamorous. Now I know it’s darned hard work.”

The Neighbours schedule is rigorous. She gets up at 5am to be on set by 6.45am and doesn’t finish until 7.30pm – five days a week. “It’s very tiring but we’re producing two-and-a-half hours of TV every week.”

Annie unwinds by getting out of the big city at weekend. “I don’t like nightclubs, they make me nauseous. I prefer going fishing with my boyfriend.” Ask her about the man in her life and she suddenly goes quiet. Annie says: “He works behind the screen in the TV industry – no, not on Neighbours. We’ve been together four years. He wants to remain anonymous and I respect that.”

After her break in Run Chrissie Run, she started in TV’s The Henderson Kids and Sons And Daughters before joining Neighbours two-and-a-half years ago as Plain Jane Harris. In episodes yet to be seen in New Zealand, plain Jane blossoms into a beauty. Viewers saw a glimpse of her potential when Jane recently dressed up for a school dance. Producer Mark Callan explained the reason for the change.

“Once Kylie flew the coop we were forced to take another look at Mrs Mangel’s rather stodgy grand-daughter,” he says.

But Annie is furious over claims that she had turned into a Kylie Minogue clone. She doesn’t want to be a pop star. She would like to do another film and get her teeth into a “really meaty part”.

But then she might just give it all up and become an archaeologist…

This article originally appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly magazine, dated October 16th 1988, and was written by Keith Richmond

Article submitted by Steve


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