Reference > Erinsborough News > Kylie Becomes New Kid On Block
Fresh out of school, another rising young actress joins the Neighbours team
Network 10’s family series Neighbours can claim to be doing its bit to help school-leavers. When the show began 12 months ago, former star Vikki Blanche, who played Julie Robinson, began filming only weeks after learning she had passed her Higher School Certificate examinations.
Then, late last year, three more cast members were taken on fresh out of school. Jason Donovan (who took over the role of Scott Robinson), Guy Pearce (who plays Mike Young) and Charlene Fenn (Nikki Dennison) all began work on the series only days after finishing their HSC examinations.
Now another member of the class of ’85, 17-year-old Kylie Minogue, has joined the cast. “Scott (Jason Donovan) is doing his HSC in the show at the moment, so it’s bringing back the traumas for all of us,” Kylie told TV Week.
Kylie plays Charlene Mitchell, Madge’s tomboy daughter who is forced to move in with her mother (Anne Charleston) after her father moves in with his secretary. “Madge and Charlene argue a lot because they both have very different ideas on certain issues,” Kylie said. “Charlene is really sensitive but doesn’t show it. She’s rather die than be caught crying.”
True to character, Charlene wants to be a motor mechanic but clashes with her prim mother. “They make a deal that if Charlene wants to stay with the Ramsays she has to stay at school. But she wags school on the second day, so it doesn’t work out very well,” Kylie said.
Kylie’s first acting break came at the end of her primary school days when her mother took her and her sister, Young Talent Time’s Danielle, to Crawford Productions for an audition. Kylie won roles in The Sullivans and Skyways but didn’t return to Crawfords to update her audition until she was completing year 11. As a result of that audition Kylie won a leading role in Network 10’s series The Henderson Kids.
“Filming started in October and ended in March of my HSC year, but we had tutors and it was such a good opportunity I couldn’t say no,” she recalled. For that role, as one of the locals who harassed the Hendersons, Kylie’s hair was dyed red.
“The character run-down for the Neighbours role mentioned that Charlene has streaks of red hair and I thought not again,” Kylie said with a laugh. “But when they saw me they decided they liked my hair the way it is, thank goodness.”
After finishing HSC exams in November, Kylie has worked on Nine’s Zoo Family and then won a lead role in ABC-TV’s mini-series Fame and Misfortune, soon to be screened.
Kylie, the oldest in the Minogue family of three children (she also has a 15-year-old brother who wants to be a cameraman), says her younger sister’s success on Young Talent Time hasn’t affected her own career. “Being known as Danielle’s sister didn’t worry me but I will be glad to finally establish my own identity,” Kylie said.
As well as establishing show business careers, Kylie and Danielle are also keen to go into business together as fashion designers. Both girls already design most of their own clothes. Kylie, who has signed for 12 weeks with an option to continue, will be seen on Neighbours from April 18.
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 12th April 1986 and was written by Jenny Cooney