Reference > Erinsborough News > A Whole Lotta Trouble
Watch out Drew and Libby – bad girl Geri is back!
“She’s a troublemaker, she’s manipulative, and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants.” Isabella Dunwill is talking about Geri Hallett, the bad girl character she has played on and off in Neighbours for the past twelve months. In episodes screening this week, Geri returns to Erinsborough to cause friction between Drew (Dan Paris) and Libby (Kym Valentine) – and Isabella couldn’t be happier!
“Initially, the part was just a two-week role, but the writers obviously saw something and they keep bringing her back,” the 20-year-old says. “I’m thrilled. She’s fun to play.”
While Isabella is happy to be back in town, the residents of Ramsay Street are not so happy.
“Geri has a grudge against Libby because Libby was the one to win Drew’s heart,” Kym Valentine says. “While Geri pretends she’s not jealous, there’s an underlying bitterness. She wants to get revenge on Libby.”
And like most tv bad girls, Geri knows exactly what buttons to push. “Geri manages to claw her way back into the Erinsborough News, which is Libby’s domain,” Kym reveals. “She starts dating Libby’s boss, Simon, and suddenly things begin to go Geri’s way. She gets a byline on her first story, which is something that took Libby two years to achieve.”
Not surprisingly, the stage is set for a major fight between the pair.
“Libby’s blood is boiling,” Kym says. “And worst of all, it causes friction between Libby and Drew, because Libby complains to Drew and he tells her she’s worrying about nothing.”
While there are plenty of fireworks on screen, Kym, Isabella and Dan are all good mates in real life.
“Kym and Dan are great,” Isabella says. “The scenes between Geri and Libby are a lot of fun, because Kym and I get on so well. The whole cast has been so welcoming. Because I come in and out, it can be hard to settle back in, but everyone has been terrific.”
Just as Neighbours scriptwriters have taken a liking to Geri’s menacing ways, the public has also reacted well to her.
“In the beginning, people warned me that I’d have bricks thrown through my windows,” Isabella recalls. “But that hasn’t happened. People have told me that they enjoy watching a nasty character.”
While Isabella admits that she would love her semi-regular status to become more permanent, she’s not sure that her mum would agree. You see, away from the cameras, the actress is studying for a commerce/law degree.
“My mum wants me to be a lawyer, but acting is my passion,” she says, adding with a laugh, “Oh dear – I hope she doesn’t read this!”
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 19th November 1999