What the Neighbours directors really thought of the legendary cast

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  • The hit series has featured some icons including Margot Robbie, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue

    Neighbours has come to a sad end after 37 years on the small screen, but it has seen some film and music legends grace their screens, including Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth, as well as the iconic Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan.

    Now, the Australian soap’s casting directors has shed light on the casting process for these stars, and what really happened off set.

    Casting director, Thea McLeod, auditioned Holly Valance’s sister Olympia, who portrayed Paige Smith for four years on the programme.

    Thea has insisted she knew instantly she would be perfect for the programme.

    Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she said: “When I first auditioned Olympia, I remember she had a great presence about her. I loved her determination – she really gave it her all.

    “She had the drive and was perfect for the character, so naturally we all loved her.”

    Margot Robbie also gave off the same vibe, and was a no-brainer when it came to casting the award-winning actress in the longstanding soap.

    Speaking previously to The Herald Sun about Margot – who played the role of Donna Freedman for three years until 2011, fellow director, Jan Russ, knew she was destined for great things.

    She said: “I can remember sitting in my office and seeing Margot walking towards me and going: ”Oh my goodness, who is this?’

    “Margot was not one of those who would go to the opening of an envelope. She was always very focused and always concentrating on her work.

    “She was passionate about her work and passionate about her craft and she wanted to learn. She listened and she observed and took everything on board, which is what Kylie was like. They were both very intelligent young women. They have beauty and brains and it is a wonderful combination if you can get it.”

    While Jan has revealed Kylie was a sponge when it came to her acting career, she has admitted she didn’t think she would be as successful as she is.

    Speaking about the Can’t Get You Out Of My Head hitmaker, Jan said: “[When I cast her] Kylie had only just finished school when she came in to audition and had recently done The Henderson Kids,’ Jan told the publication.

    “I did not know she would become as big as she has, of course, but when I looked at her I knew she had something.

    “Sometimes you see people in real life and then you look at them on the monitor and you go: ”Oh my God, there is something extraordinary there.’ It does not happen all the time, in fact very rarely it happened, but when it does, you know.”


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