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'Neighbours' Jordy Lucas teases new Summer plots: Interview

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Jordy Lucas (Summer Hoyland, Neighbours)

© Channel 5

Neighbours star Jordy Lucas recently cemented her future with the soap by signing a new contract which will keep her character Summer Hoyland in Ramsay Street for another two years.

The 19-year-old actress is now gearing up for busy times ahead on screen as Summer will be pursuing her journalism career, splitting from boyfriend Andrew Robinson (Jordan Smith) and getting involved in various other Erinsborough dramas.

During a holiday in the UK earlier this month, Jordy caught up with Digital Spy to chat about Summer's upcoming storylines.

How are you finding your time in the UK?
"I'm loving it! It's very different to home but it's very beautiful. I've never been over here before - it's my first time. I'm here with my mum and it's her first time too, so we've been exploring it together, which has been really nice. I flew out from home on January 2 and we spent five days in France, and then we came over to the UK."

You've been part of the Neighbours cast for two years now. How are you finding your time at the show?
"It's going really well - I'm so lucky that I'm able to work somewhere as nice as Neighbours. It's a real family there, and it's great for a young actor to be able to learn so much on such a massive show. I've recently signed a new contract with Neighbours and that was quite an easy decision to make. I know that I still have a lot to learn from the show, and I was really happy that they offered me another two years."

What can we expect from Summer this year?
"There'll be lots of drama with Andrew and her career, lots of scandal with Paul Robinson and the newspaper, and more trouble with Karl and Susan that really upsets Summer. There's also a fair bit coming up for Tash in terms of Emilia and Michael, which Summer helps her go through. There's lots to look forward to!"

With Summer leaving school this year, are you looking forward to showing a new direction for the character?
"Yeah, very much so! Summer will be able to pursue her journalism dreams now, and that should be really fun to play. Summer is very feisty and very passionate about her job. She really wants to make it, so I think that'll be really fun to explore. That's very much her main ambition now and her mind is quite heavily set on becoming a journalist."

Michael Williams (Sandy Winton) collapsing as he confronts Summer Hoyland (Jordy Lucas) over how she's cheated on her exam
What's your take on the recent story which saw Summer cheat on her exam?
"I think it was all down to the pressure that Summer felt to do well on her exam. She felt that cheating was the only way to get the marks that she needed to get, as she feared that she wasn't capable of getting a great grade.

"Summer didn't cheat because she couldn't be bothered studying, it was just because she was putting herself under too much pressure. I always like to see Summer testing the boundaries a bit, and maybe that can continue in the future with her journalism."

We're currently seeing that Summer is feeling really guilty, so has she already learned a lesson from the experience?
"Yeah, she's learned a big lesson, and she's really struggling with the guilt of cheating. She feels terrible, and it's something that she never would have saw herself doing. Summer is really disappointed with herself."

Why are Chris and Andrew giving Summer such conflicting advice over the situation?
"Chris knows that Summer won't be able to deal with the guilt. He knows that she's very set on doing the right thing in life, and that the guilt will eat her up. But Andrew is a very different person, and he wants Summer to put it behind her so she can just concentrate on her career now, because she's got the score she needs and she can go to university. Andrew thinks that she should just live with the guilt and get on with it!"

Could Summer get caught out over this?
"There is definitely a danger that she's going to be caught for what she's done! It's also possible that she might not be able to go to uni because of this…"

Summer Hoyland (played by Jordy Lucas) and Andrew Robinson (Jordan Smith)
It's also been confirmed that Summer and Andrew are splitting up this year. How does Summer feel about that?
"I think it's obviously heartbreaking for Summer that her and Andrew aren't working out as well as they were before. Summer absolutely loves Andrew and she doesn't want to break up with him, but the pressure of their relationship and them going in different directions definitely takes a toll on them."

Are they over for good?
"I think for now, they're over for good! But because the characters love each other so much, it could possibly spark up again in the future."

Will Summer get a new love interest, or does she need to stay single for a while?
"There is potential for a love interest, but I think Summer will realise that she's still hurting over Andrew and still loves him. She just needs to focus on herself a bit more, so I don't think there'll be any serious relationships for Summer in the near future."

What's coming up for Summer's friendship with Tash?
"I think that if Summer's cheating gets exposed, then there could definitely be some more hard times between Tash and Summer. But at the end of the day, I think they are true friends and they do look after each other. They understand each other too, even though they're such different people. They're true friends, but because they're so different, they're going to have their ups and downs!"

It's a time of change at Neighbours at the moment as Susan Bower recently departed as executive producer and two new bosses have taken over. What's the atmosphere like on set with a new team in charge?
"We're all really open to change. I know I'm quite sad to see Susan go, but at the same time, a change and a new set of eyes and ears might be good for the show. Everyone's fairly optimistic that it'll be for the best."

The Kapoor Family
Neighbours
Will Summer have much interaction with the new Kapoor family?
"There's not a great deal between Summer and Rani Kapoor, because she's a bit younger. Rani, the young teenage girl, is more involved with Sophie and Callum because they're still in school. But Summer does actually have quite a bit to do with Ajay Kapoor, the local councillor."

Summer doesn't have any family on Ramsay Street at the moment. Is there anyone you'd like Neighbours to bring back?
"I'd love for them to bring Izzy back! I think that would be a great mix. Whether that would ever happen or not is a different story, but that's certainly what I'd like to see."

What else would you like to see from Summer this year?
"I would love for Summer's music to come back into the picture. I think that would be really fun and something for her to relax into and enjoy. I think she's spent a lot of time being really straight-down-the-line and obeying all the rules, so I think for her to really relax and enjoy something would be very fun."

Jordy Lucas (Summer Hoyland, Neighbours)
How did you get into acting in the first place?
"I always wanted to perform, right back when I was a kid. I was always wanting to put on shows for mum and dad and all that sort of stuff! I started acting classes just as a hobby when I was 12, and I got asked to be represented by an agent soon after that. It all just happened from there. The more I learned about acting, and the more I had little jobs as a kid, it just made me want it more and more.

"As for getting the job on Neighbours, it's a hard industry - it's not an easy thing to get into at all. It's very competitive, and you could be the best actor at an audition but you might not have the right look for the part. So you have to be prepared for a lot of rejection."

When you were first starting out on Neighbours, how challenging was it to portray a character who had previously been played by another actress?
"It was quite a big challenge. I spoke to a lot of the cast and a lot of the publicists, and I just had to come to terms with the fact that some people were going to love the idea and some people were going to hate it!

"I just had to hope that people would embrace the new Summer, because she came back not only as a different person playing the character, but she came back as a young woman. You can only expect change when someone comes back after four years, so I just had to hope that people would embrace the change and the new Summer - and hopefully people have done that!"

> Read all the latest Neighbours spoilers and news

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 in the UK and weekdays at 6.30pm on Eleven in Australia. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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