Vanessa is startled by Francesca's visit to Erinsborough and finds herself lying about her personal situation, letting her mum believe that she and Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major) are a proper couple.
Determined to make sure that her daughter does things properly before the baby is born, Francesca (Carmelina di Guglielmo) insists that Vanessa should marry Lucas. A smitten Lucas is happy to go ahead with it, but can Vanessa let the deception go so far when she still loves Rhys Lawson?
Digital Spy recently caught up with Alin Sumarwata, who plays Vanessa, to hear more about the storyline.
What was your reaction when you found out that Vanessa's mother would be paying a visit to Ramsay Street?
"I was really excited because it meant exploring her background, which up until then was a bit of a mystery!"
How would you describe the character of Francesca?
"A dragon! The woman is so overbearing and doesn't give Vanessa any credit at all. It's pretty clear that their relationship has been strained for quite a while, which is why Vanessa left the family and there has been very little contact. Can you blame her for staying away?"
Why does Vanessa feel like she can't be honest with Francesca when it comes to Lucas and their baby?
"Her family are strict Catholics and a baby out of wedlock is just not accepted, while a baby as a result of a one-night stand is an even bigger sin! Vanessa knows exactly what Francesca's reaction will be."
How difficult is it for Vanessa and Lucas to appear believable as a couple when they try to deceive Francesca?
"It actually isn't that difficult for Lucas because he would like the kind of relationship they are fabricating to be his reality. For Vanessa, it's different. She is still in love with Rhys and the idea of being with Lucas is the last thing on her mind. Poor Lucas!"
How do Vanessa and Lucas feel about Francesca's demand that they should get married?
"Vanessa is in shock and while it freaks out Lucas at first, he starts to come around to the idea. In the back of his mind, he is hoping it might bring them together."
Francesca threatens to cut Vanessa off from the family if she doesn't go ahead with the wedding. Is this a genuine threat?
"Absolutely, which is what Vanessa is petrified of. While the relationship with her mother is very fragile, she is still her mother. She doesn't want to bring up the baby without her immediate family."
The sham wedding will be a big story for Neighbours in the coming weeks. What kind of dramas can we expect in the build-up to the big day?
"Well you have a bride who doesn't want to be there, a mother who desperately needs a wedding, a groom who knows that the bride is hanging by a thread, and a lover who wants to prove he should be with the bride!"
How about the wedding itself, which is about to air in Australia?
"Ah, it certainly doesn't go to plan and the guests are left bewildered…"
Did you enjoy working with Carmelina on the storyline?
"She was wonderful. Carmelina is such a respected actor here and brings so much energy to the scenes. It was a great experience."
How strong are Vanessa's feelings for Rhys despite their break-up? Do you think there's a chance they could get back together?
"She loves him deeply, but I think it's a case of really bad timing for them. In other circumstances, I think they would be great together, they balance each other."
Do you think Vanessa could ever look at Lucas in a romantic light again?
"Hmmm, he is so kind to Vanessa that I think she could develop feelings, but whether that can happen with Rhys still on the scene is the challenge."
Looking at Vanessa's situation objectively, do you have a gut feeling on which love interest is best-suited to your character?
"I think Rhys challenges her and there is definitely a passion between them. I'm not sure if there will ever be that passion with Lucas."
Looking ahead to the next few weeks, we hear that your character may have a big role to play in the 2012 season finale! Can you give us any hints on what to expect?
"A full-on labour, followed by baby and some life-changing events for Lucas and Vanessa…"
Will the start of 2013 be quieter for Vanessa after such a busy few months?
"Absolutely not! Her journey has just begun, there's lots more to come."
Neighbours bosses have just announced a whole string of returns and new castings. What is the atmosphere like on set as the show enjoys this new burst of energy?
"It's sad saying goodbye to cast members, but that is part of this business - we all move onto other projects. It's great working with new people but it's funny how quickly everyone settles in, and before long it feels like they have been there forever. You feel very welcome at Neighbours."
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Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 in the UK, and weekdays at 6.30pm on Eleven in Australia.