Neighbours' Sonya Mitchell gets the fairytale wedding she's always dreamt of on UK screens later this month, but it's not long before a tragic twist ruins everything.
Sonya takes centre stage in a beautiful ceremony as she ties the knot with Jarrod 'Toadie' Rebecchi on April 16, but as most fans will already know, the big day later goes horribly wrong as a huge explosion at the wedding reception claims the lives of two regular characters.
Digital Spy recently chatted to Eve Morey, who plays Sonya, to hear more about the big episodes and life at Neighbours.
How did you feel about Sonya and Toadie finally getting married?
"On the one hand, it was really lovely from the characters' point of view. We have these two people who've been together for four years now, gone through various dramas, and now they're getting married. It creates a bookend of sorts, and that's actually quite satisfying. Especially for Sonya, as she thought that she'd screwed her life up and wasn't deserving of a fairytale ending. Now she has this wonderful wedding.
"At the same time, it was like a real wedding and it was so lovely to see all the different departments on the show doing their absolute best to make it work. They always do, but it was a step up.
"That was wonderful, but I found all the attention concerning, because it was like being a real bride! There were dress fittings, make-up trials and I was like, 'Wow, this must be what it feels like to be getting married!' Though I suppose it must be funny to hear from an actor that they don't like the attention, because we're known for it!"
What was your reaction when you found out that there would be an explosion on the big day?
"I was pretty upset! (Laughs.) It ends very tragically and two people lose their lives. It was actually quite sad. It's dramatic and it's big, but at the same time, it's never nice when people die - obviously in real life but on television shows, too!"
What were the episodes like to film?
"We filmed it over four different days. We had one day doing the ceremony at the church, another day at Lassiters doing all the happy wedding stuff, and then on the third day we filmed the actual explosion. No cast were actually required for the day of the explosion, but then the day afterwards we filmed the aftermath where the set was wrecked and we were all covered in black and soot.
"It was nice that it was all broken up, as it meant that we could actually enjoy the happy wedding part! It was so lovely filming it, so it was quite surreal to know that it was all going to explode later on! When we did the aftermath, I just had to lie there so I was lucky, but everyone else was running around screaming. It was hectic!"
Do you think Sonya and Toadie have any chance of a happy future?
"I do! It's going to be full of hardships along the way, which I think any relationship is. But the initial aftermath of this explosion is awful. Poor Toadie - it's his fourth wedding, it's all gone wrong again and his new wife might die. It seems like all of the odds are stacked against them, but hopefully it will work out."
On a brighter note, now that Sonya is mum to Nell, have you enjoyed working with a baby on set in the past few months?
"I've loved it. I go round saying, 'Why isn't the baby in this scene?!' I just want her there all the time! (Laughs.) I come home all excited about how I've been able to work with the baby. She's called Scarlett in real life and she's such a beautiful baby. Having her around just lifts everyone's mood, so we're very lucky."
We've recently seen Sonya having a big feud with Toadie's mum Angie, played by Lesley Baker. What were those scenes like to film?
"Brilliant! I know it sounds like I'm just saying I loved everything, but I love Scarlett and I love Lesley! She is so wonderful to work with and I thought there was a great dynamic between Sonya and Angie. I'm very lucky to be blessed with a very lovely mother-in-law in real life, and I'm not just saying that because you're going to publish this! (Laughs.) She's a wonderful woman, so I can't imagine what it must be like to have a mother-in-law who you struggle to get along with.
"Lesley is so funny and comical, but you believe everything that she's doing on screen. She's a larger-than-life personality. It was very fun and when she had to leave again, I was like, 'Please stay! Please stay! This is so much fun!' We'd love to have her back, because she's wonderful."
Sonya has also recently been concerned that she could relapse in the future. Is there a part of you that would like to see that happen so you could have a dark storyline?
"I'm very caring and protective over my character, so from that point of view, you don't want to see her go through something that traumatic. At the same time, from what I can understand, when you're an addict it's an ongoing thing - you don't just forget about it and have a wonderful life. You're going to be confronted with certain stresses and pressures along the way, which could trigger different reactions and different behaviours.
"In terms of being true to the condition, I think it would be good to explore some storylines like that. I'd hope it wouldn't be to the detriment of the people that she loves, especially as Sonya left Callum when he was very young. I think it doesn't need to be huge and dramatic to be effective.
"We will start to explore that a bit more, and what you've seen recently is the first trigger-up. Having this new baby has set it off again, as Sonya has been reminded of what she was like when she was younger and she can't totally escape her past. She's putting herself under pressure to make up for everything she did wrong in the past. But I think if you put that much expectation on yourself, you're going to fall."
Would you ever follow in the footsteps of some of your Neighbours colleagues by joining Twitter?
"I've thought about it, and I will join when I feel like I've got something to impart on the world that's going to make it better and I'm really clear about what I want to use it for. That probably sounds really pretentious, but I don't want it to be a casual thing where I'm saying, 'Hey guys, I'm seeing a film!' or whatever. I want it to have more of a social conscience than that, but I'm still not sure how yet!"
The team behind Neighbours have recently spent 1 million Australian dollars creating new backyard sets for some of the houses on Ramsay Street. Are you excited about this new investment in the show?
"Yeah, it's been great! It's not our backyard that's been built, but that's okay, we'll just visit other people's houses! (Laughs.) I think it just means we can do stuff outside and it looks so real.
"You're at the Neighbours backlot and then you just walk into these backyards and they look so realistic. I think the more real we can make the show look, that can only help and enhance performances. It's fantastic that they want to invest in the show."
With a few cast members leaving the show recently, who will you miss the most?
"Oh, you can't ask me that! (Laughs.) I miss so many different people for so many different reasons. It's so sad when people go, because you go to work, see people every day and share such deep emotion with them on screen. That means we have deep ties with each other, so it's never a comfortable thing to have to say goodbye to someone. But I couldn't single anyone out because I love everyone for different reasons."
Would you like the show to bring in more members of Sonya's family?
"Definitely. From a purely selfish point of view and thinking about where my character is going, I think it would be great because it opens up cans of worms. Everyone's got a past and it's a good way to explore that.
"I miss Gemma Pranita, who played Sonya's sister Jade, so much. It was really sad when she left, because we lost a great dynamic there which can't be replaced.
"What I like about the show is that it's about family and it's about friends. As human beings we have different faces with different people in our lives, so when you bring a family member in, it allows you to see a different facet to your character.
"Recently at work, I had one scene talking to Lucas about drug addiction, one scene being a mother to Callum, and then another working at the nursery. It's great to explore all those different sides of Sonya."
You mentioned Lucas, so is there more coming up for Sonya's friendship with him?
"There is, because there's a few dramas that will be happening in both of our lives, but probably more so in Lucas's. That's a really interesting relationship because they are two characters who are bound together by their addictions and they understand each other in a way that other characters don't.
"It's a really lovely, genuine friendship and they're very honest with each other. They don't let the other get away with things. They're like brother and sister, and there's a genuine care and understanding between them. Sonya has no problem telling Lucas exactly what she thinks about him!
"It's also really interesting that Lucas is now with Vanessa, who Sonya is best friends with too. If they ever have any issues in their relationship, that's going to put Sonya in a tricky position!"
> Read more 'Neighbours' spoilers and news
Neighbours: The Explosion airs on Tuesday, April 16 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5. At 10pm that evening, a special hour-long Neighbours will air incorporating Tuesday's episode and a first look at Wednesday's edition.
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