Ashleigh: Kate followed her instincts
Neighbours' Ashleigh Brewer shares her experiences of filming Mark's farewell from Ramsay Street and reveals her thoughts on Kate's life-changing decision.
For the man who in a few short months has made light work of first investigating Paul's Lassiter's fall, then delving into the murky world of drag racing and exposing corruption in the force, it was only fitting that Detective Mark Brennan's exit storyline would be equally dramatic - and the character's goodbye, which aired today on Channel 5, certainly didn't disappoint. (If you haven't yet seen this, you might want to watch it before reading any further!)
Now, as we recover from the heartache of seeing Kate Ramsay denied her happy ending with on/off boyfriend Mark, star Ashleigh Brewer shares her experiences of filming the emotional real-time episode and reveals her thoughts on her alter ego's life-changing decision.
How stressful did you find filming the real-time episode?
It was incredibly stressful! In a good way though. There were months of 'warning' and preparation involved so that it could run like clockwork - literally! It was stressful in the sense that the the emotional stakes were heightened for a two-week period [during filming]; it was exhausting, and I think we can all say that we were happy once it was over. But the final result was well worth it.
How did the experience compare to producing a regular episode of Neighbours?
It didn't affect me directly as the scenes were still shot out of order; however, I know that it was really different for the art department and continuity to make sure that everything matched minute by minute.
What was different for you as an actor?
It was nice working with such a short time period. It didn't jump day after day; it was very quick and straight to the point, which I enjoyed.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was the rain. It looks amazing, but it was beyond freezing and it was a night shoot. I think it took me a week to thaw out!
We heard you had to do a lot of running in shoes you hadn't yet broken in...
Ohh, those shoes! Whoever designed those shoes needs to be notified immediately. They were so painful! My feet were bleeding after the night shoots; it was ridiculous. But all for a good cause I guess.
What about the rain?
It did rain unexpectedly. It made the night shoots fairly soggy and unpleasant. But it really is the cherry on top for the 'real time ep'; it really does look fantastic.
Where there any other obstacles or surprises?
Knowing that the end result was loosing Scott McGregor made it a little bit sad. He'd been amazing to work with. I'm so glad the writers gave him such a good final storyline and that I could be apart of it.
Half an hour isn’t a long time to make a decision like that. How did Kate do it?
Quickly! She went with her instincts. The final obstacle was to convince Sophie, and once she'd achieved that it was full steam ahead.
What was it like for her to have to make such a life-changing decision so quickly?
Confusing. Kate makes decisions very quickly. She didn't have time to think about the consequences; that was just something she would have to deal with at a later date.
What was the deciding factor for her?
When something feels right, it just feels right. She knew how much love Mark and her shared, so she followed her gut instincts.
What reservations would she have?
None at the time. Half an hour didn't leave her with spare moments to think about why she shouldn't do it, so she concentrated on the reasons why she should, and that was to stay with Mark.
Do you think it was fair of Kate to expect Sophie to make such a huge decision so quickly?
Not at all. Poor Sophie! But there was no time allowed for rational thought.
Are there any potential pitfalls to Kate’s decision? Is it something she might regret?
Obviously leaving behind family, friends, career and financial support is a huge gamble. But Kate's an adult, and sooner or later she'd find herself back on her feet.
Do you think you could pack up your life in 30 minutes?
Easy! It'd be an amazing adventure.