Stefan and Sachin pack a punch

Stefan Dennis dishes the dirt on playing Neighbours' Mr Nasty - and teases an upcoming fight scene between Paul and Ajay.

Stefan and Sachin pack a punch

For Stefan Dennis, Neighbours’ resident Mr Nasty, having to throw a punch on screen is familiar territory.

Over the years, Stefan’s character Paul Robinson has been the victim of an array of physical attacks, including being shot by his first wife; thrown off a cliff, resulting in the loss of his leg; and, more recently, ending up in a coma after being hurled from a balcony by Rebecca.

According to the Ramsay Street veteran, in the early production days, fight scenes weren’t as strictly choreographed by health and safety officers as they are today.

'I remember doing a scene with Alan Dale, who played my father back in the eighties. He had to slap me, and we felt the only way it was going to look real was if he actually hit me,' explains Stefan.  'He ended up belting me about eight times. I had swollen cheeks by the end of the scene and Al just felt terrible.'

Stefan and Sachin Jaob, who plays Ajay Kapoor, have had a rocky relationship since the ambitious local councillor turned full-time lawyer joined the neighbourhood.  On set this week the duelling pair, who are great friends off-screen, came to blows; however, neither of the seasoned pros would reveal who threw the first punch and why.

'Ahh, you’ll have to watch and see. However, I can say that any after-effects were applied by the make-up department, which we were both very pleased about,' laughs Stefan. 'I think if Sachin punched me for real, I’d be back in a coma; he is a pretty fit guy!'