New Neigh­bour McNaughty but nice

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Soap - SARAH NI­CHOL­SON

WHEN Erin McNaught stepped on stage to com­pete in the 2006 Miss Uni­verse com­pe­ti­tion, she was acutely aware more than 100 mil­lion peo­ple were watch­ing the tele­cast.

By com­par­i­son, you’d imag­ine walk­ing on to the Neigh­bours set would be a breeze.

But McNaught, born and raised in Bris­bane, was jit­tery when film­ing her first scenes.

‘‘I was quite ner­vous about do­ing Neigh­bours, PG Chan­nel 10, week­nights 6.30pm Life in Ram­say St Du­ra­tion: 30 min­utes Neigh­bours and I had the shakes be­fore my first scene,’’ she says.

‘‘But now I feel as though I’ve been there for­ever.’’

McNaught has a six-month con­tract to play Si­enna Cam­meniti — a cousin of Natalie Blair’s char­ac­ter Carmella.

McNaught, who dropped out of uni to con­cen­trate on modelling and act­ing, was a host on Chan­nel 10’s Cy­ber­Shack last year.

She had been tak­ing act­ing classes for six months when she was of­fered the Neigh­bours role.

‘‘The pace has been the hard­est part,’’ she says.

‘‘I didn’t re­alise just how fast they put it out.

‘‘It’s not like a movie where you get 20 or 50 or 100 takes to get some­thing per­fect. We re­hearse two or three times and then they shoot.

‘‘And some­times they will only film a scene once and use that first take.’’

McNaught didn’t grow up want­ing to be a model or ac­tor. She was study­ing wildlife bi­ol­ogy at univer­sity when the agents started to call.

With the modelling as­sign­ments flow­ing in, she de­cided to quit univer­sity and fo­cus on a ca­reer in front of the cam­era.

How­ever, McNaught hasn’t ruled out re­turn­ing to her stud­ies one day.

‘‘It was a big de­ci­sion to leave univer­sity,’’ she says.

Nerves:

Erin McNaught.

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