Noth­ing too sexy for this princess

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - ERICA THOMP­SON

EMILY Robins doesn’t want to fol­low other chil­dren’s TV stars into the scan­dal pages. The 19-year-old New Zealand ac­tor, who won the lead part in new Aus­tralian chil­dren’s se­ries The Ele­phant Princess, is very con­scious of her young au­di­ence.

‘‘I had to pull out of two roles be­cause they re­quired sex scenes and nu­dity and so with a kids’ show pend­ing I just couldn’t do it,’’ she says. ‘‘When you’re not work­ing you’re kind of like, ‘How can I be turn­ing down work?’, but it’s the right de­ci­sion. I can’t have lit­tle kids Googling me and hav­ing that.’’

Fans of High School Mu­si­cal star Vanessa Hud­gens were not so lucky, with the Dis­ney singer forced to apol­o­gise last year af­ter provoca­tive pho­tos of her ap­peared on­line.

In The Ele­phant Princess Robins plays Alex Wil­son, a gui­tar-loving teenage girl who strug­gles to ac­cept she’s ac­tu­ally heir to the throne of a mag­i­cal king­dom.

The 26-part se­ries, which was shot in Mel­bourne, fea­tures some fa­mil­iar Aussie faces in­clud­ing Alyce Platt, Brett Climo and Damien Bodie.

It was per­fect tim­ing for Robins, who had just fin­ished a three-year stint as the trou­bled Claire on Kiwi soap Short­land Street, which earned her New Zealand’s Ris­ing Star award.

‘‘Af­ter do­ing some­thing like Short­land Street, which gives you such a pro­file in New Zealand, every­one knows you for that and you kind of do have to break away, oth­er­wise it’s dif­fi­cult to be seen as an ac­tor as op­posed to just that char­ac­ter,’’ Robins says.

‘‘When I got the au­di­tion (for Ele­phant Princess) it was al­most too good to be true be­cause it was in Aus­tralia and such a great role.

‘‘I think a lot of kids will like Alex be­cause she’s very heroic and she’s strong and opin­ion­ated and she’s in a band, and she’s got an an­noy­ing lit­tle sis­ter and a crush on a boy— and then she’s told she has to be a princess and she is just so not a princess.’’

The role re­quired Robins to work with ele­phant Siam, from Aus­tralia Zoo, who plays the mag­i­cal Anala.

‘‘Every­one wants to know what it’s like to work with the ele­phant,’’ Robins says with a laugh.

‘‘This ele­phant’s get­ting more press than me, damn it. No, she was lovely. It’s amaz­ing be­cause I al­ways kind of thought of ele­phants as kind of heavy, you know, stam­ped­ing, and quite in­tim­i­dat­ing but she was just so gen­tle.’’

Keep­ing it clean: Emily Robins as Alex in The Ele­phant Princess.

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