In Todd we trust

Todd La­sance pro­vides some rare good news for the em­bat­tled Home and Away, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Out Of The Box -

HOME and Away needs a good-news story at the mo­ment. The Chan­nel 7 soapie has made head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons in re­cent months.

First there was the furore about the les­bian sto­ry­line fea­tur­ing po­lice­woman Char­lie Buck­ton (Es­ther An­der­son).

Then there was the sex-tape scan­dal in­volv­ing Lin­coln Lewis. The 21-year-old filmed a sex act with a teenage TV star­let and showed it to cast and crew on his mo­bile phone.

Most re­cently there was the em­bar­rass­ment of Jodi Gor­don go­ing miss­ing af­ter a ben­der with a mem­ber of a bikie gang. Gor­don re­port­edly told po­lice a quan­tity of co­caine had been con­sumed.

At the week­end, for­mer cast mem­ber Bryan Wise­man al­leged a drug-tak­ing party cul­ture ex­isted be­hind the scenes of the show.

So thank heav­ens for Todd La­sance and Jessica Tovey.

La­sance’s char­ac­ter Aden Jefferies is one of Sum­mer Bay’s most pop­u­lar and his ro­mance with Tovey’s Belle Tay­lor has struck a chord with view­ers.

La­sance has be­come so pop­u­lar that he beat a strong field of con­tenders this year in­clud­ing Eric Thomp­son and Gy­ton Grant­ley to take out the Sil­ver Lo­gie for Most Pop­u­lar Ac­tor.

The 24-year-old won wide­spread praise for his sen­si­tive han­dling of a sto­ry­line de­tail­ing Aden com­ing to terms with be­ing sex­u­ally abused by his grand­fa­ther.

Aden only re­cently ac­cepted and worked through his past to find hap­pi­ness with Belle.

In re­cent episodes of Home and Away, La­sance and Tovey worked through the drama of Belle’s drug ad­dic­tion and sub­se­quent re­hab. Af­ter break­ing up, Aden and Belle de­cided they could not be with­out each other and got en­gaged.

La­sance and Tovey have worked closely to­gether for the past two years, shar­ing al­most ev­ery scene. It has given them a unique bond — on and off the screen.

‘‘Jess is one of the clos­est girl friends I have now,’’ La­sance says. ‘‘I feel so for­tu­nate that I’ve had such an in­cred­i­ble ac­tress to work op­po­site.

‘‘The rea­son I think the AdenBelle sto­ry­line has de­vel­oped is be­cause of that chem­istry. We worked out that we’ve spent around 300 days work­ing to­gether and that’s usu­ally in one-on-one scenes.

‘‘I feel so com­fort­able with Jess and I think that comes across on screen.’’

La­sance says the pair’s re­la­tion­ship isn’t re­stricted to work.

‘‘There have al­ways been these (un­true) ru­mours fly­ing around that we’re dat­ing,’’ he says.

‘‘You spend more time with them than your own fam­ily. You see them in their high­est of highs and low­est of lows.’’

Tovey went through a trough re­cently when she was de­cid­ing whether or not to stay with Home and Away. She turned to La­sance for ad­vice and, in the end, de­cided to leave the Seven soapie.

LA­SANCE backs Tovey’s de­ci­sion but is sad he won’t be shar­ing any more scenes with his mate.

‘‘I told her yes­ter­day how in­cred­i­ble she is and how for­tu­nate I am that we got to work to­gether. It sets a pretty high bench­mark for the next per­son I work with,’’ La­sance says.

‘‘Jess had been in the show for three years and felt she’d reached a cre­ative bound­ary. She’d ex­pe­ri­enced so much as Belle that she needed to branch out a bit.

‘‘We had a dis­cus­sion. There were days where she said she’d love to stay and it’s dif­fi­cult to leave be­cause of the close friend­ships you de­velop on the show.

‘‘She pulled me aside at work one day and said ‘I’ve de­cided to leave’. It was sad for me but also ex­cit­ing be­cause she has so much po­ten­tial.

‘‘You do rem­i­nisce. I see episodes on TV and think ‘it was such good fun work­ing to­gether’.’’

Home win­ner: Sil­ver Lo­gie win­ner Todd La­sance as the pop­u­lar Aden Jefferies in Chan­nel 7’s Home and Away.

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