As Paige Smith, Neighbours’ slightly dodgy girl next door, Olympia Valance, 22, has seen her public profile soar. Starring in glamorous lingerie campaigns hasn’t hurt her popularity, either. But this beauty doesn’t mind getting down and dirty.
Your character, Paige, has found herself on the wrong side of the law lately ... Paige and Tyler have been doing quite a bit of illegal activity over the past few months, it was really fun to play. We got to do a few stunts and things like that.
Did you use a stunt double? No, I got involved, and it was great! I love all that stuff. Basically I tackled someone to the ground, and tried to restrain them. It was full on, lots of running around. The stunt teacher taught us how to get someone to the ground and immobilise them. I was like, this is what I do every day.
You’ve got more than 68,000 followers on Instagram. Did the number soar when you started Neighbours? Absolutely. ‘The youth these days’ they’re always on their phones, and our fanbase is quite young, so everyone’s really active. For show’s like ours, we get a bunch of followers.
How many did you have beforehand? I actually wrote it down before I started. My sister Holly [Valance, ex- Neighbours] told me to do it, she said ‘write it down, to remember what it was like’. I had 1,402 before.
You probably gained a few more through the Gossard lingerie campaign. It’s been amazing so far. The trip I just did for the photo shoot, I only had a few days off ( Neighbours) so I was only in the UK for 48 hours and then straight back home. I was crying on the way home, I hadn’t slept for about five days. It’s that type of exhaustion that makes you feel sick. Then we had to do an unscheduled stop in Malaysia, because someone got sick, and I just lost it. I was so irrational. The flight attendants were so nice … and niceness always makes it worse.
Were you nervous about getting your kit off for the cameras? I’ve always said that I would never do it, never do lingerie modelling. Ever since I was little. My sister did a lot of it, and I just said to myself, ‘Nup, that’s not what I want to do’. Even when I was modelling I didn’t want to do lingerie modelling.
What changed your mind? I think it was meeting with this company. I do not have a lingerie body, I’ve got bigger legs, and a bum and boobs, and I said to them, ‘I don’t think this is right’. And they said they wanted real bodies, and I was like, OK. Actually putting the lingerie on I felt so beautiful and sexy, probably better than I’ve ever felt, which is bizarre. Then the photos came out and I loved them, and I don’t regret a thing. The Kardashians do such great things for different body types and have changed what people find beautiful now, I love it. Having bigger thighs and a---, I now find that sexy, and I never used to. Not that I want to take away from girls who are naturally thin. Everyone’s beautiful in their own way.
NEIGHBOURS, ELEVEN, WEEKDAYS, 6.30PM