Olympia Valance

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - ANNA BRAIN TV WRITER

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

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