DEMI’S LIFE A DRAMA

Home and Away star Demi Har­man finds life im­i­tat­ing art as she leaves her boyfriend to pur­sue her dream in an­other state, just like her char­ac­ter on Seven’s long-run­ning soapie

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - COLIN VICK­ERY

Demi Har­man is spread­ing her wings. The 22-year-old has left Home and Away to be a pre­sen­ter on Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens and join the cast of Win­ners & Losers.

Har­man’s leap of faith looks set to have a pro­found im­pact on her real-life re­la­tion­ship with fel­low Home and Away ac­tor Alec Snow.

Har­man, who played Sasha Bezmel for four years on Home and Away, has moved to Mel­bourne to take up her Win­ners & Losers role.

Snow, who plays Sasha’s boyfriend Matt Page, will be stuck in Syd­ney. The pair will catch up week­ends at best.

That is a big change for any cou­ple, let alone one that has lived to­gether and acted op­po­site one an­other on a daily ba­sis. Har­man says it is a change that is nec­es­sary.

“It ( Home and Away) was very much a rou­tine for us as a cou­ple – go­ing to work to­gether,” Har­man says.

“We were in the same scenes most of the time. That (leav­ing Home and Away) was im­por­tant to hap­pen – the next step kind of thing – to be able to spend time to­gether with­out it be­ing the ease of go­ing to work and hav­ing that much fun at work.”

That doesn’t mean that leav­ing was easy. On screen, Sasha is torn about leav­ing Matt and Sum­mer Bay to move in­ter­state and pur­sue her uni­ver­sity dream.

There is tur­moil as Matt dis­tances him­self from Sasha to make it eas­ier for her to let go and start a new chap­ter of her life. In real life, Har­man was full of emo­tion about leav­ing Home and Away and her beloved co-star.

“I started cry­ing as Sasha but I couldn’t stop as Demi,” Har­man says. “It was a very tear­ful day.

“Leav­ing the show was ex­tremely emo­tional for me be­cause I felt so con­nected to it. For me, it marks grow­ing up from an 18-year-old to a 22year-old.

“For me, it felt so real. I hope view­ers can see how real it was for me. Life is im­i­tat­ing art. In many ways, it (mov­ing away from Snow) is quite sim­i­lar (to Sasha mov­ing away from Matt), which kind of freaks me out some­times. I’m into my third week in Mel­bourne and it’s pretty easy at this stage. Ev­ery­thing has fallen into place for both of us. We’re both work­ing and stay­ing busy so it’s good.

“Week­ends I usu­ally fly to Syd­ney … and he’s been down here (Mel­bourne) once which has been re­ally nice.

“It is early days (but) we are so used to be­ing so close to­gether prox­im­ity-wise that it is kind of al­most nice that we have this dis­tance.”

The designer gig on Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens might sur­prise fans but it is ac­tu­ally a great fit for Har­man, who stud­ied Ja­panese arts at the Uni­ver­sity of Queens­land and has her own de­sign la­bel, DemRock.

Har­man’s sig­na­ture de­sign is a hand­bag made out of re­cy­cled vinyl records.

“I think Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens is look­ing to broaden its de­mo­graphic slightly (to ap­peal to younger view­ers),” Har­man says.

“Pre­sent­ing (de­sign seg­ments) on the show has been a chal­lenge for me. Be­ing a char­ac­ter on Home and Away … you’re not sup­posed to look down the bar­rel of the cam­era when you’re shoot­ing.

“The first Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens seg­ment I ever did … I was quite ner­vous but it gets bet­ter.”

Har­man’s new role on Win­ners & Losers is the big­ger pay-off. Har­man plays Ri­ley Hart, a young woman in her mid-twen­ties whom pro­duc­ers de­scribe as “sexy, sassy and ready for adventure – Jen­nifer Lawrence, Mila Ku­nis and Olivia Wilde rolled into one”.

Har­man is sure to liven the show’s cast – Melissa Ber­g­land (Jenny Gross), Zoe Tuck­wellSmith (Bec Gil­bert), Vir­ginia Gay (Frances James), and Me­lanie Vallejo (So­phie Wong).

“Ri­ley is a bit of a tomboy,” Har­man says. “She’s into video games and likes beer and hangs out with the boys.

“It is nice (play­ing an older char­ac­ter). Sasha was still 18 by the time I fin­ished on Home and Away. On Win­ners & Losers, they’re (char­ac­ters) do­ing grown-up things like go­ing to din­ners and par­ties – the things peo­ple my age do.”

Pic­ture: JA­NINE EAST­GATE

Demi Har­man has moved from Syd­ney to Mel­bourne to join the cast of

Win­ners and Losers.

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