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
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.”
Demi Harman has moved from Sydney to Melbourne to join the cast of
Winners and Losers.