Be­com­ing Toadie

It wasn’t the role he au­di­tioned for or the ca­reer he planned, but Ryan Moloney has chalked up two decades as “Toadie” on Neigh­bours. He tells DEB­BIE SCHIPP how it hap­pened

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

HE hit Ram­say St with a bad mul­let and a ridicu­lous nick­name for just one scene and be­came one of Neigh­bours’ best-loved char­ac­ters. Ryan Moloney – Jar­rod “Toad­fish” Re­bec­chi – never meant for this to hap­pen. With his heav­i­est scenes in 20 years play­ing out on screens, Moloney, 35, puts tongue firmly in cheek to look back on the mis­ad­ven­tures of Toadie. “I NEVER wanted to be an ac­tor. I wanted to be a pi­lot but I just got this re­ally good job and kept it,” says Moloney, who now is a qual­i­fied pi­lot (be­low). “I au­di­tioned for a dif­fer­ent role, missed out, then was called back to play Toadie, for one scene. Twenty years doesn’t feel that long. Con­tracts are only a year or two years, so in my mind I’m only ever here for a year or two. And I still feel so lucky. I come to work, muck around with fan­tas­tic peo­ple and then I go home.” “BE­ING left a bikini shop by a client was pretty good. And he got his law de­gree in two-and-a-half years – that hap­pens when you’re a ge­nius – so you’d as­sume he’s suc­cess­ful. Hav­ing said that, I don’t know how much he charges be­cause he re­ally just still lives on Ram­say St, and he doesn’t drive a flash car, so he’s ei­ther not par­tic­u­larly good or he does a lot of free work.” “HE started as a rebel with a re­ally bad hair­cut, be­came a mis­un­der­stood ge­nius, then a lawyer with a good heart. Un­lucky in love – ac­tu­ally, that’s an un­der­state­ment. His first wife (Dee, played by Madeleine West, be­low with Moloney) died when their car went off a cliff af­ter their wed­ding, he mar­ried some­one that didn’t love him (Steph, played by Carla Bon­ner) to cover up her preg­nancy to another man. Found the love of his life and a fam­ily with Sonya (Eve Morey).” “I THOUGHT it was the style at the time. Un­for­tu­nately, Neigh­bours rang up and said, ‘Do you still have that same hair­cut?’, so I ac­tu­ally got the job be­cause of the hair­cut and then I had to keep it for a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time. Cut­ting it off was the hap­pi­est day of my life.” “I WAS never tempted to go to Hol­ly­wood, I’m happy here. I have a fan­tas­tic job and when you look at it from that as­pect there’s no real rea­son to leave. I don’t have grand as­pi­ra­tions. I en­joy act­ing but the re­al­ity for most ac­tors is they spend a lot of their time strug­gling to work and make ends meet. There’s not a lot that ap­pealed to me about that.” “TOADIE be­ing paral­ysed is one of his big­gest sto­ry­lines and I am rel­ish­ing it. Be­ing in a wheel­chair re­ally opens your eyes. It’s the sim­ple things we don’t think about – open­ing doors, how to get in and out of stuff and re­al­is­ing how much this world is not built for wheel­chairs. We have had char­ac­ters in wheel­chairs be­fore but not this long – Lu­cas (Scott Ma­jor) had a TV soap re­cov­ery and went to re­hab for a day and was walk­ing by the end of it. I wouldn’t be ad­verse to my char­ac­ter be­ing that for­ever.” “WORK­ING with Eve Morey (right with Moloney). It’s al­most like we are a cou­ple and we miss each other when we don’t see each other. And the nud­ist lunch years ago – Toadie was fond of nudie runs.” Moloney shunned of­fers of a ‘mod­esty sock’ to pro­tect his dig­nity: “I’m not a g-string man.” “I’M not sure how Toadie’s story should end. I don’t know whether it should be he just says he’s go­ing to the shop to get some milk and never comes back, or if it should be some­thing re­ally dra­matic like foil­ing a Ram­say St ter­ror­ist plot and div­ing on the bomb.” NEIGH­BOURS MON­DAY TO FRI­DAY, 6.30PM, ELEVEN

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