BLISS BE­FORE LEAV­ING HOME

Herald Sun - Hit - - COVER STORY -

MOST wed­dings are the be­gin­ning of a long and happy love story.

When ac­tor Ash­leigh Brewer says “I do” in next week’s sea­son fi­nale of Home And Away, the nup­tials will mark the end of her time on the pop­u­lar Seven soap. The former Neigh­bours and

Bold and the Beau­ti­ful star­let wrapped film­ing of her six­month stint in Sum­mer Bay last Au­gust and is now back in Los An­ge­les where she has been based for the past five years.

Play­ing young po­lice of­fi­cer Chelsea Camp­bell, who was en­gaged then es­tranged from groom-to-be Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin), Brewer jokes that her trou­ble­some char­ac­ter leaves the way she ar­rived in the beach­side town.

“She’s been caus­ing a bit of trou­ble and she plans to do it all the way out,” she says.

But in a twist on the usual drama that comes along with a wed­ding in Sum­mer Bay — which over the years has in­cluded run­away horse car­riages — the wed­ding of Chelsea and Colby has been writ­ten just for fun.

“I’m sure I’m not giv­ing any­thing away here,” Brewer says, “but they wrote it and al­lowed it to just be joy­ful. It just brings the au­di­ence into a re­ally nice place, rather than ‘oh, there’s a bomb, strapped to the cake’,” she laughs.

The 27-year-old, who counts this as her fifth walk down the aisle in her short TV ca­reer, rev­elled in her fi­nal scenes, with the cast all head­ing away to a new lo­ca­tion to shoot the wed­ding.

Her de­ci­sion to join the show and re­turn to Aus­tralia may have been seen as a step back in ca­reer terms. But Brewer is grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to re­assess where her work and per­sonal life was head­ing.

“I needed to get back, to feel my fam­ily around me again and see how I felt about Aus­tralia, be­cause four or five years is a long time to be away,” she says.

“I was 21 when I moved to LA and I’ve changed and grown so much. Es­sen­tially it was like when you reach that point in a re­la­tion­ship and you’re like, ‘are we go­ing to get mar­ried or break up?’ That’s how I feel about LA. I was like, ‘am I go­ing to com­mit to this town?’”

She says the stay here has helped give her clar­ity and the de­ter­mi­na­tion to chase her Hol­ly­wood dream again.

Work­ing on soap op­eras has “come eas­ily” to Brewer, who now wants to aim higher.

“They’re jobs I know I’m ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing and I’m not overly chal­lenged by them, so I re­alised that I want to live a life that I’m su­per proud of and that puts me in a good space, rather than just show­ing up and be­ing told that I’m good.”

/ HOLLY BYRNES

WATCH HOME AND AWAY, 7pm, week­nights on Seven

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