BLISS BEFORE LEAVING HOME
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