GIRL NEXT DOOR
NATALIE BASSINGTHWAITE IS READY TO SHAKE UP RAMSAY STREET
From 2003 to 2006, Izzy Hoyland ruled Ramsay Street ... now Neighbours’ most infamous vixen is back.
Played by Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Izzy’s storylines have included a scandalous affair with Karl Kennedy, putting Darcy Tyler in a coma, a relationship with Paul Robinson, a disappearance, a drug problem, another shot at a relationship with Paul, an ongoing attack from an evil twin, a pregnancy to Karl after drugging him, an affair with a married football player in London and giving birth to a baby at a wedding.
What could possibly be left for Izzy to do?
“Izzy likes to make an entrance and this time is no exception,” Bassingthwaighte says. “There are plenty of shenanigans in the making, she’s certainly about to stir the pot yet again.
“I just keep thinking it’s next level, she’s even a little more psychotic – if that’s possible. It’s so fun, so outrageous, some of the things she’s done in the past are insane but this time it’s next level. I don’t think people will be ready for it.”
You hear all too many stories about actors subconsciously taking on the characteristics of the fictitious personalities they play.
Bassingthwaighte, regarded as one of the sweetest people in Australian showbiz, gasps in horror at the notion that playing Izzy might rub off on her real life.
“If anything I feel so grateful I have such a blessed lovely life, a great family and an amazing husband,” she says.
“To live the life of Izzy would be totally draining. She’s just so bonkers.
“She thinks that everything she does is meant to be. She doesn’t think her actions are evil or wicked – she can justify her actions.
“But don’t worry, this time you’ll see her tip over.”
While returning to her original role after 15 years may seem like a backstep, Bassingthwaighte is passionate about the show.
“I feel really grateful and blessed to play a great character on such an iconic Australian TV show,” she says.
“There are so many great actors in this country who are unemployed, to be able to have that role and relive it I feel honoured.
“I do feel like there’s great Australian drama coming through, we just need to get behind it even more.
“We need to be watching it on TV and supporting our own actors, entertainers, directors and writers.
“If we don’t support it, Australian entertainment will be a dying art and there will only be foreign influences.”
Since her start on Neighbours, Bassingthwaighte has gone on to front band Rogue Traders, as well as hosting So You Think You Can Dance Australia, judged and mentored on The X Factor, competed in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and most recently, starred in season two of The Wrong Girl.
Supporting Australian TV is her priority.
“We just need to support Australian content no matter what,” she says. “Reality or drama – I’m fortunate enough to have done both.
“My heart is in drama but doing reality TV, going into the jungle, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
“I know people get upset about dating shows and things like that where people are perceived to not have a ‘talent’ but as long as people are enjoying it, people are interested in it, it’s good for Australian TV.
“And it will continue our industry for the future.”
TO LIVE THE LIFE OF IZZY WOULD BE TOTALLY DRAINING. SHE’S JUST SO BONKERS
Natalie Bassingthwaighte is returning to beloved Aussie soap Neighbours to reprise her role as Izzy Hoyland.