GIRL NEXT DOOR

NATALIE BASSINGTHWAITE IS READY TO SHAKE UP RAM­SAY STREET

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY COATES

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.

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