You Ask…sharon Jo­hal (Dipi)

Neigh­bours’ Dipi Re­bec­chi ...faces your ques­tions!

Inside Soap - - CONTENTS -

“Dipi hates Clancy – but do you love dogs in real life?”

Dipi loves to gos­sip about the lives of her Ram­say Street neigh­bours – but how will 32-year-old Sharon cope with our read­ers’ prob­ing ques­tions about her own life?

“Is it true you orig­i­nally au­di­tioned to play Mishti, not Dipi?”

Yes, that’s right. Dipi is much older than I am in real life! I went for the role of Mishti to be­gin with, but when I got to the au­di­tion they de­cided to change Mishti’s age and make her younger. But they still re­ally liked me, so they tried to make Dipi work for me by age­ing me up a bit and chang­ing my hair – I had to cut it all off, which was a sad mo­ment for me! But I was just grate­ful to be a part of the Sharma-re­bec­chi fam­ily.

“What’s it like play­ing the mum of teenagers?”

It’s so weird, be­cause in real life I don’t think it could phys­i­cally even be pos­si­ble for me to be their mum! I don’t have any chil­dren of my own, so I’ve had to work re­ally hard on that re­la­tion­ship with the kids. At the start it was quite dif­fi­cult to make it be­liev­able, be­cause in real life we’re more like sis­ters. We hang out out­side of work and I’m the joker of the fam­ily as well, so they don’t re­ally see me as a mum fig­ure!

“Dipi has men­tioned that she has a son. Do you reckon that we will we ever get to meet him?”

It’s funny be­cause ini­tially Yashvi was meant to be a boy. We were meant to have a boy and a girl when we came into the show, but they couldn’t find the right boy for the role which is why it was changed to a girl at the last minute. But all we know about Dipi’s son is that he’s called Jay and he’s at board­ing school. I’m sure we will meet him – Dipi is such a pro­tec­tive mum, so I don’t un­der­stand why her son would be away from her!

“Do you share Dipi’s love of mu­si­cals? If so, which one is your favourite?”

I def­i­nitely do. I can’t sing very well, al­though I en­joy it very much – ev­ery­body on set will at­test to that be­cause I’m singing all the time, and they all tell me how ter­ri­ble I am! But I can dance. We’re film­ing some Christ­mas episodes at

the mo­ment where Dipi does a bit of a Broad­way per­for­mance, so that’s re­ally ex­cit­ing. My favourite mu­si­cal is Chicago be­cause I just love its strong fe­male char­ac­ters.

“Dipi doesn’t care much for Clancy, but do you love dogs in real life?”

“What’s it like play­ing the mum of teenagers?”

I am ob­sessed with dogs! I’m that per­son who’ll run up to dogs in the street and have chats with them. I live in an apart­ment where I can’t have pets, so I vol­un­teer to walk an el­derly lady’s dog who lives nearby.

“Dipi likes to gos­sip with Sheila, but who are you most likely to gos­sip with in real life?”

If it’s about work stuff, prob­a­bly Scar­lett [Vas, aka Mishti] – we’re the clos­est, so I would have a bit of a whinge to her. Oth­er­wise it’s my fi­ancé who gets the brunt of most of it! I don’t re­ally gos­sip, though, I just vent and then move on. I think that’s what Dipi is like, too – she gos­sips to try to solve a sit­u­a­tion, rather than just hav­ing a bitch.

“What’s the best thing about be­ing a part of the Re­bec­chis?”

They’re so much fun and so lively – it’s hi­lar­i­ous! This is a bit of a spoiler, but we’re work­ing with Angie Re­bec­chi at the mo­ment, and she’s such a fab­u­lous char­ac­ter. And Les­ley Baker, who plays her, is like that in real life too! It’s a nice dy­namic, and some re­ally lovely stuff is go­ing to hap­pen with the Re­bec­chi fam­ily to­wards the end of the year.

“Is it true that you were in a re­al­ity TV show in Aus­tralia?”

Yeah, it is true. It was a show called Bol­ly­wood Star. It was more like a doc­u­men­tary – they went around Aus­tralia and au­di­tioned thou­sands of peo­ple, and then in the end the top four got to au­di­tion for a world-renowned Bol­ly­wood direc­tor. I made it all the way to the end, and trav­elled to In­dia, so I got a bit of an in­sight into what Bol­ly­wood would be like to work in. There were times where we stayed the night in the slums in In­dia, to see how peo­ple lived there. I cried a lot on that show, but it was one of the best ex­pe­ri­ences of my life.

“Can you tell us a se­cret about your screen hubby Nick [Cogh­lan, who plays Shane]?”

I love him to bits, but he is very in­tro­verted! He has a dark sense of hu­mour, so he likes death jokes and things like that. We prob­a­bly an­noy the hell out of him be­cause we chat a lot, and he doesn’t re­ally like to chat. If I had my time again, and it wasn’t go­ing to be act­ing, I’d prob­a­bly want to be a vet. I got into den­tistry for a while, but then I couldn’t think of any­thing worse than look­ing into some­one’s mouth for the rest of my life, so I got into law in­stead! If I wasn’t in Neigh­bours, I’d prob­a­bly still be work­ing as a lawyer, au­di­tion­ing and try­ing to get a full-time role.

“I saw a pic­ture on your In­sta­gram of you with Neigh­bours le­gend Ian Smith [Harold Bishop]. Where did you meet him?”

It was at the open­ing night of some­thing I’d gone to with a bunch of friends, and we had a chat with him. I’d just got the role on Neigh­bours, but it was all still hush-hush so I couldn’t tell him. I told him I’d au­di­tioned for the role, though, and that I could be tak­ing over his café, and he was re­ally lovely. It would be great if Harold came back to Ram­say Street, but I’m not giv­ing up my café for him!

“Which Neigh­bours char­ac­ter’s wardrobe would you like to steal?”

That’s a good ques­tion, be­cause Dipi doesn’t dress any­thing like I do. She some­times comes off as be­ing a bit frumpy. But if I was go­ing to dress like any­one, it would prob­a­bly be Elly as I re­ally like her style. I love her tight pen­cil skirts, nice tops and her jack­ets. Elly has re­ally great fash­ion sense.

“What do you think you would be do­ing if you weren’t in Neigh­bours?” …asks reader Rose Wilkins from Chester

One Ell’ of a dress sense: Sharon likes Ms Con­way’s style

The dog days aren’t over: Un­like Dipi, Sharon is a big fan of pooches

Rant and rave: The star leans on her fi­ancé when she needs to vent

Teen mum: Sharon feels more like a sis­ter to her screen kids

As the ac­tress said to the Bishop: Ian and Sharon ran into each other at a show

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