It’s a momentous time for Neighbours stalwart Toadie what with former love Dee returning after 13 years presumed dead. And the surprises look set to keep on coming: next week’s episodes will see him meet the daughter he never knew he had when he comes face to face with Erinsborough newcomer Willow! Here, actor Ryan Moloney talks to RadioTimes.com about all the latest seismic shocks on Ramsay Street:
So, how did you feel when you heard about the plot to bring Dee back? At first, I thought, ‘oh no, this is going to mean a lot of heavy work! Lots of serious dramatic acting and I don’t know if I can be bothered doing all that!’ But then, after that, I realised it was a really good opportunity, so the feelings of excitement kicked in.
How did you find out? I had a meeting. It was something we’d been joking about for quite a while and they eventually said, “how would you feel if Madeleine West came back?” And I laughed and said, “OK, let’s do this.”
Is her return something you’ve been hoping for over the years? Yes and no. To be honest, there’s the fear that it could be a bit ‘eggy’. You’re bringing back somebody from the dead and there’d be questions about how you’d do that. But the storyline that they wrote is actually really good. I think they did it quite well, to be honest.
How easy was it to re-establish a rapport with Madeleine West? It’s been 13 years and I hadn’t actually seen her in all that time. But I was thinking, ‘Oh, she was a pretty good actress.’ And then when she turned up, I realised, ‘she’s a bit more than a pretty good actress – she’s awesome!’ And she’s only got better in the 13 years away. So it was really easy to re-establish things. In fact, it was more about building a new working relationship.
Are we right to think that this might not be Dee at all? Well, it is a possibility. Sonya has had someone come in and pretend to be her uncle, so the imposter thing is not that far away from us. So it could very well turn out that it’s not Dee.
Are you Team Sonya or Team Dee? Aw, look – he’s married to Sonya, so I have to say her, surely? That’s who he’s married to, unless something dramatic happens! But who knows? Dee was his first love and he thinks that he killed her. So I don’t think he’s going to be in a very good frame of mind whatever happens!
Now, speaking of dramatic things, tell us what happens when Toadie comes face to face with his daughter Willow? Ultimately, he’s blown away. There’s 13 years of this child’s life that he’s missed and this girl has grown up without a dad. So he feels responsible about that – after all, he was the one that drove the car off the cliff. And, at the same time, he can’t act on any feelings for Dee, so he’s free to pour all his love into his daughter and create a relationship with her. He wants to bring Willow into his family.
So what is it that has kept you at Neighbours all these years? It’s good fun. I turn up and I have a great time. It’s mainly the cast and crew that I work with on a day-to-day basis – they’re brilliant. I’ve been on Neighbours longer than I’ve been off it, when it comes to my entire life. So these people are more part of my family than anything else.
Give me three examples of how you’ve changed since you began on Neighbours? I’m definitely more self-confident. I’m very happy in myself in terms of who I am and my morals and my beliefs. And probably, as such, I’m more free and caring and able to love and support other people.
And have you ever been tempted to take on other roles away from Neighbours? I have been tempted growing up – you see people going off to America or the UK and having a go at something else. And I’ve sat there thinking, ‘I wouldn’t mind doing that myself’. But when you speak to the majority of people 12 months down the line, they say, ‘I wish I was back on Neighbours’. So if that’s what it is like out there, I’ll take their word for it and stay here on Neighbours, thanks!