Neighbours’ Piper Willis and Tyler Brennan were one of the most popular couples in the show’s recent history, but now it’s all over as the mechanic has started a prison sentence for the accidental murder of his father, leaving his teenage lover weeping into her unread letters to her beau behind bars.
The #Typer phenomenon has highlighted 21-year-old Mavournee Hazel as one of the rising stars of Ramsay Street, following the emotional climax to the pair’s romance as they went on the run only to be caught by the cops in a dramatic rooftop chase that saw Piper almost plunge to her death.
Hazel spoke to RadioTimes.com about her character’s dramatic plots, saying goodbye to her on-screen soul mate, and what the future holds for poor old Piper.
How has losing Tyler affected Piper? I don’t think she really knows the full extent of it all yet, it all happened so fast. In the coming weeks we’ll start to see her dissecting and verbalising how she really feels. At the moment she’s still running on adrenaline and shock. Piper is still a young girl and I feel like people forget that, she gets criticised for making irrational decisions but she’s only 18 and she’s had her heart broken.
Tyler told her to forget him and she didn’t have the chance to say goodbye before he transferred prisons, does she feel there’s been no closure? It’s unresolved. Seeing the letters she wrote to him returned was the worst thing. Piper is in limbo and doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t want to move on just in case he changes his mind and does reply. In his attempt to do this ‘cruel to be kind’ thing and set her free, Tyler has done the opposite and made it harder.
Does she blame Terese for calling the cops when they fled? She certainly thinks it’s her fault right now. Again, she’s young and wants to project her anger and frustration somewhere other herself. Deep down she knows this is her fault and she understands Terese’s motives. As Piper verbalises her inner struggle and come to terms with things, we’ll see being defensive and projecting externally is easier than letting the guard down and taking the blame, and showing vulnerability. She’s only been vulnerable with Tyler, for two years he’s been her crutch. She doesn’t know who she is without him.
What does the future hold for Piper without him? I’m excited for what’s to come, it opens up a lot of doors for the character. But in the short term unfortunately there’s a lot more of Piper crying. I’m getting forehead wrinkles from all the tears! I spoke to our producer and said ‘Honestly she needs to have a Britney moment and shave her head! Give me my meltdown!’ I feel so sorry for her.
Do you miss working with Travis Burns, aka Tyler? I was so comfortable in our characters’ relationship, it fetl sacred and unbreakable. It’s definitely weird not having him at work. And Olympia Valance (Paige Smith) has also left, they were my two best friends on the show so I miss them both.
What’s the reaction been from the #Typer fans? Heartbreaking! I spoke to the fans on social media to let them know how much they meant to Trav and I. We were equally as devastated when we heard the outcome for the characters, though we were excited as actors to do the stunt and leap across buildings in the hour-long episode.
Were you nervous when you found out about the stunt? It was funny, about six months before we did it Travis told me he’d heard about the storyline and that we’d have a big cliffhanger, and said I’d be hanging off a building. I thought he didn’t understand that ‘cliffhanger’ was just a phrase and had misunderstood so I was poking fun at him – until I found out a few months later I’d be literally be dangling off a rooftop!
Had you ever done a stunt like that before? No! It was incredible. I had to stand on the edge then step off and be slowly lowered down in a harness. I was told not to look down, which I kind of regret now because I’ll probably never have that view again. Unless jumps off another building! My mum told me when I was a kid I got caught on an escalator in a shopping centre, I held on to the edge and it lifted me up and I hung on and kept going! So that was my prep for the stunt…
Who could Piper’s next love interest be? No one! I’m still mourning for Tyler. Everyone’s taken at the moment. If I could bring someone in to the cast it would Ezra Miller. He’s my favourite actor, I’d love to work with him. Fans were intrigued by Piper and Ben’s relationship, he could be a shoulder to cry on so maybe they’ll have a little moment?
Does Travis and Olympia leave and seeing Margot Robbie’s success make you want to crack Hollywood? LA is on the cards as an actor, as it is for every actor. I’d love to do a series in the UK. I’m only 21, I don’t know if I’ll stay in Australia but at the moment I’m really loving Neighbours and I’m lucky to have such big storylines. But maybe Piper could be happy for a while to give my forehead and tearducts a rest!
Visit our dedicated Neighbours page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.Neighbours continues weekdays on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.