Neighbours star on exploring Chloe’s bisexuality after Elly kiss

"We don't want it to be exploitative, it's just one aspect of who she is" says April Rose Pengilly


Passion ignites in Neighbours on Wednesday 5 December when Chloe Brennan (April Rose Pengilly) kisses close pal Elly Conway (Jodi Anasta), the woman who is dating her big brother!  The spontaneous smooch takes Elly by surprise, and the straight-laced schoolteacher so consumed with guilt she hastily decides to propose to boyfriend Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor) after Chloe insists it was a moment of flirty fun that meant nothing.


However, as Neighbours star April Rose Pengilly tells, the kiss signals the start of a long-term story of unrequited love as Chloe falls hard for her best friend – and future sister-in-law. It’s going to get complicated…

What prompts Chloe to kiss Elly?
Her and Elly have a couple of drinks and they’ve become so close, what with her being Chloe’s confidante through the Pierce situation, that for a fleeting moment Chloe thinks there might be something more there. It happens during a discussion about how much they care for each other, they’ve both been through a lot lately. Chloe gets the lines blurred and it’s a bit of a moment of passion.

Were you surprised when you found out this was going to happen?
It’s classic Chloe, she has always been impulsive and does what she wants without thinking, and is the kind of person who puts her foot in it all the time.


How do you feel about exploring the character’s bisexuality?
There have been mentions here and there since she arrived. In fact in an early episode there was a flirtation with Elly – Chloe said ‘If you ever want to mix it up give me a call!’ A few months back after Chloe was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease she got drunk and kissed a female friend of Amy’s – then ended up stealing the Ramsay Street sign – as one does! So it has been addressed but not greatly explored. The writers and I didn’t want to let it be exploitative or make Chloe’s sexual orientation be the defining aspect of her personality. It’s one aspect of who she is.

What is Elly’s reaction?
Chloe says she doesn’t do relationships, she just wants to have fun and party and try new things all the time. Elly is very shocked and in true fashion wants to discuss it and clear the air and make sure its okay, but in Chloe fashion she wants to sweep it under the rug, pretend it never happened, not tell Mark and forget about it. Elly agrees, but Chloe’s feelings continue to develop. It becomes harder for her to keep it under wraps.


Elly than proposes to Mark, is she in denial about her possible feelings for Chloe?
Perhaps Elly is throwing herself more into the Mark situation, yes. I think that could be a very accurate reading! It’s going to get very complicated with Mark but Chloe’s feelings are very strong and more than she has felt for anyone before, given her history of brief romances.

Do you think Chloe and Elly make a good couple?
As a high school teacher Elly can handle highly emotional people, and Chloe is very in the moment – 0pposites attract, so they would balance each other out. Elly’s straight-laced attitudemight tone down Chloe’s wilder tendencies, she could encourage her to step outside of the comfort zone.

What would Chloe do if she had to choose between Elly and her brother, Mark? 
That’s a tough choice. I think she would choose Mark, but the heart wants what it wants and you can’t change those feelings.


How will Chloe’s Huntington’s revelation affect the Brennans?
She is afraid of being rejected by the family for not saying something sooner. There are different reactions, Mark is afraid he might have the gene, Aaron becomes quite angry and frustrated as it impacts on his decision to start a family with David so he doesn’t want the test. The whole thing causes a rift in the family.

What can you tell us about the next few months for Chloe?
The crush on Elly continues for a very long time, with a big development around Christmas. I have many scenes where I have to stare lovingly at Jodi all day, which isn’t hard as she is very beautiful and lovely! Chloe has an ex come to town next year, one of her only relationships even her brothers didn’t know about that ended very badly – and may have been the original root cause or Chloe’s financial mess. We’ll find out how that all came about.


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