Jodi Anasta will soon be saying goodbye to Neighbours after four years as Elly Conway, but the actress told RadioTimes.com she wouldn’t rule out a return to rival Aussie soap Home and Away where she first found fame – if only for the chance to work with her on-screen mother for the first time.
“I love that Georgie Parker is my character Martha’s mum, Roo Stewart!” she enthused in an exclusive interview. “She’s very well known in Australia for other shows like A Country Practice and All Saints. I grew up watching her, she’s like my all-time favourite actress. I was dying with jealousy… I’d only just left then she came in!”
Anasta played Martha MacKenzie, granddaughter of legendary Alf Stewart who was born to tearaway teen mum Roo Stewart in the very early days of the show and given up for adoption.
The grown-up Martha returned to Summer Bay in 2005 to reconnect with her grumpy grandfather and spent five dramatic years on the soap, launching Anasta’s career (she was known as Jodi Gordon back then, before she married rugby star Braith Anasta in 2011).
“I’ve always missed Martha,” she admits. “I loved her, she was the first character I ever played on Australian TV. Home and Away got me where I am today, I love the show. I’m always open to the idea of a return, I’ve moved back to Sydney where it’s filmed so who knows what the future brings? I want to tell Georgie I love her too!”
Parker, as Anasta notes, has been a huge star of Australian TV and theatre for decades, winning seven prestigious Logies during her career (the Oz equivalent of a National TV Award). She joined Home and Away in 2010 as the recast Roo, replacing original actress Justine Clarke who left in 1989.
In the interest of making dreams come true, we spoke to Parker herself and put to her Anasta’s wish for them to unite on screen – and she seems keen…
“Oh my gosh! I would love to be able to play those storylines of Roo and Martha being together again,” she said. “Who knows, we can just put that hook in the water and see if anyone bites…!
“Jodi and I have never properly met. We do look a bit alike don’t we, brown hair, same colouring. I say let’s put it out there!”
So if Anasta does return to the Bay, just remember where you heard it first…