As Summer Bay grieves for Evan Slater the residents feel like they’ve seen a ghost when a man identical to the late musician comes to town, who turns out to be his long-lost twin brother Owen – played by the same actor, Cameron Daddo!
“I had no idea this was in the works!” the popular Australian performer tells RadioTimes.com, speaking exclusively about the surprise Home and Away twist that sees him return to the cast on Friday 18th September, two months after Evan was killed off. “It came from the fact we were all having an enjoyable time working together and the writers realised there was more story to tell.
“They came up with this idea that Evan has an identical twin and asked if I wanted to do it. I said ‘Sure, let’s go!'”
Daddo’s guest stint as the estranged dad of teenager Ryder Jackson (Lukas Radovich) touched the audience’s heartstrings as father and son bonded in the shadow of Evan’s terminal illness. Evan also established a deep connection with Ryder’s aunt Roo Stewart (Georgie Parker), only for the relationships to be cut tragically short when the character left the Bay to die off screen.
“There was great chemistry between Lukas and myself, and with Georgie and also Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart). We thought let’s not throw this opportunity away, let’s build a new story around what it would be like to find out if your life is not what you thought it was.”
Owen’s arrival is set to stir up difficult emotions for Ryder and Roo, who are still grieving for Evan, and the new/old face also has a lot to process as he meets the relatives he never knew he had.
“He was adopted and his parents are dead so he can’t ask them any questions about his biological family, and why he was separated from his sibling.
“Owen finds out he’s got a twin, now a nephew, and his nephew has this aunt who is very attractive…” grins Daddo. “They are also the people he needs to fill in the blanks about his brother, so things evolve that way as Owen finds his place in the Bay.
“I’m treating the two characters as very different individuals,” explains the star, on the topic of playing the twin roles. “Evan was a free spirit whereas Owen had a more traditional upbringing. Given they had no knowledge of each other, there was no crossover. Obviously I’m playing them both so viewers might see behavioural similarities. My brothers are twins and their mannerisms are exactly the same!
“I was still playing Evan when I knew Owen would be coming in, which helped. It wasn’t a case of finishing Evan off and moving on to the next thing. It was a team effort, I was allowed some input into creating Owen which was very kind of the writers.”
Seeing as this is Home and Away, where characters have come back from the dead and been recast from one episode to the next without anyone raising an eyebrow, Daddo is hopeful the audience will accept the audacious twist.
“I hope they buy it!” he grins. “It’s a lovely storyline and very heartfelt, so we’re hoping they go with it. There are big emotions at stake.”