There was much fanfare about the casting of Cameron Robbie, the brother of movie star and former Neighbours actress, Margot Robbie, in the role of Jesse – and many eyebrows were raised when the character appeared to not really do that much.
But it turns out that the writers were playing the long game and there is much more to Jesse than slow-motion running while in his lifeguard gear, and he is actually a key character to a massive storyline that is just getting underway.
Jesse has been chatting to RadioTimes.com about following in his sister’s footsteps in calling Erinsborough home, and what we can expect from Jesse as his twist and turn filled story continues.
“Margot, like many of my industry-friends or go-to professionals, say a similar thing of work hard, train hard, be kind, grateful, and enjoy the experience,” he says of advice that he has been given by his sister about joining the business. “It’s always comforting to know that if I ever need her, she’s only a phone call away”.
But having a sister who is one of the biggest stars in the movie world right now could have added pressure to Cameron’s career path but happily, he doesn’t feel like it has. “I’ve been working in and around film sets, behind the camera, since I was in high school and I’ve always studied acting and film since that time as well.
“There’s definitely a strong ‘want’ to do well with my work and grow with my abilities. But no I don’t place pressure on myself regarding her success, only my own expectation that I work hard, pursue what I love and make it meaningful.”
As for joining Neighbours, an institution in the TV world, Robbie admits that it was a lot to take in. “It’s a little surreal when I think about the longevity of the show and what part it played in my own life growing up. However, as a young actor in Australia, you do tend to have an awareness and certainly conversations over a show like Neighbours.
But to experience it definitely makes you realise that you have to find your feet and hit the ground running. Fortunately, I’m working with some great and talented people, I’ve really loved the experience and what I’ve been able to learn so far.”
His character will be heavily involved with Harlow and Paul Robinson (Jemma Donovan and Stefan Dennis) when it is revealed that he is actually a spy for the Quill group who want to take Paul out of his business empire. The family did own Lassiters briefly, until matriarch Julie was exposed as having a hand in the Lassiters explosion that killed Josh Willis (Harley Bonner) – to say there is bad blood would be an understatement.
“I could never see my own character as a villain,” Robbie says of Jesse’s duplicity. “He’s just a kid making choices based on his circumstance. He doesn’t know any better, however, perhaps he should, because sooner or later our actions have consequences. He has a lot of his own personal struggles going on in his life. He struggles with a lot internally and at times even might like to find comfort in his make-belief life.”
It’s not just Harlow that he’s linked to, with teacher Curtis poised to be a romantic interest and despite Jesse playing games, Robbie thinks that at least a part of him cares for them both. “I think Jesse has a genuine connection to them, but he’s got a lot more going on and it’s hard for him to truly show himself. There is definitely deceit, which is a lot for him to juggle.”
But given this is a soap opera, it’s surely only a matter of time before he comes unstuck, even if Jesse doesn’t realise it himself.
“I think Jesse has definitely been cautious and on edge when he’s conscious of the position he’s in, but as I said, there are times when he’s blissfully confident in his own lies. The more wins he has, the larger his ego over the situation grows. He chooses to ignore what a sticky situation it is.”