Unlucky Elly Conway (Jodi Anasta) needs the support of her family more than ever as she faces charges over the murder of evil ex Finn Kelly, but the return of his mother, and her baby girl Aster’s granny, Claudia Watkins is something the stressed single mum could do without.
Thanks to Ms Conway’s complicated history with tough cookie Claudia’s sons – Finn’s late brother Shaun Watkins is Aster’s father – there’s not much love lost between the ladies when they are reunited in Neighbours on Monday 13th April.
“Absolutely not!” says Anasta, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “From the moment Claudia arrives, Elly is the only one fully on her guard. She tells the rest of the Kennedys she only ever visits when she wants something. From what she knows of the family’s backstory, Shaun was the good side – Finn and Claudia are definitely the bad!
“But Claudia appears to be full of sympathy and actually manages to fool Elly into thinking she genuinely wants to be there for her and Aster – but as things unfold she will realise she is completely wrong!”
The teacher should trust her instincts, as calculating Claudia has come on a secret mission to discredit Elly and the Kennedy family as unsuitable carers for her grandchild, who she plans to gain custody of while posing as the concerned, nice nana.
While fiendish Finn continues to plague Ramsay Street through his menacing mum, Anasta admits Claudia’s comeback was a totally different story off screen as she is a huge fan of Aussie TV royalty Kate Raison, who reprises her recurring role.
“I used to love a soap here in Australia that aired in the 1990s called E Street, and she was in it!” recalls Anasta. “Literally my favourite! I remember when the show ended I balled my eyes out, I was beside myself. I must’ve been about 10 years old at the time.
“I don’t think Kate knew what a die-hard fan I was, I had to act cool. She was in A Country Practice too, another show I watched as a kid, Kate is such an incredible actress she’s done everything. We’ve worked together quite a bit as Elly and Claudia over the last year, lots of intense two-hander scenes. I’ve learnt a lot from her, she’s just beautiful.”
Elly is in for a roller coaster ride as the aftermath of Finn’s death will lead to her exit later this year, but despite the many theories swirling around how she goes Anasta will only tease one word to sum up her departure: “Unpredictable!” she grins. “A lot of people think Elly’s going to jail or getting killed off – but something you haven’t even thought about might happen.
“There’s much more to come before then and you’ll get to see another side to Elly, but her exit is something no one will predict.”