When asked if she is a fugitive bride like Julia Roberts, Summer Bay’s Jacqui Purvis laughs.
According to Purvis (right), who plays Felicity Newman, “Viewers will have to tune in to see if Flick actually does make it down the aisle or if she gets her sneakers out and runs away,” the much-awaited nuptials between her character and Tane Parata will take place (Kiwi Ethan Browne).
One of the relationship conflicts that will likely be featured in the yearly Home and Away cliffhanger episode is the wedding, which is taking place in the country.
Back in Summer Bay, Dr. Bree Cameron’s (Juliet Godwin) marriage to the controlling Jacob (Alex Williams) is crumbling, and Felicity’s cop brother Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) and his ex-girlfriend Eden Fowler (Stephanie Panozzo) are torn between reigniting their romance and calling it quits.
Purvis declares, “There’s great drama everywhere,” and adds that her one and only desire in life is to see Tane and Flick married for all time. They essentially complete one another, which is incredibly lovely.
But the former dancer and now-actor claims she also comprehends Felicity’s doubts about the value of marriage, including weddings and all the customs they entail.
“I do have a lot of those same questions — like, ‘Why do you have to get married to actually be committed to someone?’ — going through my own head about marriage. Therefore, sharing that connection with Felicity was enjoyable, according to Purvis. “I can relate, without a doubt. I struggle with commitment myself.
But occasionally, that led to some awkward situations.
“It almost feels a little too personal. On the one hand, you feel the same way, you know how to respond, and you can draw from your own life experience, so that’s great,” she says. “But you almost don’t want to do that because it almost feels like therapy,” she continued.
“I actually prefer (storylines) that are so unlike my own life that I can just dramatic act them out. That is much simpler to execute than a scene that you can personally relate to.
However, the actor claims that the wedding plot has been a lot of fun and has helped her organise her own ideas about what she might want if she had to actually plan a wedding.
With one – rather terrifying – exception, she continues, “It was like a practise run for the real thing.”
The decision by Felicity to say her vows to Tane in Mori te reo, rather than the drama’s customary end-of-year prevalence of car crashes (and there will reportedly be one), explosions, or even being killed off, made Purvis shudder.
“It’s so terrifying. Felicity is learning, so she’s not perfect, but oh my goodness, it’s so scary,” Purvis says, acknowledging that she is well aware that many Kiwi viewers will be evaluating how she handles the challenge.
The two hardest things I’ve ever done in my acting career were probably that and acting drunk. Te reo Mori is very challenging, but I felt incredibly honoured and eager to learn it. It really is a wonderful language, so it was just such a lovely experience.
Browne and Kawakawa Fox-Reo, two of Purvis’ Kiwi co-stars, as well as a cultural adviser helped the actress, who has never been to New Zealand but is eager to go there soon (who plays Nikau Parata).
“I made sure the producers got me a coach because I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the language or the culture. Not wanting to mess it up. Despite the fact that it was extremely difficult, she claims it was one of her best decisions ever.
“Ethan and Kawakawa provided me with a lot of assistance, too. Kawa was particularly good because he speaks nearly fluently. He would record himself saying the vows and send the recording to me so I could always refer back to it. Ethan was the same as well. I would ask him, “How do I sound?” as I sent him all of these voice recordings. What do you believe needs improvement?
“Those boys gave me so much support. They were truly amazing.