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Amy Mathews: from waitress to Home & Away star

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Fed: Amy Mathews: from waitress to Home & Away star

Australian Associated Press General News

By Erin McWhirter, TV Writer

13 January 2006

SYDNEY, Jan 13 AAP - until recently actress Amy Mathews had been waiting on tables, making just enough money to get by while dreaming of a full-time acting role.

Finally her prayers have been answered and Mathews will be introduced to soapie-land in Home and Away's first episode of 2006 on Monday.

Mathews, who will play a key role this season as Summer Bay's new-in-town psychiatric registrar Dr Rachel Armstrong, says waitressing has been her saviour in dry acting periods.

"Unfortunately in the career I have chosen if you get a job it only lasts a week - then you are out of work again so you have to do something to sustain you," said the 26-year-old.

"It has to be something you can leave at the drop of a hat because when you get an acting part you have to leave instantly."

Nervous about her debut on the popular series Mathew's says she's enjoying her new job and eagerly awaits her first episode.

"I think it's only natural to get anxious in the lead up of it going to air and actors are generally very self-conscious and self-deprecating so that doesn't help," she said.

"My first day on-set I was totally nervous. I got the job the Friday before I had to start the following week. When I got there it was bizarre to be working on this show that you watched as a kid and meeting Alf and Sally. It was weird but kind of fun," she laughs.

While Home and Away will be her first full-time acting job the rising star already has a string of credits including guest roles on All Saints, Blue Heelers, Head Start, Always Greener and FOX8's Love Bytes.

Since she was a youngster acting has been in her blood and once older Mathews accepted a scholarship to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia before returning to Australia.

Back home, she enrolled in a two year course at the Actors Centre in Surry Hills then spent a year with the Bell Shakespeare company performing in a number of independent theatre productions.

She admits this role has been a long time coming and one that she hopes to keep.

"I really hope they want to keep me on because I love playing this character," she smiles.

"But, who knows. It's really up to the public and what they think of her (Dr Armstrong).

"I am running blind a bit because I haven't been on air and I am not sure what people will think.

"I think she is a likeable character and hopefully others feel the same way."

© 2006 Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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Sydney MX

9 January 2006

Landing a gig at Summer Bay is just what the doctor ordered for AMY MATHEWS, who is the new face on Home and Away.

Q.How did you celebrate landing a full-time gig as Dr Rachel Armstrong on Home and Away ?

A.I told my mum and we had a bottle of champagne and some strawberries, which she organised. We were very excited about it.

Q.You have played a small role as a nurse on the series before. Is it coincidence or do you have a medical degree up your sleeve?

A.I wish I did, but no, it's simply a coincidence.

Q.Have you studied real doctors and nurses to achieve a more realistic portrayal of your character?

A.Not studied, but I have interviewed and talked to medical students, doctors and psychiatrists. I have such respect for them, they work very hard.

Q.What's your character like a vixen, heart breaker or a sweet girl?

A.Rachel is strong willed with a gentle heart, which is such a great juxtaposition of traits. It makes her a great character to play.

Q.How does she fit into the Summer Bay family?

A.She went to high school with Leah and is returning to the Bay to start her career.

Q.Which cast members are you closest to so far and who has taken you under their wing?

A.Chris Hemsworth (who plays Kim Hyde) and I are quite good mates because most of our scenes are together. However, everyone has been very welcoming towards me.

Q.Where else have we seen your work?

A.I have had many guest roles on Australian dramas. I did Blue Heelers' live to air episode, I was also in Fox 8's drama Love Bytes and I have toured Australia and Singapore with the Bell Shakespeare company.

Q.Kate Ritchie, who plays Sally, has been with the show 18 years? Do you see a long-term future at Summer Bay?

A.I'm having a really great time working with the cast and crew and doing what I love, so I hope I can stay for as long as possible.

Q.Over the past year Summer Bay has been home to stalkers, cults and babies. What can we expect this year?

A.They do keep a pretty tight lid on storylines even from us but I'm sure there will be a lot of drama and romance in store for Rachel in particular.

Q.Two Home and Away starlets have won Dancing with the Stars. Can we expect to see you treading the boards?

A.I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

* Home and Away returns to Channel 7 next Monday from 7pm.

Copyright 2006 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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Thanks for the article! I think Amy Mathews is a great actress, and her character on home and away really suits her to the tee. She seems like such a lovely and down to earth girl, judging by the interviews I have read about her. I hope she will be on home and away for many years to come!.

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