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Lucas heights

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Lucas heights


18 January 2006

It took some time for Isabel Lucas to get used to being recognised, writes Robert Fidgeon

ISABEL Lucas says she was pretty much thrown in the deep end when she joined Home and Away in 2003.

"I came straight from school and it was my first job," she says.

"I'm quite a reflective person and it's helped me so much -- helped bring me out, I think."

Lucas was a seasoned traveller by the time she was 10, having lived in Melbourne, then Switzerland, and back to Melbourne, before the family settled in North Queensland.

The 21-year-old moved from Cairns to Sydney when she landed the role of Tasha Andrews in Home and Away.

Lucas was "discovered" by agent Sharon Meissner while holidaying in Queensland, but initially auditioned for the role of Kit Hunter (played by Amy Mizzi).

"As a child I was a bit of a nomad. My dad's a pilot and we were always on the move," she says.

"I was born in Melbourne and looked upon the moves as positive.

"I've always been keen to learn new things and sometimes get itchy feet if I stay in one place for too long.

"I'd still love to travel. I loved Switzerland, and would love to go back to Europe, but for the moment I'm very happy being with the show."

The personal side of her life has seen Lucas split with co-cast member Chris Hemsworth and, on-screen, Tasha has become involved with a cult and is clearly being manipulated.

"The Home and Away storyline has Tasha really going through a weird time," Lucas says.

"But it's wonderful to be involved in a storyline that gives your character plenty of involvement and takes her on a quite disturbing journey."

Lucas says she needed a period of adjustment as she learned to cope with being a recognised national TV face after 18 years of anonymity.

"I don't like talking about myself very much and when people keep coming up and saying `hello' all the time, it can get hard and a little draining," she says.

"I appreciate that it's a nice way to meet people, but you are always kind of giving a part of yourself.

"It's a bit of a trade-off that goes with the job, I guess.

"For a time I questioned why people would want to talk to me.

"I don't like to put on a persona. I'm a genuine person.

"But being in the public eye has brought me to having interaction with others, especially younger people, and I see that as a positive, as has the work for World Vision that I've been able to do. I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I hadn't been on the show."

Away from the cameras, Lucas is into horse riding and for the past 10 years has competed in dressage and showjumping events.

Among her favourite recording artists she lists Jack Johnson, Norah Jones and Ben Harper.

In 2004, she won the Most Popular New Talent Logie.

"When I started with the show I tried not to have any preconceived ideas about what it may be like," she says.

"It's been so much more than anything I imagined. It has been a very broadening experience for me.

"There are times when I look back and realise it is only a relatively short time, in a sense, that I've been with the show.

"On the other hand, there are times when I feel I've been doing it all my life."



Channel 7, weekdays, 7pm

Aussie drama

Duration: 30 minutes


ISABEL LUCAS heard she had won the role of Tasha when her mother received a phone call while picking up her daughter from school.

"The phone rang while mum was driving. We pulled over and I got on the phone and they told me I had the part," she says.

"I was so excited. We had a big family dinner that night to celebrate."

Lucas had auditioned before but they hadn't amounted to anything.

"When I did this one, I just thought I'd give it my best shot, not ever thinking I would get it," she says.

"It's such a great challenge for me and I just want to stay as open-minded as I can and learn as much as I can.

"Everyone connected with the show was so welcoming when

I joined. I feel extremely settled now and am looking forward to seeing where the storyline takes Tasha this year."

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