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The Bay's Tessa joins brat pack

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The Bay's Tessa joins brat pack

18 August 2008

Sunday Territorian. Copyright 2008 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved

TESSA James is far from your stereotypical teenager.

Though it has become common for many to remain ensconced in their family home until well into their late 20s, James was out the door at 17.

How could she say no, she asks, to leaving home town Melbourne for Sydney and the beaches of fictional Summer Bay.

``It wasn't a hard decision to move to Sydney,'' she says.

``Once I was offered the role, it was more or less (a question of) how I was going to do it.

``It was daunting and scary, but I think it was more the unknown of how I was going to cope.

``It was hard leaving friends and family, but I was ready to do it and I'm so glad that I have.''

James landed the full-time gig as Home and Away brat Nicole Franklin after a part-time role as blind Anne Baxter on rival soap Neighbours.

Playing a spoilt girl from the city has been a huge challenge.

``It's great to play someone who is so different from myself,'' she says.

``She's very different to anyone in Summer Bay . . . she is definitely giving them something to talk about.

``I really enjoy researching her every day and finding out things about her.''

With almost 1000km between James and her family, she regularly commutes between the two cities.

``My parents help a lot -- they come up at least twice a week to check on me,'' she says. ``They make sure I'm OK and help out with the washing.''

She lives in Sydney's eastern suburbs and loves playing tourist with friends who visit from Melbourne.

``I've done a few touristy things with my friends, such as going to Manly on the ferry and walking around the harbour and Circular Quay,'' she says.

``It's (Home and Away) been five months of really hard work but I'm loving it.''

As with most prime-time series, Home and Away is not screening during the Olympic Games. Instead, SCTV is launching its first interactive drama, Summer Bay Online, to keep fans sated with Home and Away drama during the course of the Games.

Summer Bay Online is part drama and part interactive game, enabling fans to interact with the series' characters and play a part in solving a forthcoming mystery.

The site, summerbayonline.com.au, will run for four weeks.

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