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The re-making of Hayley

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The re-making of Hayley

The West Australian

26 August 2005

Ella Scott Lynch is understandably worried about how fans of Home and Away will react when she takes over Bec Cartwright's popular role of Hayley on Monday. "I'm a little worried, I have to admit, just because Bec had such an avid following and not just for the character," she said. "She's a real TV personality, a lot of young girls identify with her.

"I'm not going to try to mimic her or look like her or anything. I'm hoping they see similar warmth in the way I'm playing Hayley, so they can still identify with the character.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say I was quite worried I'll be getting yelled at in the streets. But I have friends who are really avid watchers and I think I'll have to trust their opinions."

Recasting of major characters is hardly new on Seven's long-running soapie. Vanessa Downing and Debra Lawrance both played Pippa and Martin Dingle-Wall was Flynn before Joel McIlroy took over in 2003.

But 22-year-old Scott Lynch, a redhead with green eyes, is taking on a role that Cartwright played for seven years and saw her win this year's Silver Logie for most popular actress.

"I thought about it and thought it would be an interesting acting challenge to take over someone else's role, an already developed character," said Scott Lynch.

The TV newcomer graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) last year and didn't think she had much chance of landing the role.

"It was a real surprise when they offered it to me," she said. "I did walk in at one point and thought, "I don't really have a chance - I'm not a beach babe'."

Scott Lynch has acted in theatre and had some small TV and film roles. She had no qualms about signing on to a soapie.

"When you first get into NIDA, you can be a bit snobby~ and say you want to do Bell Shakespeare, work in London on the West End or go to Hollywood," she said. "But what you realise quickly is if you're going to be an actor in Australia, you have to be really flexible if you're going to make a living out of it. I realised it would be important to get as much experience in theatre, TV and film as quickly as possible."

Scott Lynch didn't get the acting bug until she finished high school but she comes from an artistic family. Her mother is a film producer, her dad is a former general manager of the Sydney Theatre Company, one step-brother is a performance artist and the other is a talent agent.

She has a role in Cate Shortland's yet to be scheduled ABC telemovie, The Silence, will work on the film, Monkey Puzzle, later in the year and on the day of our interview had been to a film audition. So how long has Scott Lynch signed up to play Hayley?

"I'm not really meant to say - they don't want people to know. At the moment, it's sort of until the end of the year," she said.

Our first glimpse of Scott Lynch, opening credits aside, is in a hospital gown. She assures us Hayley won't be confined to bed for the rest of her pregnancy and she's a bit scared about the pending birth scenes.

"I've got some birth videos to study and whenever I sort of come across a pregnant woman I quiz them and stare at them," she said.

Scott Lynch has filmed most of her scenes with Chris Hemsworth and Kip Gamblin who play Kim and Scott. Due to a sabotaged paternity test, Kim believes he is the father of Hayley's baby when it's really the child of her ex-boyfriend, Scott.

"They were very quickly very supportive and made me feel welcome. They've been great because most of my stuff is with them," she said.

"And they've been there to answer weird questions. Home and Away works so quickly. A lot of the time it's like being on a treadmill that's out of control, trying to catch up. So it's been great to have their advice."

Home and Away, Seven/GWN, weeknights, 7pm

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So how long has Scott Lynch signed up to play Hayley?

"I'm not really meant to say - they don't want people to know. At the moment, it's sort of until the end of the year," she said.



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This doesnt really indicate that she wont be Hayley for very long. It looks as though Home and Away peoples are waiting to be sure that people warm up to Ella playing Hayley so they have given her a shortened contract incase of the need to recast......or they want people to believe that Hayley is going to die.

I say dont assume anything just because of what the newspaper prints.....things like that are known to omit certain details to make it sound worse or better than what the scenario actually is!

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Maybe Ella will just be there to tie up the loose ends with the Scott/Kim/Hayley triange and the paternity results. I guess the writers felt that they wanted this storyline to be seen through to it's conclusion and Bec's leaving would have thrown a huge spanner in the works.

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