Home and Away fans were devastated when Courtney Miller exited the soap earlier this year.
The star, who played Bella Nixon for over three years, was in a much-loved onscreen relationship with Nikau Parata (Kawakawa Fox-Reo).
Courtney opened up to Yahoo Lifestyle about what she’s been doing since she left, if she would consider coming back to Summer Bay, and why she’ll never lose touch with her onscreen ‘family’.
Since leaving the soap, Courtney has been busy studying acting at the 16th Street Actors Studio in Melbourne.
She's spent her time honing her craft while working on ‘different acting techniques’, ranging from ‘American scenes’ to ‘great theatre’ pieces.
Although her course is ending very soon, it has been her ‘absolute joy for the past nine months’.
‘I would feel so safe’
The last time we saw Bella was when Nikau broke up with her over FaceTime due to the bikie threat. Fans were unsatisfied with her ending, but since she wasn’t killed off, the door is open for a potential return.
While Courtney admits she would love to reprise her role as Bella, she doesn’t want to come back for an extended period of time.
“I would [come back]. I wouldn’t do a long stint, but just to see everyone, especially just having finished a bit of drama school,” she explains.
“I want to work again to see what I’ve learned, what I’ve taken on and how I’ve grown as an actor.”
She adds that Home and Away would be the ideal place to test out her new acting techniques because of how fast-paced it is.
“You’re constantly [filming] scene after scene, working with different people — and I would feel so safe there. To be able to walk on set and go, this place is familiar.”
‘We’ll never lose touch’
The tight-knit cast don’t have a group chat, but the actress says they’ll always be friends.
After working closely with each other for years, the bond between costars is something that doesn't just disappear overnight. When looking for a word to describe their relationship, she settles on the word 'family'.
“We’ll never lose touch but also, our lives have to eventually go different ways which is sad,” she reflects.
“It’s funny how your lives suddenly change. They’re working, and I’m a student…you love them in your heart but you can’t always talk to them.”
‘My first day was crazy’
The star first appeared on Home and Away in late 2018, and she can still remember how ‘hectic’ the day was.
“My first day was crazy, I got kidnapped by my [onscreen] brother [on my] first day,” she begins. “That was probably the most hectic day because I was so new on location.”
“I had to be thrown on [Tim Franklin’s] shoulder and kick. But little did I know, because I was so green, that you shouldn’t actually kick with your full strength. I almost really hurt [him],” she quips.
Courtney laughs when she remembers how many times Bella was kidnapped on the show and says she thinks it happened around four times.
Her first storyline involved being kidnapped away from her abusive father Ross Nixon, before being kidnapped back by her father not long after.
Although she finds it funny how often she was 'shoved in a car', she adds that playing Bella was 'very fun'.
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