Home and Away fans have been raving about the first two episodes of 2023 after the show’s explosive return kept people on the edge of their seats. On Tuesday night, Felicity Newman (Jacqui Purvis) was rescued from a burning car by her fiancé Tane Parata (Ethan Browne) in a heroic act.
The soap filmed the car accident as part of their end-of-year cliffhanger and return in Blayney last year. In a candid chat with Yahoo Lifestyle, Jacqui reveals how “crazy” it was sitting in the flame-covered car and shares a personal moment she had while on set.
Although the star pulled off an incredible performance as she screamed from the passenger seat, Jacqui says she actually enjoyed the storyline and calls it ‘the best acting experience’ she’s ever had.
“It’s a moment that you never usually have in everyday life, so being able to film such weird, crazy scenes is just such a blessing for an actor. It was surreal,” she gushes.
The crew were able to choose the height and spread of the fire surrounding the car by using special-effect flame bars. While the flames lit up in a safe and controlled manner, Jacqui says the heat was still startling.
“They’d have massive flames coming up, and I was in the car, there’s flames everywhere,” she recalls. “It was so strong that [I was] in the car, [but I could] feel the heat. I honestly didn’t need to act, it was so scary and so surreal.”
The bubbly blonde enjoys tackling stunt work and action scenes and the fire sequence was a stark contrast from her regular Pier Diner or Salt scenes.
Though viewers may have guessed that the cast and crew spent days on the intricate stunt, Jacqui spills that it was completed in just ‘a couple of hours’. Bigger budget drama shows or films often shoot much slower, and she guesses that a scene of this size should have “taken five days”.
Jacqui reveals strange coincidence: 'Started crying'
She adds that the paramedics seen on screen weren’t actors, but real-life, working health professionals. One of the paramedics actually approached the star in tears, thanking the actress for portraying such a realistic storyline.
In a bizarre coincidence, it turned out that the paramedic had previously rescued a victim from a burning car, and watching the scene play out filled him with emotion.
“I had the most beautiful moment with one of the paramedics. He came up to me…and he said that he was so touched by the moment, and then he actually started crying,” she tells us.
“He [was moved] because he had been through an experience that was pretty much exactly the same.”
The paramedic told Jacqui how “cool” it was to see her play the storyline “so true to life”.
“It’s just such a massive honour for someone to say that to you, and be like, yeah, that was true, I’ve seen it happen. It was really special…there were so many emotions going on,” she finishes.
Although multiple Summer Bay residents have now been rushed to hospital, not everybody is out of the woods just yet.
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