Welcoming Madison: A Conversation with Neighbours Newcomer Sarah Ellen | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Welcoming Madison: A Conversation with Neighbours Newcomer Sarah Ellen


The Fan Carpet Chats To...

The legacy of Neighbours’ much celebrated characters Charlene and Scott, played by superstars Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan continues with their on-screen daughter Madison moving into Ramsay Street.

Eighteen-year-old actress, model, singer and blogger, Sarah Ellen has been cast in the coveted role as Madison Robinson, which will see her join her on-screen brother Daniel played by Tim Phillipps and Uncle Paul immortalised by Neighbours’ icon Stefan Dennis.

The multi-talented teen has had a long held ambition to pursue an acting career and attended the Campbelltown Performing Arts High School from 2012-2014. She has also completed acting courses with NIDA and JMA Performing Arts, where she met and performed with Australia’s X Factor finalist Jai Waetford, also a guest actor on the soap.

Newcomer Sarah Ellen joins Neighbours as Madison Robinson, the younger sister of Daniel Robinson and niece of Paul Robinson this Friday and The Fan Carpet’s Jen Scouler had the pleasure of talking to Sarah ahead of her debut in the beloved Australian Soap…

 

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How does it feel to join the Neighbours family?

I feel incredibly lucky, to be join the Neighbours family. It’s my first significant TV role so I couldn’t be more ecstatic that it’s on such a classic TV show that we used to watch growing up.

 

How did you first get the role?

It’s quite a refreshing story because a lot of the opportunities that come through for me, I get through my social media and what I do online, but for getting this role, it just came through my agency and I auditioned with a few other people. They flew me over to Melbourne to meet me and have me audition in the room with the producers which was really interesting. I got the role from that audition, so that was really good for me as I usually get a lot of opportunities from what I do online.

 

What did you do when you found out you’d got it?

It was a surreal feeling, really great! I was jumping up and down with excitement. My friends and family were really excited for me and feeling proud as well. They’ve been super supportive for me this entire time.

 

Have you watched Neighbours before?

Definitely, definitely when I was a kid I remember watching it growing up and every now and then I used to catch it on TV. In the last six months since I’ve gotten the role I’ve been watching it consistently.

 

Have you met any fellow members of the cast yet?

Yes, so I started filming about a week or two ago, so I got to meet the entire crew and the cast. It was really awesome working with them. I couldn’t have seen it going better, they’re just such lovely people. Also, the producers were really open to any ideas I had for the storyline and for Madison’s character. They’ve also been letting me help in the wardrobe department, seeing as I have a background in fashion so I got to style Madison which was really fun as well.

 

What is your character Madison like?

So, Madison Robinson, the daughter of Scott and Charlene [previously played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue], is a sweet, sweet 17-year old girl who is extremely good hearted and very stylish, but also just like her mum, very feisty and adventurous.

In the story, Madison arrives in Erinsborough on a bit of a mission for her parents to find something out about her brother Daniel. He’s about to make a major life-changing decision so she goes to find him and support him through that and she also reconnects with her Uncle Paul as he’s going through a bit of stress at the time.

What I can say, is that she also makes a bit of an entrance, a bit of a heated entrance. Let’s just say that there’s a stuntman on set for her entrance.

 

How did you find preparing to play Madison?

I’ve been steadily acting for the past year and a half and we went through every detail about Madison, me and my acting coach. So, what she’s like, what she reacts like to other people and we went through all her characteristics. It’s a bit of a process to get to know your character and really being able to play that character well.

 

Has Kylie Minogue given you any tips at all?

Kylie has been super supportive about the entire thing. She sent me a message saying ‘Welcome to the neighbourhood’ and just yesterday she commented on my Instagram photo when she saw I landed in London saying that she knows I’ll be great, which was really sweet. I told her that if I don’t run into her at Erinsborough, I might run into her in London!

 

That’s so cool! Is the role a big lifestyle change for you?

Neighbours is filmed in Melbourne and I live in Sydney so I am moving to Melbourne for quite a bit. I’m excited for the change, I do really love Melbourne, I think it’s a beautiful city.

 

How long have you wanted to be an actress, because obviously you’ve been training for quite a while?

I wasn’t really out there looking for a role, I think this role just came to me and the stars aligned for this role because it was such a perfect time.

My training has helped calming my nerves though, because on the first day I was quite nervous but definitely with acting with Stefan Dennis who plays Paul in one of my first scenes, it was great having such a professional actor to work with. He was extremely funny too, and cracking jokes which really helped. Calming my nerves is something that I do have to work on but I had Stefan to help me out.

 

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You’re also listed as a model. How did that start?

I’ve been working as a model since I was about 12 years old. That was definitely something I wanted to do when I was younger. So I did a few shoots here and there and as I got older I got interested in lots more different things like fashion and art, and acting, and so I’m doing more things now than modelling. But modelling is still something that I love to do and I’m still doing.

 

You’ve got a large following online on sites like Instagram and Twitter. How important is your social media to you?

Yeah, well I think social media has been such a game changer for the entire world really. It’s a way for me to interact with a lot of people every day, and they get to follow what I’m doing and be a part of my day. I think my followers are almost like family to me because they’ve been through everything with me since I was about thirteen years old, it’s like they’ve held me hand through a lot of things.

 

Wow, ever since then! So how did you first start with social media all that time ago?

I started making funny YouTube videos with my friends, and back then social media had first exploded so it was new to everyone at that time. Then, at fifteen years old when I started studying fashion and I realised I could take it into a more serious direction, I decided I wanted to start a blog. So I’ve worked with brands and done some collaborating, being a bit more creative with what I could do online.

 

Do you find there are expectations of being a role model, with such a big online presence?

I don’t feel like I have expectations that other people see, but I think for me, I do feel a bit of responsibility. You know, I do have younger people looking up to what I do so it’s just a personal expectation of responsibility.

 

What’s your favourite platform to use?

I love Instagram but lately I’d have to say Snapchat has been my favourite to use.

 

With this new role in Neighbours, do you think you’ll keep up with the social media as much as you have?

I sure hope so! I’ll be on a tight schedule but I’m sure it’ll be fine. I look after all my social channels and when I work with friends and collaborate with friends I manage that through to completion but I do have the help of my sister Rebecca, who helps me through everything as well.

 

Have you had any interesting interactions with your fans?

Definitely. About a year ago, I was working as an ambassador for a brand in Australia and I did this road trip meet and greet, so I went to a few of the different stores in Melbourne and Sydney, and I met with some of my fans. I remember on my very first meet and greet, I was a bit nervous that not many people would show up, maybe around 30 people would show up or who knows. But that day, about 300 people showed up so that was definitely an amazing experience.

 

What about when you’ve met fans face-to-face?

There’s been a lot of times I’ve met people so it’s hard to pick one off the top of my head, but I’ve had people cry when they’ve met me, which has made me quite emotional as well!

 

Is singing something you want to bring into your acting career?

I actually wouldn’t class myself as a singer. I do have a passion for it, I do love it as a hobby I do in my spare time. It’s not something I’d want to bring into my acting career, maybe down the line but acting is the thing I’m focusing on at the moment.

 

What would be your dream role as an actress?

A dream role? Hmm, good question… ok, so I just started watching Gossip Girl. I haven’t seen it before and I love Blair Waldorf’s character, I think that would be an epic role.

 

Have you got any favourite actors in the industry?

I would have to say Angelina Jolie, I think she’s just such a beautiful person onscreen and offscreen, and she’s also a businesswoman which I find really inspiring as well.

 

She’s done some directing as well. Is that something you can see yourself doing?

I’d love to venture out into directing at some point, and I like to be very creative, so who knows where life will take me after Neighbours, but I’m really excited to see. Of course, this is a show that has opened the door for many successful actors and pop stars, like Margot Robbie and Kylie, and Jason, and Russell Crowe! I’m really excited to see where Neighbours will take me.

 

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SARAH WILL DEBUT ON NEIGHBOURS FROM APRIL 22. NEIGHBOURS AIRS WEEKDAYS ON CHANNEL 5, 1.45PM & 5.30PM

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