TV WEEK
6th September 2008

After leaving her violent, drug-addled lover, Rachel hits the bottle hard, Jessica Marias talks us through it.

After splitting up with Daniel (Luke Pegler), your character, Rachel, move back in with her parents. How does that make her feel?

She sees it as a step backwards, but at the same time she feels relieved to be away from the turbulence of her relationship with Daniel. It’s a bittersweet homecoming.

It’s not a quiet homecoming – she’s soon involved with one drunken drama after another.

Alcohol is her way of dealing with the emotional problems she’s facing, a way of numbing the pain she feels very lost and this her coping mechanism, but she starts to realise that she’s hurting the people she loves, not just herself.

It seems to be especially painful for her mother.

It is. Julie (Rebecca Gibney) sees her daughter as the shining star, the go-getter, and finds it painful to watch her head down such a self-destructive path. But Rachel’s on the defensive and really doesn’t mean to hurt her mum.

How did her drinking problem develop?

Daniel turned to crutches to get him through the day and Rachel unwittingly became involved. It went from being something she did to keep up with I’m to something she added. But she can’t just blame Daniel – she played a knowing part and she has to take responsibility for that.

This week, Rachel really puts her foot in with Ted (Michael Caton) when she’s drunk with potentially dire consequences. Is this a turning point for her?

Yes. When Rachel realises she’s offended her grandad, she feels a Hugh sense of guilt and remorse. She thinks, “It’s one thing to take myself down this destructive path, but I’ve endangered his wellbeing through my actions.” It’s defiantly a wake up call.

So will she turn her back on the booze?

No battle is completely straightforward and she has a few more obstacles to overcome yet. The intensity and toxicity of her relationship with Daniel is something that’s hard to cut off cold turkey. You haven’t seen the last of him.

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