5th September 1998
After spending six years of her life growing up on TV, Rebecca Ritters says it’s time for a break…
REBECCA RITTERS, who plays Hannah on Neighbours, has acted in storyline that involved her struggling with her mother’s death, a violent half-brother, puppy love and even her first period – but now Hannah plans to take give months off to be herself.
She will still be on screen until mid-October, when Hannah will be temporarily written out with a storyline involving her leaving for an exchange program in France. There will be some romantic complications, but this is being kept under wraps.
In real life, the break gives Rebecca, 14, a chance to concentrate on school work, attend a two-month school camp and, over the Christmas break, go on a dream holiday.
“I’m so excited. I’m going to Nepal with a friend and her family for four weeks,” she says. “We’ll be hiking in the Himalayas. I can’t wait.”
Growing up on Neighbours has made for an interesting life. Rebecca joined the show six years ago.
“Because I grew up on the show, I don’t know anything different,” she says, furrowing her eyebrows as she muses over whether being a child actress has robbed her of her childhood. “It sort of seems normal to me.”
“Girls ask me what it’s lie being on TV. I’m just like other people, it’s just that I don’t know anything different to what I have done all these years.”
Rebecca says it was just “pot luck” to land a job in Neighbours.
“One of my teachers had a daughter who worked for a talent agency and she gave me her number and I gave them a call,” she says.
“I got straight into the agency and got an audition for Neighbours. I was in the right place at the right time.”
Rebecca easily settled into the role of Hannah and gets along well with other cast members.
“I can’t pick one favourite person,” she says, “because everyone will go, ‘Hey, what about me!’ But I loved working with Anne Haddy and I miss her dearly.
“They all have helped me. I was eight when I started and I knew nothing. I think it was a good way to learn acting.”
Another thing that has improved over the years for Rebecca is the fashions.
“When I started out I had my hair in pigtails and was wearing, well, whatever! But Hannah’s clothes are getting better,” she says, adding that her fashion sense is definitely different that of Hannah.
“I wear different clothes, speak differently, behave differently,” she says.
Rebecca is looking forward to the break and the special two-month school camp. She will share a cabin with eight other girls, but there is a downside to this five month “holiday” away from Neighbours.
“I’ll have to try harder at school while I’m away,” Rebecca says “Because I have no excuses now for handing in work late!”
Rebecca – the facts
- Before Neighbours Rebecca was a child model.
- Rebecca enjoys jazz music as opposed to pop groups. Her favourite artists are k.d lang and Ella Fitzgerald.
- The Neighbours stars is a vegetarian and likes salads, lentils and basically “anything without meat”!
- Rebecca likes to help out the less fortunate and contributes by taking part in the 40-hour Famine.
Original content copyright TV Week.