EXCLUSIVE: Shane Withington and Emily Weir talk about their closeness offscreen

The Home & Away stars are “besties…”
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There’s no missing the mile-wide smile on Emily Weir’s face as the actress recalls the exact moment she met Home & Away co-star Shane Withington.

The pair has invited New Idea to join them for lunch at The Waterfront General Store and Cafe at Sydney’s Church Point, and Emily tells us between bites:

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“I was such a big fan of the show before I joined, so I was totally fangirling when I met Shane.”

On the surface, Shane and Emily don’t appear to have that much in common. The 64-year-old actor is a veteran of Aussie television. Before being cast as Home & Away’s John Palmer in 2009, he was known for his roles in A Country Practice, Rain Shadow, Wildside, The Flying Doctors and Willing and Abel.

Meanwhile, Emily, 32, admits to being “incredibly green” when she strolled onto the Summer Bay set in 2019 to start playing Mackenzie Booth.

Despite their obvious differences, a strong bond quickly formed between the pair, who now consider themselves to be “besties”.

shane emily
(Credit: New Idea)

“She’s gorgeous, witty, talented, fun to be around and has a maturity far beyond her years,” says Shane, as Emily adds, “I just love him to bits.”

But it isn’t just their ability to enjoy a laugh and have some fun on set that’s made the duo close. They share a very core common value in being kind.

“Shane was so welcoming and friendly to me on that first day,” Emily says.

“But I quickly noticed that he treated everyone the same, whether they’re the cleaner, the caterer, the star or the CEO, he’s kind to everyone and I aspired to be that,” she explains.

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With Shane joking that he’s “been around the block once or twice” during his career, it’s important for the seasoned star to set a good example for the up-and-comers he works with.

“I know in this business you can be on the top one day and in the next moment it can all go away,” he says.

“It’s vital to have a really strong sense of character and to know who you are and what your values are.”

As our lunch continues, the conversation turns to romance. Given Shane has been married to his former ACP on-screen wife Anne Tenney for more than 30 years, you might think that single Emily would turn to him for dating advice.

shane emily
(Credit: New Idea)

“That’s the one thing I haven’t asked him about,” Emily admits, before adding with a laugh, “Though now I think I should!”

Instead, Emily says she turns to Shane for “life, health and career advice”.

In turn, Shane learns something new from Emily every day, which helps keep him feeling “young”.

“I’ll never know what it was like to grow up in Emily’s era, so it’s wonderful to learn things from her perspective,” he says.

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The pair hope their closeness off-screen starts spilling over into storylines.

“I’m bugging the writers for John and Mackenzie to have more scenes together,” explains Shane. “We recently shot a big, emotional scene and it was so beautiful and natural. That magic only happens when two people know each other really well and can be vulnerable with each other.”

For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea!

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