Indeed, Emily appears this week for the first time as mysterious Summer Bay newcomer Simone Bedford. And it seems Simone wastes no time making her presence felt!
“I was just so excited to get this role – I was absolutely stoked,” says Emily with a huge smile. “I remember reading the character briefing and thinking, ‘If they don’t give me this role, I don’t know what I’ll do!’
“It’s a show I’d always watched and it’s always been a dream job for me. I knew it would be a fabulous experience, as well as the fact that it’s such a great Australian story.
“I also knew it would enable me to pick up heaps of skills really fast and be around so many incredibly talented and experienced actors. Home and Away is an amazing training ground and I’ve already learnt so much.”
On the personal front, NIDA graduate Emily also feels deeply blessed. The bubbly actress just recently tied to the knot with her soulmate, Joel Lumsden, in a beautiful ceremony in NSW’s Southern Highlands, attended by several of her Home and Away castmates including Sophie Dillman, Kestie Morassi, Jackson Heywood and Tim Franklin.
“I met Joel on Tinder about four years ago and he’s the love of my life,” reveals Emily. “He’s wonderful and is so excited about me working on Home and Away – he’s such a big support.
“I’d been on so many bad dates before I met Joel, and so had he – he has some hilarious stories!” she adds with a laugh.
“Life is so busy at the moment. I’m working full-time and I’ve been planning my wedding. It’s incredible.”
Emily, who has previously appeared in Doctor Doctor and A Place to Call Home, and in a number of theatrical productions, has clearly been given a warm welcome by the Home and Away cast.
“It’s such a fabulous community of people here,” she says. “It’s like a little family at work. I knew a couple of people already – I knew Tim Franklin, and Jackson [Heywood] has also been such an amazing support.”
Speaking of Jackson, his alter ego – Salt’s resident chef Brody – finds himself spending time this week with Simone, a special-needs teacher and a budding cook.
“Simone is in love with cooking and she really wants to pursue it,” says Emily.
“She thinks this will be her new lease on life.
“Simone does have a good heart. She’s very gentle and well-intentioned.”
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.