Home and Away’s youngest stars Olivia Deeble and Anna Cocquerel are used to seeing fans do a double take when they’re out and about together.
For while their characters Raffy and Coco get along famously – for the most part, at least! – Olivia, 16, and Anna, 17, are also the best of friends in real life.
“We’ll be out shopping or having lunch together and people do look twice,” laughs Olivia. “It’s very funny – people get doubly excited and will be like, ‘There’s Raffy and there’s Coco!’ We hang out together a lot.
“Our characters sometimes fight – they’re two very fiery headed girls – but Anna and I never do,” adds Olivia. “We’re just really good friends.”
Agrees Anna: “We’ve just always got along really well. Olivia’s always happy and just connects with people.”
It’s easy to see that the talented teens truly do love working together and sharing laughs when the cameras aren’t rolling.
And, as they reveal, that’s the way it’s always been – in fact, long before they began working on the show together.
“We met many years ago – I was probably about 12 – at a call-back audition for something else and we spent about eight hours together in this call-back room,” recalls Olivia. “We just clicked from the start.”
When Anna landed the role of Coco in late 2016, Olivia had already been playing Raffy for more than a year. And she was thrilled to welcome Anna into the fold.
“Anna’s the only other girl my age here, so I was so excited when she joined the show,” says Olivia.
“We’re two teenage girls and we share the same dressing room. I’ll often see her more than I see my other friends, and sometimes even more than I see my family.”
As Olivia reveals, Anna quickly became “like a sister to me”.
“We’ll call each other if we need advice about school or anything else,” she says. “It’s just that kind of thing that we’ve become so close. I’m really lucky to have her, because she just ‘gets it’.
“She understands how amazing the job is, but exactly what it’s like juggling things, too. We really respect each other,” she says.
Adds Anna: “We do both understand what it’s like to be filming and then, five minutes later, be doing your homework in the dressing room. That’s where we connect a lot.”
Indeed, next year, while Olivia will be combining Year 11 studies with her filming schedule, Anna will be working part-time on the hit weeknight series while completing Year 12.
“I’ll still be in the Bay, but I’m also at a regular school with all of my friends,” says Anna. “I’ve been at the school since Year 1 and I’ve always had great friends there too. Just to go back and finish with all of my peers was something I didn’t want to miss out on – it’s something that I think is very important for every teenager there.”
“Finishing school is important to both of us,” agrees Olivia.
And, as has long been the case, the girls will be there to support each other.
“We’ve been together for such an important part of our lives, so we’ll always have a special connection,” says Olivia.
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