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Home and Away at 7pm was her childhood rule, now she’s on the show

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Angelina Thomson has joined Home and Away as Kirby, keyboard player for the band Lyrik, who recently landed in Summer Bay.

This must be a great time to be on Home and Away: you’ve finally vanquished Neighbours, you’ve officially won Australian soap opera.
That’s hilarious!

Are you a lifelong fan of Home and Away, or are you coming in with new eyes?

No, I like it. I’ve long been a supporter. This was the nightly routine where I grew up on the Gold Coast: Channel Seven on the TV and dinner on the table at 7 o’clock. The unwritten rule was that.

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Tell me about your character Kirby.

Kirby is artistic, she plays the keyboards, she writes lyrics, she serves as the band’s calming, caring mediator, but she’s also very forceful, passionate, and full of love—both for her adopted family in the band and [for] her boyfriend, who is also a member. She is travelling with the band while they are on tour.

Does the band get to perform a lot on screen?

We have a lot of gigs, so we kind of do. However, the way the music has been incorporated into the situations by the writers is incredible. When someone is playing the piano or a guitar, it adds a layer that you didn’t know you needed until you had it. I don’t know how this would have made sense without it at that point, it’s like whoa.

It’s interesting that you’re the keyboard player in the band, not the singer. Because we know that you are a great singer: your resume shows you’ve got a lot of experience belting out tunes on stage. Do you get to sing much on the show?

We have a lot of gigs, so we kind of do. However, the way the music has been incorporated into the situations by the writers is incredible. When someone is playing the piano or a guitar, it adds a layer that you didn’t know you needed until you had it. I don’t know how this would have made sense without it at that point, it’s like whoa.

Tell me about the experience of coming onto Home and Away. It’s not just any show, there’s a history there and a legacy. Are you awestruck, is it incredibly intimidating to walk onto the sets that are so familiar and it’s like, “Wow, here I am”?

Absolute, absolute. On my first week here, I experienced a range of feelings. Because there’s the thing: I always see these sets on TV, but now that I’m standing in them, the world that is imagined on screen appears to be very different from reality. A million more individuals are in the room, there are missing walls, and there are a million cameras. Coming from the world of music theatre to the world of television, I made a big effort to witness a lot of the actors in their flow states before the filming ever began. To make it less strange to me when I was on set, listen to the language they spoke that I wasn’t as familiar with. I made that effort to avoid feeling overextended on the first day of filming.

It’s well-documented that Summer Bay can be a gateway to a major Hollywood career. Do you have your eye on that, or will you wait a few more weeks?

I genuinely just want to seize this chance step by step. I want to cram as much information and education into these four walls as I can. There is a part of it that makes me think of university: I feel like I’m always learning and always adjusting to the changes. As an actor, I feel like I’m being pushed. Thus, at this time… Although I have lofty goals, I also want to take things slowly.

Obviously though, if Marvel comes calling tomorrow…

(Laughing) I have no idea! I feel as though I dream of collaborating with particular people in the future. aspires to collaborate with Taika Waititi and Frankie Adams in the future. People like me who have altered the representational landscape and carried out similar actions. Although I have lofty goals, I also recognise that I am now in the appropriate place. I believe that’s plenty.

As we’re speaking about people you’d love to work with, let’s get to the ultimate question for any Summer Bay resident: can you give us any insights into the man who is Alf?

That is very funny! He is among the most gracious men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. To be honest, I was anxious for the day because there had been so much anticipation for the day I would actually meet him. But he is such a wonderful and compassionate man. He asks questions. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who showed absolutely no interest in the subject matter you were discussing? He is the total polarity of that. He always has a stunning smile on his face and stops to chat when he is in the hallways. I don’t think anyone can say anything terrible about him, including myself.

Alf is everything everyone wants him to be.
A hundred percent. My dreams came true that day.

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