The Home and Away character Marilyn Chambers played by Emily Symons has remained a popular figure for more than three decades.
Therefore, it would be reasonable to suppose that the actress is followed by followers everywhere she goes.
But when we recently reconnected, Emily, 53, made the unexpected admission that: “No one ever recognises me!
When I go for business with [co-stars] like Ada [Nicodemou] or Lynne [McGranger], I’ll be standing right next to them, and people will run up and beg for a photo. They’ll hand their phone to me so I can take it. They respond, “Who?” when Lynne asks, “Do you want one with Emily? Emily chuckles.
Emily has gained notoriety for Marilyn’s appearance ever since she initially entered Summer Bay in 1989 as the exuberant beauty therapist with big hair and a heart to match.
However, it becomes apparent throughout our exclusive photo shoot that Emily is far more reserved in real life.
On set, it takes an hour and a half to transform me into Marilyn, although it only takes half that time for the other women. I am without a doubt the slowest,” she chuckles.
The only person who can sneak inside Woolworths to do the weekly shopping without anyone noticing is me.
Although Emily is substantially different from Marilyn, she still cares deeply about the persona.
She really inherited some traits from her mother Glen, who died of cancer in 2010.
She explains that her mother “was always very joyful, kind, and enjoyed life and children.”
“Mom had a crazy collection she loved from Smiggle, which is why you see Marilyn with a strange fluffy pen. She had a terrific sense of humour and adored pink.
In real life, Emily inherited Glen’s passion for cooking, and she freely acknowledges that if the chance to go on a celebrity culinary show ever presented itself, she’d be “extremely tempted.”
She reflects, “My mother was a really brilliant teacher, but I’m not quite as good as her. I can defend myself, then.
Henry, Emily’s 7-year-old son, doesn’t think much of Emily’s celebrity status because he has grown up seeing his mother on television and in magazines.
The celebrity says, “He thinks it’s something that all mothers do.” Many of Emily’s co-stars have become particularly close to the couple, including Ray Meagher, a cherished family friend.
Henry does occasionally appear perplexed when he sees Ray on TV with me, though.
Marilyn has witnessed more than her fair share of drama in the Bay over the past 30 years.
The protagonist has overcome organophosphate poisoning, amnesia, and divorce. However, Emily admits that she is now working on her “largest tale yet.”
The sight of her daughter Heather (played by Sofia Nolan), whom she gave up years ago, has upset Marilyn during the past two weeks.
This week, Heather kidnaps her birth mother as she is determined to exact retribution for having been abandoned.
“You are very much there for the comedy when you’re portraying someone like Marilyn,” adds Emily.
“So this [storyline] has been extremely difficult and emotionally intense. I’m really happy that I was able to achieve it. I adored collaborating with Sofia, and I’m very appreciative that the writers gave us this chance.