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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Home and Away’s Courtney Miller on costar’s surprise act: ‘Special’

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FormerHome and Awaystar Courtney Miller played Bella Nixon on the soap for over three years, and fans were disappointed when she departed in June 2022.

Her exit came shortly after her ‘bestie’ Lukas Radovich, who played Ryder Jackson, also left the show.

The celebrity opened out to Yahoo Lifestyle about her passion for painting, how hard it was to say goodbye, and Lukas’ “unique” surprise.

Fans sobbed during the heartfelt on-screen parting between Bella and Ryder, and Courtney has now admitted that she ‘broke down’ before to the final take.

Courtney still had three more weeks on the show, so it hadn’t really struck in that she was actually saying goodbye as Lukas was crying on every take.

She says, “He was incredibly sad,” before adding that Lukas cried on every take. He was crying, which was really good on his part, and I think I did okay on the final take. “Okay, that’s a wrap, I think that’s done,” the director replied.

“Then I just started crying. She remembers saying, “It’s not good enough, not good enough!”

Courtney claimed that she started crying throughout the entire moment until the director decided to give the pair one more shot.

“That ended up being the last take of me, crying…it was a really fun scene to do, but very sad,” she says.

‘Most beautiful farewell’

The actress claims that performers frequently come and go from Home and Away, with the majority doing “their three years” before moving on.

“Over the course of my three and a half years, I frequently observed folks departing. Therefore, even before I started, I was planning my escape, she said.

Courtney was prepared to bid Bella farewell so that she could enrol in theatre school and advance her acting career.

Although she was anticipating what lay ahead, she tells us that her Summer Bay family farewelled her in a ‘lovely’ manner.

“We do speeches, on your last day, on your last scene. You come out of the studio and everyone’s there and just celebrating your time on the show — no matter how long it was,” she explains.

“I had about four really important people do speeches plus the producer, and it was everything I ever wished for.”

“It was really, really special”

Since their first encounter on set, Courtney and Lukas have become great friends, with Courtney referring to her coworker as her “bestie.”

After finishing his work on the soap opera, Lukas remained in Sydney, but Courtney travelled to Melbourne to enrol in the 16th Street Actors Studio’s acting programme.

The actress is a skilled artist, and many of her co-stars attended an exhibition she held in Sydney.

She presented a second art exhibition titled “Milked” after painting “in her room for six months” while taking classes.

On the morning of the performance, the celebrity was running about frantically attempting to hang her paintings at the location. She was unaware that Lukas had prepared a surprise for her at the exhibition in secret.

“[Lukas] rang me and said, ‘Oh hey, I know it’s the day of your exhibition. How are you going?’, and I was like, ‘I’m all good, I’m a little bit stressed’.

“He said, ‘well, when do you want me to help out?’ And I just went, I said a few swear words,” she laughs.

The star lights up when she tells the story, saying that it was ‘amazing’ to have him in Melbourne for her big night.

“It was really, really special. I don’t think he knows how special that was,” she says.

‘Acting is the passion, art will help’

Although Courtney truly likes to paint, she acknowledges that acting will always come first. To support herself as she looks for her next part, she is hoping to make money from her work.

She had to juggle painting and acting, and now that she has graduated from theatre school, her attention is focused on self-tapes and auditioning.

You know which one I’d pick if I had to make a decision: acting, hands down. I want to be able to act freely, so I’m trying to make money from my art,” she explains.

Since she appeared on Home and Away, the artist has developed a sizable fan base, and she has devised cost-effective ways for people to purchase her artwork.

“I have a lot of things coming out smaller size-wise instead of getting originals, which can be really expensive.

“I’ve got a lot of A5 prints coming out, a lot of A3 prints,” she shares.

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