For someone who has just become Summer Bay’s youngest-ever killer, Sam Barrett is cheery.
The 21-year-old actress, who plays Chloe Anderson, claims she had more fun than she expected filming her first murder scene, in which she bashes her father Matthew (Total Control’s James Sweeny) over the head with a brick.
“It was actually really fun to film, which is strange because it’s such an intense scene,” she says. “It was really cool.”
It wasn’t a planned assassination. After learning that she was conceived after he raped her mother, Mia, Chloe went to see Matthew tell him she never wanted to see him again (Anna Samson).
When Matthew refused to go quietly, Mia defended her daughter, only to be attacked by Matthew. Chloe took up a brick and hit him over the head, desperate to defend her mother.
“It’s an instinctive thing all kind of born from that moment,” says Barrett of the sudden violence.
“I think the only thing that would be going through her mind is, ‘I need to protect Mum’.”
Mia was frantically driving out of Summer Bay with Matthew’s body in the back of her car when Home And Away concluded in 2021. Unfortunately for Mia, Constable Cash Newman (Nicholas Cartwright) saw her uneasiness and pulled her over.
In a panic, she sped away, and the ensuing police chase is expected to kick off the new season this week.
The cops soon catch up with her, and Cash swiftly discovers the body in the back of the car, according to a new teaser.
Mia begs new boyfriend Ari Parata (New Zealander Rob Kipa-Williams) for assistance from the police station. Will Ari, a rehabilitated criminal who has served time in jail, be held responsible for Matthew’s death?
Barrett is staying quiet about what will happen next, but he promises it will be dramatic.
“Somebody is probably going to have to take the fall for Chloe and who that’s going to be and how that’s going to come about will have a lot of repercussions,” she says.
“What happens is very much a snowball effect. We kind of see things spiral out of control from there. I can’t say too much about it but I think it’s definitely going to be something that Chloe really struggles with.”
Barrett, who was born in the United States, joined the series in early 2021 after applying for five different roles.
She admires the young woman she plays on TV, as well as the way she handles harsh events like murder.
“I think Chloe is inherently very, very strong. I have no idea what I would do in her position in real life,” she says, acknowledging her character has very real-world problems to deal with.
She claims that while she enjoyed the narrative, she never forgot that there were people watching Home And Away who were actually born as a result of rape.
“I think it’s something that we tried to handle with sensitivity because it’s a very real topic and that could be triggering for some people watching because it does happen in real life,” she says.
“I think it could be very close to home for some of the viewers, so we wanted to be as sensitive and considerate as possible.”
Meanwhile, if murdering someone and having your mother imprisoned isn’t enough for a girl to manage, Chloe’s ex-boyfriend Ryder (Lukas Radovich) is also facing execution.
Theo (Matt Evans), Ryder and Leah’s (Ada Nicodemou) trouble-making nephew, is in dire straits after one of their internet pranks goes bad.
Ryder was supposed to spend five hours buried below, live streaming the torture to their thousands of fans, but Theo stumbled and fell into a ravine, knocking himself out, leaving Ryder stranded.
Will a traumatized and needy Chloe jump back into Alf Stewart’s (Ray Meagher) arms if his baby grandchild survives?
“I think anything’s possible, but obviously I can’t give too much away,” Barrett says.
“There could also be someone else on the cards to Chloe in the future as well. Romance is never easy and it could be tricky. You’ll just have to wait and see.”
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