Neighbors star Sharon Johal defended the decision of the show to recast Pierce Greyson’s part.
Show bosses called in Don Hany for the character’s departure storyline to take on the role of Pierce, after Tim Robards was forced to bow out early.
Some fans were shocked by the recast announcement, who asked why Neighbours bosses did not select an alternative option by demanding rewrites to offer an earlier exit to Pierce.
“Sharon explained, though, speaking to Digital Spy about the struggles behind the scenes:” I can’t stop being a little protective of the show, realizing what we’re going through and how difficult that time was.
We were looking to find a replacement who looked like Pierce and who was able to work on notice for two days. I think output has done an excellent job getting in Don.
I heard what the fans were thinking, but you have to note that in Pierce’s last four weeks, there’s still a complete plot to carry out. It certainly affected me as well, and for months to come, the repercussions of the story will be felt in Erinsborough.
You can’t only take out Pierce and say, ‘This guy’s gone.’ It will affect the storyline of Chloe, the storyline of Dipi, the storyline of Shane, and the whole Street. I think it was the best option to make Don come in.
The crowd doesn’t like an improvement, and they might have felt like they were rude. Nobody pretends, though, that this is the same man. It’s another guy, and with Don’s success, you’ll see that he’s not trying to be Tim Robards. He’s like Pierce’s Don.
“Once the public knows that and the work we’ve done, I hope they’ll see in retrospect that it was the right decision.”
Dipi Rebecchi, the character of Sharon, is about to launch an affair on UK screens with Pierce, which is already running when the on-screen turn takes place.
In real life, owing to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Tim wanted to abandon Neighbours early despite changing travel restrictions in Australia. Tim was flying back to Sydney to be with his wife ahead of their first child’s birth.
“Sharon joked about the complexities of the switch:” It was bloody challenging! You’re super intimate because you have these storylines of affairs. You have to be open as an actor to let your guard down. Usually, you only do it with one male, but with two guys I had to do that.
We don’t have any rehearsal, you get two takes, and you have to nail it. I started with Tim the affair storyline, the chemistry was building, and then he had to go due to coronavirus, unfortunately. The borders were tightened. First, Tim had to put his family, and the show supported that.
“Don came in, so I was with Tim on Friday, and I was with Don on Monday. I first met him, and then, in the first scene, we were in bed! It was wild material.
“On top of that, my real-life husband was there for the kissing scenes as a body double. So it’s really strange, but under the circumstances, I’m really satisfied with the role.”
Meanwhile, Digital Spy has recently chatted about his 26 years as Karl Kennedy and potential storylines with Neighbours star Alan Fletcher. In our new Soap Scoop podcast, the press plays below to hear it: