If there’s an Australian star who has hit it big in Hollywood, chances are good that they started out on a soap opera Down Under — and that Neighbours was that soap. Many of those celebs have Jan Russ to thank: She’s the one who managed the show’s casting from its 1985 debut until 2009.
“Margot Robbie, when she was walking towards me into my office, I thought, this girl’s got something,” Russ told the Australian Associated Press in 2022, when Neighbours was leaving Aussie airwaves after 37 years. “The Hemsworth boys, Chris and Liam, they all had something that caught my eye.”
Russ also gave pop star Kylie Minogue her big break. “She was so quiet, like a little mouse, and I put her in front of the camera and looked at the monitor and I went, ‘Oh my God, that’s an incredible change there,’” the casting agent recalled. “You have to look beyond a pretty face and whether they can walk and talk and not fall over the furniture.”
Now, Neighbours has a chance to bring more talent into the spotlight. A little more than a year after what was its series finale, the soap is making a comeback on Freevee, with all-new episodes debuting on September 18. So to celebrate fans’ return to Ramsay Street, here’s a collection of Neighbours actors who went on to international stardom.
Neighbours, Amazon Freevee