Guy Pearce: Jason Donovan and I still call each other by our Neighbours names
Guy Pearce has revealed that he and Jason Donovan still refer to each other by the names of their Neighbours characters, more than 30 years after leaving the show.
The Memento star, 54, began his career in the Australian soap playing Mike Young, best friend of Donovan’s Scott Robinson and Kylie Minogue’s Charlene Mitchell.
After 37 years on screen, the long-running show will come to a close with a double-episode special on July 29 and Pearce is among the former stars returning for the finale.
He said: “Jason and I see each other all the time, and we still call each other Scott and Mike, which is a bit sad!
“Whenever I’m in London I’ll see Jason most times and I’ll see Kylie as well if she’s around.
“There are a few others I catch up with when I’m in Melbourne like Stefan (Dennis) and Annie of course, she’s been on (crime drama series) Jack Irish with me.”
Pearce’s role in Neighbours helped launch his career in Hollywood, landing roles in big budget films such as LA Confidential, The Time Machine and Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
He said: “There are certain moments in your life that are real markers.
“Being cast in Neighbours, the confidence it gave me and what I learnt being on the show were immeasurable qualities and benefits.
“Of course, there have been other moments when I’ve auditioned for roles and got them, but I can’t ever forget this.
“I always feel super lucky to have got on the show when I did and as we know, it just took off and became huge.”
Daniel MacPherson, who starred as Joel Samuels between 1998 and 2002, said viewers should expect his character to have calmed down in middle-age.
He said: “What can viewers expect from Joel in his 40s?
“I can tell you what you won’t get – no nipple piercing, no speedos, no blonde frizzy mullet hair, no full-monty, thank goodness! But some friendships rekindled, which is terrific and a lot of fun.”
Reflecting on his character’s heartthrob status, he added: “It was amazing. Brooke Satchell, Jesse Spencer, Jacinta (Stapleton) and Ryan (Maloney), we were all babies. We had a lot of fun.
“Pre-social media, it was a time when you did shopping centre appearances on the weekend, hundreds of fans, all screaming, it was chaos, but so much fun.
“We’re all still good friends and stay in touch.”
Also returning for the finale is Peter O’Brien, who appeared in the show’s first episode as Shane Ramsay, as well as Ian Smith, who played Harold Bishop, Mark Little, who played Joe Mangel, and Paul Keane, who played Des Clarke.
Among those returning from the 2000s are Chris Milligan, who played Kyle Canning, Morgan Baker as Callum Rebecchi, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, who played Izzy Hoyland, and James Mason as Chris Pappas.
The soap also launched the careers of Hollywood stars such as Margot Robbie and Liam Hemsworth.
– Neighbours will end with a double-episode special on Channel 5 at 9pm on July 29.