ENTERTAINMENT

Georgie Parker is “excited” to be at the centre of this year’s dramatic Home and Away finale

As the season comes to an end, Georgia chats to WHO about her future in Summer Bay.
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As her character on Home and Away deals with a confronting health dilemma, actress Georgie Parker admits that due to a health issue of her own, she ensures that exercise is a non-negotiable priority in her busy schedule.

“I have to look after my back as I have scoliosis so I swim a lot. I go to the gym and I do hardcore Pilates. Doing all that keeps me well, balanced and sane,” Parker, 56, tells WHO. “Health is a huge priority for me.”

Ahead of this year’s Home and Away finale, Parker tells WHO all about her character’s difficult choice, what her plans are regarding staying on the show and how she and her family have become closer than ever in the past year.

Georgie Parker
In addition to her time on Home and Away, Parker has also starred in A Country Practice and All Saints. (Credit: Photography by Alana Landsberry)

How did you feel about your character Roo dealing with a kidney transplant storyline in this season’s finale episodes?

I was really excited to do this storyline. I haven’t been involved in a finale story arc for a few years, so it was nice to be involved in the big cliffhanger for once! When I found out that Roo would potentially be donating a kidney to her mum, Martha [Belinda Giblin], despite their complicated relationship, I was stoked because I also think it’s really important to shine a light on organ donation as a subject. 

How did you prepare for the storyline?

About 10 years ago a friend of mine donated a kidney to her sister. She had to get super-fit to do it and it was definitely challenging for her physically and mentally. We don’t delve into that side of things too much in Roo’s storyline, but I definitely drew on my friend’s experience to help me.

Georgie Parker
Earlier this year, Parker’s character Roo reconnected with her half-sibling Kieran (Rick Donald). (Credit: Courtesy of Channel Seven)

It’ll be your 12th year on the show next year. Do you see yourself staying in the Bay for a while yet?

Yes, actually I do. I never really had a time frame around how long I’d stay when I started on the show in 2010. The only plan I’ve ever had has been to be able to do theatre every year, too. So when I started in this job I asked if that would be possible and Channel Seven have been really good at allowing me to do that. So while I’ve been on Home and Away for almost 12 years, I still feel like I’ve been able to do other things, too.

What’s special to you about this job?

I’ve worked with most of these people [off-camera] since I was 23 and on A Country Practice. There’s something special about the family you create with people who you work 13-hour days with. I spend more time with them than my actual family! I also love working with Ray Meagher and Emily Symons, and so many of the cast. So as long as I’m happy and I feel like Roo is contributing I’ll stay in the Bay.

Georgie Parker
Parker says she’s particularly close to co-star Ray Meagher (foreground), who plays her dad Alf Stewart. (Credit: Courtesy of Channel Seven)

What’s home life like for you?

It’s a very happy, very creative household. My husband Steve [Worland] is a writer and my daughter Holly is an artist. We were all happily at home together over the past two years due to COVID and while this has been a challenging time, it’s also been a beautiful time spent together as a family.

Did you binge-watch TV during the recent lockdowns?

Yeah, we binge-watched a lot of documentaries and my husband and I watched Yellowstone, and Holly and I finally smashed through Game of Thrones.

You mentioned exercise helps you mentally and physically. Are you ever tempted to skip a day?

No, I have to move every day otherwise I’m in too much pain. I have severe scoliosis and I’ve had to exercise every day since I was in my 20s to help manage it.

Georgie Parker home and away cast
“I spend more time with them than my actual family!” Georgia says of her H&A co-stars. (Credit: Instagram)

Have treatments improved for it?

Yes, definitely, but I have a 77-degree curve in my spine, it’s pretty big and I’ve lost over 10cm in height over the years because of it. I’ve had a hip replacement because my pelvis is out of alignment. I will inevitably end up having spinal fusion, which will change the way I move a lot. So I’m just trying to keep on top of it now as best I can and I’m very grateful that I know what to do to help myself.

What are your hopes for 2022?

To stay healthy and happy and to continue being happy in my work. For Roo, I’m keeping everything crossed for something exciting for her! One of my favourite times on the show was when Cameron Daddo arrived. We loved working together so I’d love him to return to the Bay!

Watch Home and Away Monday to Thursday, 7pm, on Channel Seven.

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