Zara Selwyn’s arrival in Erinsborough was always planned, according to Neighbours star Jacinta Stapleton, who revealed to Digital Spy that it was always the plan to bring Amy Greenwood’s troubled daughter in.
The new season of the show has begun with a major new story for Amy, who was caught off guard when Zara showed up wanting to spend time with her.
Amy has been struggling to juggle her responsibilities as a mom to Zara with her polyamorous relationship with Ned Willis (Ben Hall) and Levi Canning in recent days (Richie Morris).
Zara asks Amy to put things on hold with Ned and Levi in Wednesday’s episode (January 12) on Channel 5 so she may focus only on her.
When Digital Spy asked if Zara’s introduction was always planned when Amy returned, Jacinta said: “It had always been on the cards, in fact. Amy hasn’t been involved in the lives of her children. Amy, I believe, suffers from abandonment issues, as she has done with her own children.
“Amy was constantly on the move, working as a flight attendant and traveling the globe. She hasn’t spent nearly enough time with her children, who have been raised by their two gay fathers.
“Amy was scared that Zara would not comprehend the severity of a polyamorous relationship. Amy, I’m guessing, has been through it all with the entire community and has been attempting to defend it all. Now that Zara has arrived, she’s the one person Amy wants to respect, but she’s finding it difficult to do so.
“Essentially, it’s about Zara’s desire to have Amy to herself. She has never had a woman in her life, and she is 16 years old, and all she wants is the opportunity to bond with her.
“Zara has spent her entire life in Queensland with her fathers and brothers, and she has never had that female time. That’s what she wants, and she’s not interested in competing for her attention.”
After the auditions, Jacinta was overjoyed when Freya Van Dyke was cast in the part of Zara.
She stated, ” “I was present throughout the callback session. They had five girls from the shortlist, and I got the one I wanted. It wasn’t up to me, but Freya was clearly the best candidate for the part.
“Everyone was great, and they were all extremely skilled on the callback level, but Freya had this wonderful fire, as well as a beautiful vulnerability.
“Freya and I just hit it off. Even though she comes in and is a whirlwind, like a wrecking ball, I thought she added a really wonderful emotional dimension and true gentleness.
“It’s strange because Freya just turned 18, and I started at that age.” There’s a lot of getting into problems at school, and Amy is frequently misunderstood. It’s fascinating to observe.”