Zima Anderson, who played Roxy Willis on Neighbours, has revealed why she left the role.
Roxy leaves Ramsay Street after three years and relocates to Darwin with her husband Kyle Canning in Tuesday’s programme on Channel 5 (April 12).
Zima said the following to Digital Spy regarding her departure: “My three years were over. You usually sign up for three years on Neighbours. After three years, I promised myself that I would challenge myself.
“You grow so used to it. The best acting school you could ever attend is Neighbours. You’ll never have another experience like it.
“I’d learned so much, laughed so much, and developed so much as a person that I felt compelled to take on a new task. It seemed like the timing was just right.
“It was difficult to leave a place like Neighbours, which is so beautiful and fantastic. I adore Roxy and she will always be by my side, but I made the decision to learn somewhere else because I had already learnt so much.”
Zima went on to say about Roxy and Kyle’s decision to depart together: “We had no idea what they were going to do with us, but we were grateful that they allowed us to leave together.
“They couldn’t possibly put Roxy and Kyle through that much and not let them stay together, because they’re practically ideal together, in my opinion.
“Kyle, like Roxy, is deserving of happiness after everything he’s been through. We were both relieved to see them leave together.”
Roxy’s departure comes just months before Neighbours’ final episode, which will air in August.
Following Channel 5’s decision to withdraw as the UK broadcast partner, it was recently reported that production on the soap will finish after 37 years.
Zima continued: “Naturally, I would have preferred to stay until the very end, but my contract had expired at this point. I just felt that was the correct thing to do, you know? At the time, it just felt right.
“It’s incredible that the programme is coming to a close. When the UK informed us, I was completely taken aback. It was insane. But I suppose it didn’t surprise me as much because I was intending to leave when my contract expired.”
Roxy and Kyle recently found out that they’re having a kid together, so Zima praised the choice to give them a happy ending.
She was ecstatic: “I couldn’t be more pleased. Roxy and Kyle, in my opinion, deserved it. Kyle and Roxy had always wanted a kid, and I would have been heartbroken if they hadn’t gotten it.
“I knew they’d have to build up some suspense in the build-up, and I’m grateful they did.
“I was also relieved that they assigned Chris Milligan and me the role of a couple trying to conceive a child. It was critical to do so and to do credit to all of the women, men, and couples who went through it.
“I think we did a fantastic job. Chris Milligan and I had some difficult days, but it was wonderful to be able to execute it.”
Zima commented on filming her final scenes: “It was undeniably emotional. It was strange because I’d wanted to be on Neighbours since I was thirteen years old. It felt strange to be accomplishing a major life objective, even if I had expected to do so.
“There, I had found such a family. Everyone I’ve met along the way has had such a profound impact on my life.
“It was emotional, and there were many tears shed, but they were happy tears. I was pleased with everyone. I was pleased with myself and with Chris Milligan. It was great having him there to help.
“One aspect of my exit sequence that I particularly enjoyed was Roxy’s usual cheekiness. I can’t wait to show it to everyone. It has to happen because there’s a whiff of the fiery Roxy. The closing scene made me very delighted.”