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Illawarra Mercury

Homecoming for soapie star

Date: 17/03/2000
Words: 528
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: Applause
Page: 35
HAS Ada Nicodemou finally come of age in Australian television circles?

Late last year, the young soapie star was approached by Home and Away producers for an ongoing role in the popular family drama and by November she was on the set.

No general auditions, no sizing up the opposition, no waiting endlessly by the phone for news.

The role of Leah Poulos, a girl with a big heart, a big secret and a big future was all hers.

The original six-month contract already has been extended to the end of the year and the 22-year-old actor, a familiar face on television since the age of 15, is back to keeping the soap flag flying.

``Soaps give the audience what they want to see, romance and fighting, the everyday stuff that happens in their lives," she said.

``They see on the screen things that are reflective of everyday life."

Nicodemou, who has worked steadily on air despite taking a year off to study tourism at TAFE, has moved easily from one dramatic role to the next.

For three years she played Katrina on the teenage school series Heartbreak High, juggling it with work on Police Rescue.

She has since appeared in Breakers, had a small part in the 1998 film The Matrix and played a water nymph in an episode of the American children's series Beast Masters.

It's a stunning resume for someone who still doesn't consider herself an actor or will confirm her future is in this field.

``I never know what I'm going to want to do next and I haven't got any plans for the future," she said.

``I take each day as it comes and I happen to be acting at the moment.

``The year off tended to bring me down to earth, doing the nine-to-five thing and realising how totally different it was to what I'm used to doing. I missed (acting) and I've been doing it for seven years now which is quite a lot for someone not to be an actor.

``I just know I like working and I tend to go for long-term jobs. I'm loving Home and Away. I'm having a ball and for now that's enough."

While Nicodemou remains coy about the storylines her character will face on the show, she does admit that Leah arrives in Summer Bay alone and with a secret.

She moves in with Vinnie and Tom, gets a job at the diner as a chef and quickly realises that secrets don't last long in this little town.

There's also a ``huge and juicy love story" on the horizon to help Leah settle in.

But even if Nicodemou becomes a favourite with the fans of the program, dealing with the fame success invariably brings won't be difficult.

After all, in television terms, she's already a true veteran of the soap scene.

Ada Nicodemou hits the screen as part of the Home and Away family on Wednesday, March 22 at 7pm. It screens on Prime Television.

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