Jacqui Purvis, a newcomer to Home And Away, makes no apologies for the chaos she has wreaked in Summer Bay with her arrival.
Indeed, the former Neighbours actor is ecstatic that Felicity ‘Flick’ Newman is making such a splash.
Purvis’ 2019 appearance on Ramsay Street as Melissa Lohan, Chloe Brennan’s (Rose Pengilly) ex-girlfriend, caused ripples, but Flick is a tsunami.
“(Melissa) was sort of glamorous, elegant, strong willed – not to say Flick isn’t strong willed – but Melissa was a bit more self-assured and a bit more lawyer-esque whereas Flick is just a cannonball,” Purvis says of her character, who made her debut dancing on top of a nightclub bar.
Flick – the younger sister of the bay’s new cop Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) – is a wrecking ball, and the young woman herself is frequently the victim.
Purvis, who missed out on the role of restaurant owner McKenzie (Emily Weir) due to scheduling conflicts, considers it a gift to be able to play such a multi-layered character.
After being left with two children and a drought-affected farm, Flick and Cash’s father committed suicide, and she refuses to accept any of it.
Instead, she makes one bad decision after another, and she’s now the prime suspect in a poisoning at a charity event that has left Tane Parata (Ethan Browne) fighting for his life. Even her own brother now doubts her innocence, following new revelations this week.
“I’m very glad I didn’t get (the Mac part) because Flick is such a fantastic character.” Purvis describes her as “so much fun.” “I get to switch from being vulnerable and sensitive about my family’s troubles and mental health to the fun side, which is that she’s a tiny pocket rocket with no filter.” So it’s a big blessing, and I’m just thankful to be able to play it.”
The performer is unconcerned about any bad comments regarding her role on social media.
“I’m satisfied as long as the audience is engaged,” she adds.
On a personal level, she considers herself fortunate to be a part of a tale that explores the long-term effects of suicide on those left behind.
“I was genuinely relieved that we were given that tale since raising awareness (about suicide) is always a difficult task.
“It’s incredible at the same time, especially with what’s happening in the world today,” she says adding, after she found out about the storyline, she did her own research. “You want to cover it appropriately and sympathetically because it’s an important issue.”
Purvis spoke with persons who had experienced a suicide in their family, including a woman who had lost her mother to it.
“Obviously, it’s different for everyone,” Purvis explains, “but I simply had to pick something particular for Flick and how she’d respond to that circumstance.”
“All I wanted to do was cover all the basics and make sure I was doing it justice and compassionately.” It’s really difficult, but also quite illuminating.”
Purvis doesn’t think Flick will be able to cope with her loss anytime soon.
“There are various ways to grieve, and some people recover faster than others. Purvis adds, “Flick is always going to battle with that, and that’s just the way she is and the person she is, so it’ll always be there.” “It’ll be a long, long journey for her.”
The actress claims to have no problem comprehending Flick, but confesses that her character does things she would never contemplate.
“I don’t believe I’d do the dancing on the bar,” she says. So, yes, there are things I wouldn’t do, but there are other things with which I completely identify and for which I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t need to act at all.’ This has occurred to me before, and I understand how you feel.”
Purvis, a former dancer, fell in love with acting when she was in her teens, but parts for her have been hard to come by until lately.
“It’s been a long and difficult path; there have been many auditions and rejections.”
“But there’s also a lot of love and wonderful people you meet along the road, as well as incredible careers, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.” This profession and acting have become obsessions for me.