edenstreet.net talk to Rebecca Saunders
She was the fun loving journalist who mended Paul's heart. She was also the object of Sonny's affections and his obsession with her kickstarted a reign of terror for the residents of Westside. Rebecca Saunders was at the centre of the plot and edenstreet.net were lucky enough to find out a few secrets.....
How did you come to get the role on E Street? Do you remember your audition?
It was one of my first - well I actually think it was the first audition I had in Sydney after moving there from New Zealand. I had spent 6 months working on losing my kiwi accent before my agent let me audition for anything! If I remember rightly, I had to kiss Warren Jones (Paul) as part of the audition process....I guess they wanted to see if there was any chemistry??? Very embarrassing....all in the name of art..or soap!
What was your first day on set like?
You know I don't remember specifics, but I remember feeling very nervous as I had had a long history of theatre acting but was new to TV. What made me more nervous was that I had also really enjoyed watching E-Street before getting the role - I had said to some flatmates who used to take the mick out of me watching it that I was doing 'research' as I confidently told them I'd get a part on it one day! You should have seen the look on their faces when I told them later that I had the part of Kim!
You were quite quickly thrust into the Sonny Bennett storyline. Were you aware where the storyline was heading or did you just find out as and when you had the scripts?
Mainly it was a matter of finding out as I got the scripts, although naturally towards the end I knew Kim was about to meet a grisly end....I was kinda hoping Kim could be walking up the aisle to Paul, wearing a beautiful white dress, then get shot....thought that would be really dramatic and bloody - but perhaps too much so for that time of the evening!
Kim's pairing with Paul was well received by the viewers. Did you enjoy playing that relationship?
I did! Warren is a wonderful actor and was always cheerful and professional. I liked the banter we had, and the fact that the characters' relationship developed after a friendship and an initial failed attempt at getting together. I loved the dynamics when we were sharing a house with Dr David - there were a lot of laughs on set!
In between the drama, Kim had some light hearted scenes with Lisa, Alice and David. Were they more fun to play than the dramatic scenes?
There certainly was a lot more laughter and fun on those days when we were filming light hearted scenes. I enjoyed doing the dramatic scenes (apart from swimming in a freezing cold pool in the middle of winter - twice!), but I love comedy, and I think especially with Paul and Dr David we had some good pure comic scenes - when Paul and Kim were trying to hide their relationship from Dr David - I found it very hard to stop cracking up in hysterics mid scene! Noel (Dr David) was a very clever comic actor...
What was your favourite storyline whilst in E Street?
Definitely the triangle between Sonny and Paul, and sharing a house with Paul and Dr David. Lots of laughs, tension and lots of tears. Those story lines kept me on my toes, so to speak, and seemed to capture people's attention.
E Street started to gather quite a following in the 90s, what was it like to be a part of that?
To be honest, it was quite surreal. I remember going on a catamaran with the cast to Darling Harbour, and I think we were all stunned by the size of the crowd that turned out to see us. If I remember rightly, we all were thinking that most of the crowd were there for some other event and were shocked to find they were fans. It was quite scary as there were too many people and we had to get back on the boat and leave in case someone in the crowd was hurt.
I was only in the series for 7 months, yet I was still being approached by strangers in the street and being asked about it 5 years after I was shot! When I arrived in the UK in 2002, I was sitting in a pub in Chemlsford, Essex, and I was introduced to this young English woman who promptly said in front of the group I was with 'Oh I know you, you were on E-Street'! I nearly fell off my chair - and I was only drinking lemonade! Aparently she grew up watching in on Sky here in the UK - and she had some of my episodes on video! Freaky...
Who were you closest to in the cast and have you stayed in touch with any one from the E Street team?
I really enjoyed the company of the rest of the cast - they were a great bunch to work with! I have fond memories of them all! I was really sad to hear on this site that Bunny and Vic had passed away. I spent 6 months working with Paul Kelman on a comedy theatre show after E-Street and it was great to work with him again! I haven't kept in touch with anyone, unfortunately. It was lovely to hear on the site what some of the others are up to, and that they seem happy!
You left E Street when Kim was killed off. Was it your decision to go or did the team feel that Kim had gone as far as she could have?
It was the team's decision. Kim was such an intrinsic part of the Sonny storyline, I guess she had to go out with a bang! Looking back, I couldn't imagine Kim settling down to the quiet life with Paul for long, I think it was a good way to go!
The very last time we saw Kim was when Bob and Max found her body in the park. What was it like filming something so morbid?
I will never forget the coldness of the autopsy slab I had to lie on in the morgue! It was quite (literally and figuratively) a chilling experience. However, I think it was actually watching the scenes that was more disturbing for me. I looked so dead! A normally very rational journalist friend of mine watched the episode where Kim was found in the park and she burst into tears as she was shocked by the sight of me looking so dead!
Did you take any E Street memorabilia with you? Ie a costume or a prop or something.
A few of the outfits - although I gave up shoulder pads for good shortly afterwards! Also some photographs - there is a polaroid of me wrapped in towels and blankets looking miserably cold after shooting the scene in the swimming pool, which I treasure!
What have you been up to since you left E Street?
Oh gosh - have you got enough space??? Life got a bit crazy for me at that time. In a nutshell, I gave up acting in 1995 and started travelling. I lived in the USA - in New Mexico - for sometime. I studied communications at university then spent a few years as a volunteer for a medical aid ship organisation in the Philippines, Fiji and New Zealand. We took medical care to poor people in the jungles and remote islands. Ironically, I ended up taking photos, writing stories and editing the organisation's magazine - not quite 'the Advocate' but still...
Even more ironically, I have been living in the UK for nearly 5 years now and I have been working with drug users in the criminal justice system, at times providing treatment and now helping them access drug treatment both in and out of prison! Thankfully I have never come across anyone quite like Sonny! I am also studying photojournalism! Maybe there was more of me in Kim than I realised...!
Finally any special E Street memories you’d like to share with us……
I can't think of anymore off hand. Just thanks again for your hard work on this site! It was such a wonderful 'blast from the past' to read it all, and reminded me of the fun of being involved in such a show of its time!
Many thanks to Rebecca Saunders for giving us a great insight into her time on E Street.