Carla Bonner (Neighbours' Steph Hoyland) Interview

Carla Bonner plays Stephanie Hoyland, who’s about to go through yet another life-changing ordeal. “It involves Toadie, who she loves and has a great relationship with,” says Carla. “He’s keen to get married, but there are trials and traumas right up until the moment they’re supposed to say, “I do.”

It won’t be the first time Steph has faced a turbulent period in her life: she gave birth on what she thought was her death-bed and recovered from breast cancer twice.

“I knew how to portray what it’s like to have cancer because a close family friend of mine has been through it too,” says Carla.

“I wanted to play it honestly so it was important that Steph went through the whole thing. I still get fan mail about that today. In fact I received a letter from a nurse who tells me I helped save her life. After watching Steph endure breast cancer, she did a breast check on herself and found a lump. In her letter to me she explained that she’d just finished radiotherapy. “Thank you for saving my life,” she wrote. “That was an amazing feeling for me.”

Carla trained at the Australian College of Dramatic Arts. Since then she has worked as an extra and starred in many commercials and TV shows such as Man From Snowy River and Raw FM. Her only film role to date was as an extra in the Jackie Chan martial arts comedy, Mr. Nice Guy.

She was also a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother Australia in 2002.

When she joined Neighbours eight years ago, it was to take up the role from another actress who’d been chosen to play Steph, who couldn’t go through with the role. Carla has two sons, Harley, 16, and nine-year-old Jhye.

Neighbours makes its debut on Five on Monday 11th February 2008 in its traditional slots of 1.45pm and 5.30pm every weekday.