Christie Hayes spoke to TV Week about leaving Summer Bay for the second time.
Kirsty Sutherland originally lived in the Summer Bay House with her sisters, Jade and Dani and her parents, Shelley and Rhys. Christie joined the cast in 2000 and left in 2005 when her character fled the Bay with Kane (Sam Atwell). She returned in May last year with Kane and her son Ollie.
Why did you decide to leave Home and Away again?
It was a big decision, but it was time. I'm really happy I came back. I like how the character's been resolved and the way she's grown up - she was a little girl when she first arrived and now she's not only divorced but even had a storyline where she needed money and started working as an escort! I started playing Kirsty when I was 13. I turn 23 this month, so it's been a long journey for me.
What are your future plans?I had my beautiful wedding, then went straight into filming the show, so now I just want to spend some time being married. I recently shot a few short films, including one called ID with my husband
Greg (Hatton), and I have a small part in an Australian film called Killing Kevin to film in the next month. I'd also like to do another play again soon.
What was your last day on set like?
It really was one of the most special days of my life. I had a beautiful day with Josh Quong Tart. We just laughed all day in the Summer Bay House - my favourite set! Josh, Ray, Tessa, Jordan and myself always had fun Summer Bay House days, so I was really sad that was ending. but I'm the saddest about leaving Josh. He bought me this massive bunch of yellow roses and a big bag of presents! The crew bought me a big bottle of Moet and flowers, while Carol, the show's cook, made me a beautiful cake. It was also Oliver Davis's (Ollie) last day and he was given a big toy truck!
Paula Forrest, who previously played your mum, Shelley Sutherland returned. What was that like?
That was fantastic! We both know our characters back to front and, even though she hasn't played Shelley for a very long time, it was like no time had passed at all. Leaving Home and Away was really an emotional time for me, so I loved having a mother figure there.
Would you ever come back to the Bay?
I don't think so, but who knows?
Little Ollie has done a wonderful job playing Kirsty and Kane's son. This was his first acting job and he is a natural. We will all miss him giggling in the corridors of the Epping Studios.
It is a new Leah Patterson-Baker who strides back into Summer Bay – and it's an all-new...