Ricky is pregnant! Will she tell Brax?
"These have been the most amazingly taxing scenes I have ever played. And I don't mean in this show, I mean in my entire career. It has really hurt to play these scenes as there is such heartbreak in them."
That is the revelation from Bonnie Sveen about her current scenes on Home and Away, in the wake of her character Ricky discovering she is pregnant.
Over the coming episodes, the situation will become even more complicated as Ricky battles over whether or not to tell her lover Brax (Steve Peacocke), who is in prison. There is also the emotional battle over whether she should even keep the child.
"Ricky is so torn every way she turns and has no idea what to do," Bonnie explains. "The strange thing about this is, despite Ricky being so maternal and protective of the people around her, she never thought she would become a mother. She just never considered it would be an option for her.
"So when she discovers she is pregnant and a man she loves as much as Brax is the father, she is conflicted over what to do. There is a pure connection between Ricky and Brax, and now they have created a baby, it makes that connection even stronger."
But deciding how to tell Brax will make a tough situation even worse as wonders if this is what Brax needs to hear when he is facing an uncertain future behind prison walls.
The decision will also tear apart the Braxtons, with Kyle (Nic Westaway) encouraging Ricky to tell Brax the truth, and Heath (Dan Ewing) telling her she must keep the child no matter what, as it will be the next generation of their clan.
As each day goes by, Ricky becomes more uncertain over what is the right thing to do - for Brax, for the baby and for herself.
"The fact Brax is behind bars doesn't worry her, as she will wait for Brax forever," Bonnie adds. "Her love for him goes much deeper than I think he could ever guess."
Once a decision is made, however, the fallout will change everything. "Any sense of an easy future for these characters will then be thrown into the air after that," she adds. "When it all happens, the best word to describe her life is 'uncertain'."
For Bonnie, this is not the first time she has played a pregnant woman in Summer Bay. Three years ago, in one of her first acting jobs after leaving NIDA in 2009, she played the guest role of hospital patient Hayley Doven.
"She gave birth, and then died, never to be seen again," Bonnie says. "At this stage, Ricky seems to have better days ahead than poor Hayley!"But I loved returning to Home and Away and was thrilled when they asked me to come back," she says. "The series has changed so much since that time with the River Boys - and now the River Girls too!"
Another bonus was the chance to work alongside a former fellow NIDA student, Lisa Gormley, now one of Summer Bay's leading ladies as Bianca."Lisa and I studied together, and also did our first play together, Annie, when we were kids in Tasmania! We had a great time at NIDA, and in our year were also Shari Sebbens and Ryan Corr, with Jessica Marais only a few years ahead."I still look around at everything that has happened since our NIDA days and think to myself, 'who is this lucky girl?' And it is me!"