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Thread: Bella (Courtney Miller)

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    Bella (Courtney Miller) article (from TV Week) on newcomer Courtney Miller who will be playing Colby's sister, Bella.

    Home and Away newcomer Courtney Miller unleashes her inner rebel
    “I'm finally doing what I was meant to do”

    Growing up in the Sydney suburb of Gladesville, a young Courtney Miller was seemingly the perfect student. She listened to her teachers, completed her tasks on time and never broke the rules.

    But at the age of 22, the actress is finally getting the chance to take a walk on the wild side as rebellious teenager Bella in Home And Away.

    As TV WEEK sits down for a chat with the rising star, she can't contain her excitement about joining the long-running drama series.

    "I never spoke back to teachers or received a detention, so playing Bella is very fun," she says.

    "She's a bit cheeky and will tell it how she sees it, so I'm living out my rebellious side! It kind of makes me wish I had been a little rebellious at school!"

    Besides the odd commercial, this is Courtney's first significant foray into television.

    "This is my first big role and I just got lucky," she says.

    "I've auditioned for Home And Away three times before, but felt a strong connection with Bella. This character just clicked with me, although I'm very different to her," she explains.

    "But I liked her story and worked really hard."

    However, the rising star has never put all her eggs into one basket. In fact, she was busy studying psychology at university and "didn't put much pressure on herself" to get the role.

    As we're about to comment on her mature outlook, Courtney indicates it all comes down to her parents' influence.

    "My dad and sister are both civil engineers, and Mum is a nutritionist," she says.

    "My parents have always been supportive, of course. But my dad warned me that this career will be hard and wanted me to get a degree. Now, he watches Home And Away every night!

    "But it's a really hard career to develop, so I'm glad I did it that way. I grew up a lot and learnt a lot about myself."

    With a completed degree in psychology and rehab counselling, Courtney has fulfilled her parents' wish. Yet she wasn't completely satisfied and yearned for more.

    "I did acting for me," she says. "I paid for my own classes and decided this is something for me. My parents are incredibly supportive, but it makes me proud that I did it myself."

    While her focus is on acting, Courtney won't be tossing her degree to the side. She volunteers for Lifeline and remains passionate about helping others.

    "It's nice to give back," she says.

    In the meantime, the actress is ready to shake up Summer Bay – and preparing herself for the attention she's about to receive.

    "I'm very critical about my acting because I'm so passionate about it," she says.

    "I want to do this role justice, but I'm aware people may not always like you. Acting is probably the worst career path for that and I struggle with it sometimes, but you have to know yourself."

    Should she need advice, however, her co-stars are happy to help.

    "I'm still learning, so I came in with an open mind," Courtney says. "The entire cast and crew of Home And Away have been so welcoming and I feel like I fit in.

    "I'm finally doing what I was meant to do and it's a wonderful feeling."

    Home and Away airs Monday to Thursday, 7pm, on Channel Seven.

  2. #2
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    Home and Away's Kidnap Terror: Colby's reunion with Bella takes a dangerous turn
    “Don't shoot, Bella!”

    After months of searching for his baby sister, Colby has finally found her. But instead of the happy reunion he was hoping for, Bella appears wielding a crossbow – and it's aimed directly at him.

    In an action-packed week of Home And Away, the long-lost teenager is found at her stepfather's home.

    Colby (Tim Franklin), who retrieved the address from his fiancée Chelsea (Ashleigh Brewer), promised he would let the homicide team take control and find Bella (Courtney Miller).

    Instead, he lies to Chelsea and drives out to the property with Dean (Patrick O'Connor).

    Tim, 28, tells TV WEEK that his character's actions could have deadly consequences.

    "The stakes are raised," he says. "Colby has been searching for Ross – and Bella – since he was 18, so if he finds him, he will avenge those he loves. He can fall back into old habits very quickly."

    Will his bold plan backfire?

    After sleeping in the car overnight, the former River Boys make their move to find Bella. To their surprise, she has found them first.

    "She's brandishing a crossbow – it was like a scene out of Hostage!" Tim says with a laugh.

    "He has an idea of what he thinks she is like, but it's very different. It's not the reunion he wanted."

    A fearful Bella aims the crossbow and orders them to leave. When they refuse, she fires a warning bolt in Dean's direction and makes a run for it.

    "Ross has raised her to be this independent, mistrustful person," Courtney, 22, adds.

    "She knows exactly who he is and sees Colby as danger. Ross has manipulated her that way."

    Knowing his stepfather Ross (Justin Rosniack) could come home any moment, Colby and Dean panic. If he finds them, they're dead.

    In recent episodes, Colby discovered Ross murdered both his parents and has been raising Bella ever since. He even has the evidence to prove it.

    "In his mind, he always thought his dad died in the line of duty," Tim explains. "Apart from finding Bella, it was also why he became a cop – to feel what his father was like."

    Now, he's desperate to get his little sister out of there before she becomes his next victim. But she won't listen to reason.

    What lies has Ross told her?

    Eventually, the boys find her hiding in an old shed. Without thinking, Colby grabs her and bundles her into the car as Dean races to the driver's seat.

    As they pull out of the driveway, Ross appears on the opposite side of the road.

    Bella yells for help, but Ross doesn't seem to notice.

    Dean marvels at their good fortune, while Colby has turned pale. He's just kidnapped his own sister!

    Back in Summer Bay, Chelsea fears the worst. She can't find Colby anywhere and he won't answer her phone calls. Willow, who knows about the rescue mission, is forced to lie to Chelsea.

    Unfortunately, Chelsea's police instincts kick in and she connects the dots. While she's understandably angry that Colby lied, she accepts that he's trying to save his sister.

    "He just didn't want to burden her even more," Tim says of why he kept the truth from Chelsea.

    Upon the boys' return to Summer Bay, they take Bella to the old River Boys hideout. The 16-year-old recoils in fear as they attempt to chat.

    Willow arrives with supplies and is stunned to see Bella in such a state. She demands Colby tell Chelsea the truth – before she finds out herself.

    The policeman heeds their advice and confesses everything to Chelsea. Naturally, the law-abiding cop is appalled by her fiancé's behaviour. But what she does next will leave Colby speechless.

    Will she turn him in? Or is it something far worse?

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    how is allowed wear jeans to school?

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    Probably as the boys do.

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    Does she ever blink? Have a look next episode...

    Would win a stare off easily

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    Digital Spy article:


    Home and Away hints at a sinister new storyline for Bella Nixon
    Is her new online "friend" a threat?

    Note: This article contains spoilers from Australian-pace Home and Away episodes, which some UK readers may prefer to avoid.

    Home and Away has hinted that Bella Nixon could face danger after sharing personal information with a stranger online.

    The worrying moment aired in the closing scene of Wednesday's Australian episode (June 19), as Bella turned to a student support forum for help with her schoolwork.

    Bella (Courtney Miller) has struggled with her studies since moving to Summer Bay High, but reached a breakthrough in the latest episode when Roo Stewart helped her with an English assignment.

    When Bella lamented the fact that Roo couldn't support her all the time, she was advised to check out some online forums.

    Before long, Bella was talking to an unknown person called "Tommy" online, who seemed incredibly persistent when sending her messages.

    Bella opened up about her unusual living situation now that she's staying with Irene Roberts – and that her parents are both dead.

    The mysterious "Tommy" was quick to offer support, promising to be there for Bella if she ever needed him.

    With Bella already vulnerable after a traumatic few months, could she be inadvertently putting herself in danger?

    Home and Away fans in the UK will see these scenes on July 19, as Channel 5 is currently airing episodes a month behind the Australian screenings.

    Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).

  9. #7
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    Summer Bay grooming storyline a must-watch for parents and teens
    Home And Away has a dramatic new plot and it’s one that all parents of teens will relate to.

    For a sleepy coastal town, Summer Bay has had its fair share of drama over the past few decades. Explosions, kidnappings, murders. Fans have been kept on the edge of their seats, but few viewers would have been able to relate to what was playing out in front of them.

    Now one character is at the centre of a frightening but all too familiar storyline that will no doubt touch many of the show’s viewers — especially young ones: online grooming.

    Courtney Miller’s character Bella, a 16-year-old-student at Summer Bay High, sparks up a friendship on a student forum with a boy she believes to be a fellow teenager. The two constantly exchange messages online and soon the boy — Tommy — begins asking for photos and personal details. He eventually admits he’s not as young as he says he is, but still he’s stringing her along.

    The scenario, which reaches its terrifying peak in the coming week, was an eye-opener for Miller.

    The young actor, 23, had heard all the horror stories about online grooming and exploitation. She was excited to be a part of a plot that would talk directly to some of her young fans, but with this crime having a profound effect on many victims, she was determined to play it right.

    “I knew it was a big problem and I wanted to give it that truth because I know a lot of people watching will have been through something like it and I just hope I portrayed it realistically,” she says.

    “I watched a few documentaries of girls who had been through it to find out the way they talked about it,” she says. “I just tried to make it as realistic as possible and bring that naivety to it.”

    Home And Away producers were first struck by the prevalence of this global problem and began investigating how they could incorporate it into the show. While researching they came across news about the introduction of Carly’s Law, which gives authorities greater power to intervene in child grooming and exploitation cases.

    It is named after Carly Ryan, who in 2007 became the first person murdered as the result of online grooming in Australia. The 15-year-old was lured to her death by a 50-year-old man posing as a teenage boy.

    Producers also talked with government agencies such as the eSafety Commissioner to ensure the story being told through Bella was realistic. They hoped the episode would spark a conversation.

    “Bella was the perfect character to explore the idea of online grooming given she had no previous exposure to social media conventions,” series producer Lucy Addario says. “It is impossible for parents to monitor every interaction their child is exposed to online so now more than ever it’s important to have an awareness of eSafety and understand the potential danger and risk of faceless interaction.

    “Our hope is that this story gives families and friends an avenue to start conversation and that the gravity of Bella’s experience enforces the importance of cyber safety,” she added.

    Being able to help young people navigate a potentially dangerous situation such as being played out by her character is important to Miller who is currently studying counselling, having already finished studies in psychology. She also works as a Lifeline volunteer which has put her in contact with vulnerable people who are facing situations such as these and other problems.

    “It is full on,” she says. “Lifeline is probably the best thing that has happened to me because it’s taught me a lot but it’s also helped my acting in knowing how people react. I hope that it will spark conversation and it might affect a few people emotionally, but it will bring it up and people will ask ‘what can I do to help?’ ”

    Miller says she has many young fans who don’t fit the “typical blonde” stereotype often portrayed on TV. She says Bella has had a number of story arcs that have pushed the conventional soap opera narrative.

    “I feel like I’m the luckiest because my storylines have just been grit after grit after grit and then this one,” she says.

    Home And Away, Seven, Monday-Thursday, 7pm

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  11. #8
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    Digital Spy article:


    Home and Away's Colby Thorne leaves Bella Nixon outraged with surprise decision
    Will she ever accept him and Mackenzie?

    Note: This article contains Home and Away spoilers from Australian-pace episodes, which some UK readers may prefer to avoid.

    Home and Away's Bella Nixon feels betrayed by her older brother Colby Thorne on Australian screens next week.

    Bella (Courtney Miller) strongly disapproves when she sees that Colby is rebuilding his romantic connection with Mackenzie Booth.

    Viewers in Australia have recently seen Mackenzie make the surprise decision to dump Colby (Tim Franklin) after only a few weeks of dating.

    Mackenzie (Emily Weir) realised that she couldn't cope with the stress of dating a police officer, knowing that she'd always be worried about Colby's safety.

    This week's episodes on Channel 7 saw Colby manage to talk Mackenzie around again, convincing her that life in Summer Bay would be much quieter and less dangerous after Robbo Shaw's enemies were finally brought to justice.

    Although a reunion seemed imminent, Bella stood in the way of the couple's happiness – unable to forgive Mackenzie for bailing on their family so easily.

    When Bella slipped back into old ways with rebellious behaviour and angry outbursts, Colby realised it was best to keep Mackenzie at arm's length to avoid upsetting his sister further.

    However, a new promo for next week's Australian episodes of Home and Away has revealed that Colby won't be able to stay away from Mackenzie.

    Colby receives some advice from Willow Harris, who suggests that it's wrong to turn his back on a good relationship just to pacify Bella.

    Seemingly agreeing, Colby gives into temptation with Mackenzie but gets rumbled by Bella, who spots them kissing.

    Bella is livid over Colby's behaviour and reminds him: "You promised me that you weren't going to get back with her. She is going to ruin everything but you can't see that."

    Will Bella have to learn to accept Colby's decision?

    Home and Away fans in the UK will see these scenes on Channel 5 in early December.

    Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).

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