A look behind the scenes on the set of Neighbours
A look behind the scenes on the set of Neighbours

Why Neighbours stars suck on ice cubes

WHY do Neighbours actors have to suck on ice cubes before shooting some of their scenes?

That's just one of the secrets we uncovered during a behind-the-scenes tour of the set.

About a 50-minute drive from Melbourne's city centre, the Forest Hill studio complex where the long-running soap is filmed is massive.

Every single scene from Neighbours is shot there apart from the scenes out the front of the houses on Ramsay St. Those are actually filmed just five minutes down the road in Pin Oak Court in Vermont South.

News.com.au was given a tour of the set by Stefan Dennis who has played Paul Robinson on Neighbours since it premiered way back in 1985. Here are some of the show's secrets that he revealed during the tour.

B ACKYARDS

There are often scenes set in the backyards of Ramsay St and they used to be filmed in the real backyards of the homes in Pin Oak Court. But not anymore.

To save money and time, the production company built replicas of every backyard, including the rear of each of the houses, on the studio lot in Forest Hill.

One of the backyards even has a pool.

Replicas of the backs of the Ramsay St homes have been built on the studio lot
Replicas of the backs of the Ramsay St homes have been built on the studio lot

ICE CUBES

Melbourne isn't exactly the warmest city on earth and the weather can often be freezing when the actors have to shoot pool scenes.

Firstly, the pool is heated so that the actors aren't noticeably shivering as they film scenes that are meant to look like they're being shot in summer.

And secondly, you know when it's really cold and you can literally see your breath as you breathe out?

That's not ideal for the actors when they're pretending it's a sunny day.

So the cast are given ice cubes to suck on before they shoot the scenes which cools down their breath and prevents any vapour from coming out of their mouths.

When filming “summer” pool scenes in the middle of winter, ice cubes come in handy as a TV trick to hide frosty breath vapours
When filming “summer” pool scenes in the middle of winter, ice cubes come in handy as a TV trick to hide frosty breath vapours

SECURITY

As mentioned above, the only scenes not filmed inside the studio complex are the ones featuring the front of the houses. Real people live in those houses and having their homes star in one of the world's most successful soaps causes a few headaches.

"Down at Pin Oak Court, we have to have a security guy 24/7 down there," Stefan Dennis told news.com.au.

"In the days when the Neighbours phenomenon was going absolutely berserk, busloads of tourists would come and they would souvenir anything they could. They would get a handful of dirt and stick it in their pocket or they'd pinch a number off a letterbox. And because they're real houses, the owners were getting really upset."

INDOOR AND OUTDOOR

The studio complex is seriously huge.

In the outdoors section, they've not only got the backyards of all the Ramsay St homes but also the exteriors of the Lassiters Hotel, Harold's Cafe, The Waterhole, Lassiters lake and so much more.

These are just facades though. If you open the door of Harold's Cafe, there's nothing inside the actual building which is only a couple of metres deep. All of the interior sets are in another section of the studio complex.

Some of the packed up interior sets waiting to be used again
Some of the packed up interior sets waiting to be used again

Most of the sets are packed up and built whenever they're needed, although some, such as the interiors of The Waterhole, are left set up permanently because they're used more often.

All of the outdoor scenes are filmed together before the cast and crew head inside to shoot the indoor shots.

Take for example a scene of Paul Robinson walking outside before entering The Waterhole bar. The outside scene will be filmed one day and the scene of him inside the bar ordering a drink will actually be filmed a day or two later.

The Lassiters outdoor area is covered by a plastic roof so the actors don’t have to squint in the sun
The Lassiters outdoor area is covered by a plastic roof so the actors don’t have to squint in the sun

Neighbours airs weeknights on Eleven at 6.30pm



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