Home and Away

Home and Away star Lukas Radovich explains Ryder Jackson’s exit story

“The door is always open.”

Home and Away spoilers follow for UK viewers.

Home and Away airs Ryder Jackson’s final scenes on UK screens next week.

Ryder bows out from Summer Bay to take up a new job on a cruise ship, where he’ll be managing the bar. He seizes the opportunity as he ultimately wants to move to the ship’s casino, as he’s interested in becoming a croupier.

Lukas Radovich played the role of Ryder from 2017 and filmed his exit scenes at the end of last year. Here, he chats about his departure from Home and Away and his memories of playing Ryder.

Will you miss playing Ryder?

“Yes, I’ll miss playing him because I’ll miss the atmosphere of the set and the people who I’ve worked with. But I think it was time to let go of the character, as Ryder had done a lot of storylines and it felt like the right time to let go.”

Did you have a favourite storyline?

“It would be the one with Cameron Daddo, who played my dad. That was a storyline I got to have a lot of input in, and it was almost like a workshop where me and the head writer came up with the idea of the long-lost father.

“She’d been thinking about it for a little while herself, so it was the perfect opportunity. It was great to work with Cameron and I thought it was a great storyline, with gritty scenes I was able to do with Georgie Parker [who plays Roo]. It was the most rewarding storyline I did.”

Which storyline was the most challenging?

“It was the coffin stunt, as they were really gruelling days on set. Also learning how to surf because I can’t surf! Even after a few lessons, it was pretty grim the results. I’m glad that storyline came and went.”

How do you feel about Ryder getting such a happy ending?

“I’m very lucky that the character was able to have a happy ending, as a lot of characters don’t. It was nice to be able to say goodbye to the character. It gave me as an actor some closure for the character and the people who I’ve got to work with as well.”

Can you tell us about the final scenes?

“Ryder gets the call from his mum, where she tells him about this job opportunity. He has only about 24 hours to make a decision. He goes with his gut and realises this is the right thing to do.

“Ryder makes the decision and leaves the next day. It all happens very quickly, but I think that shows that Ryder has been ready for this for a while.”

Did you collaborate with the writers on Ryder’s exit storyline?

“There wasn’t much of a collaboration, but I was told in advance that there was going to be a casino storyline and that’s how Ryder leaves the Bay.

“I also had a feeling that it would go that way because in terms of all the storylines, Ryder’s career has always been an important factor in his life, and I couldn’t see him giving up on that. It wouldn’t make sense for the character.”

How was it to be part of the Stewart family?

“I’ve been very lucky to work with the people I’ve been able to work with. You always know you’re pretty safe from being killed off if you’re a Stewart! That security is quite nice. It’s so iconic, it’s hard to put into words how iconic the role is. It was a such a great opportunity to be a part of the family.”

Was it emotional to film your goodbye scenes?

“I hadn’t really had time to think about how emotional they would be as I’d been working so much. However, there were a few moments with Courtney Miller [who plays Bella] and Georgie Parker.

“There’s a scene that’ll be on air, which is Ryder in a car driving away and Bella runs out and we have a final goodbye. The director wasn’t getting the right reactions out of us because we were hiding from it.

“He sat us down and was very plain and said ‘this is the last moment you’ll see each other’ and put it in terms of Lukas and Courtney rather than Bella and Ryder and that’s when it got emotional.

“It took a while, but I think as I said, once we were in the moment it became quite evident that it was going to be a very emotional scene.”

Are you pleased that Ryder hasn’t been killed off? Would you like to return at some point?

“The door is always open and I’m very grateful for that, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Anything could happen in the next couple of years. We’ll keep the door open – it’s never going to be closed, but for now I’m excited to see what happens next for me.”

What will be the biggest thing you take away from your time on set?

“The biggest thing will be the community. I had to do a speech at the end of my time there to the cast and crew and one thing I said in that was how important the community is and it made me want to be a part of it so much.”

How would you sum up your time on Home and Away?

“All-consuming, exciting, fun, rewarding and iconic.”

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR. First-look screenings air at 6.30pm on 5STAR and the show also streams on My5.