Exclusive: Home and Away star Matt Evans on Ava being caught out in Theo story

·9-min read

Home and Away spoilers follow for UK viewers.

Home and Away's Theo Poulos gets a nasty shock on UK screens next week as he finally discovers the extent of Ava Gilbert's obsession with him.

Ava was recently unmasked as Theo's devoted superfan, who'd been bombarding him with messages online. However, upcoming episodes on Channel 5 see the situation get worse when Theo finds out that Ava has been posting pictures online, falsely insinuating that they're a couple.

Theo is horrified as he confronts Ava and her delusions become clear as she claims that they're in love.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Matt Evans, who plays Theo, for an exclusive chat about the ongoing storyline.

theo poulos in home and away
Channel 5

How does Theo feel about Ava being the stalker?

"It was definitely a big shock, but Theo is still quite in denial about the whole thing. Everyone has been warning him that there's something not quite right with Ava's behaviour in general.

"To learn that it was Ava was quite a shock, as he didn't believe that it would be her and it just seems bizarre to him.

"At the same time, Theo isn't angry. When he knows that it's Justin's daughter, he thinks that it's harmless. There's a part of him going: 'Why is everyone overreacting? She's only 16. I wouldn't call her a stalker'. That's his attitude towards it, I think."

Can you tease where things are going as Ava's behaviour becomes more concerning?

"Theo hasn't been too concerned about it because of Ava's age. He keeps asking: 'What's the big issue?' He's been wondering why Kirby is freaking out about it so much and he's been joking about it too, asking whether she's jealous.

"Theo doesn't see the depth of the issue until it starts to get more and more dramatic. You'll see that in the next couple of weeks, as it escalates.

"You just watch the progression of Ava's behaviour as it gets worse and worse. It's nice to see Theo like a Labrador puppy at the start of the storyline, oblivious and blasé to what's going on, but that starts to change."

How was it to work with Annabel Wolfe, who plays Ava, on the storyline?

"Annabel was amazing. She's been one of my favourite people to work with – she's a little superstar, that girl. She was so great and always took on criticism – especially from Jimmy [Stewart, who plays Justin] because he's done it for years. Jimmy is always helping and Annabel wanted to keep getting better.

"Annabel is such a great actor and she played the role incredibly well throughout the whole story. There are a lot of scenes coming up with her and Jimmy, that are really beautiful to watch. I honestly couldn't have picked a better person to play the role."

theo poulos and ava gilbert in home and away
Channel 5

We know that Annabel is only in the show as a guest, but would you like to see her return?

"Yeah, absolutely I would. If that would be something the producers and writers would be interested in doing, I'd definitely be down for that. I think everybody would be – she was such a sweet girl, so that'd be awesome."

The story has touched on Theo's use of social media and how he interacts with fans. How do you navigate that in real life?

"It's a hard one. These days, I reply a lot less. I first started as a contestant on The Voice, and back then I really tried to reply to everyone. I wanted to be seen as positive and wanted people to know that I was a nice person.

"But a lot of people don't realise that the messages get longer and longer, and more and more messages pop up. The longer you're on Home and Away, there's always an infinite number of messages that come through. Then if you reply, you sometimes spark up a conversation and it just keeps going.

"That's the hard thing that people don't understand – for us, it really is a lot. I've learned to navigate that these days by staying away from the personal messaging on Instagram, so that's not something I do. I just post on Instagram and I reply to some comments.

"If you see me in public, or when visitors come to Palm Beach where we film the show, then of course I'm happy to come and talk to people. I love meeting people.

"There have been times on Instagram where I've had things happen and the lines are very blurred. You have to realise that if you set these boundaries, these things can't happen."

Can you tease what's coming up for Theo in the longer-term?

"Well, there's the fallout from the Ava storyline and the destruction it causes for the family. There are pretty big consequences from Ava's actions, which are going to affect not just Theo, but Justin and Leah as well.

"There's quite a big series of events that follows from this storyline, which you wouldn't expect, so there's a lot of drama around that.

"There's plenty more Lyrik band content coming up too. We take things in a slightly different direction and we try something new as a band, so that's pretty cool as well."

theo poulos in home and away
Channel 5

Do you see Theo and Kirby as an 'endgame' couple that we should all be rooting for?

"I think they're a great couple because they share an interest in music. They have a really good common ground with that, so they get along really well.

"But it's always hard to say in Summer Bay! Things change very quickly, so who knows what's going to happen? I think they're in a good position at the moment and when you see them together, you really see the connection."

Do you prefer playing this more settled version of Theo, or did you like it when he first moved to the Bay and was always causing trouble?

"That's a hard one. When I first came in and I was stirring up the trouble, I didn't like it. But now I'd actually find that quite funny!

"I think I probably prefer Theo now, just because he gets to do all the music stuff. But looking back, there were some pretty cool scenes and I'd love to go back and do it again, knowing what I know now."

Do you have any input into the Lyrik songs we hear on the show?

"We have a licensing deal with the Mushroom group in Australia, so anyone with that label can write songs for us. One guy in particular writes a lot of our music and he sends it through.

"Sometimes me and another music producer rework the songs and make them our own, but most of the time they just get sent through and we go into the studio and record all the parts for it."

Was it always the plan for music to be part of Theo's character?

"When I started, there was never a plan for Theo to be a musician, but I went upstairs and had a few meetings with the producers. I said that I'd really love to bring music to the show, if they'd let me do that.

"Next minute, they cast a whole band and said that I was going to be the lead singer. It was pretty cool!

"It's been nice to have music on the show and I think it's something different. They've never had a full band of four cast members ever on Home and Away before, and for this long as well – it's been a good stint."

embargo 19092022 theo poulos serenades kirby aramoana in home and away
Channel 5

We miss the Theo and Ryder friendship! Would you like Theo to find a new best friend?

"I think so. I've thought that as well. I spoke to the writers and upstairs and asked: 'Why doesn't Theo have any friends?!'

"He does have the band, so they're his friends. I think my baby face makes me look a lot younger than the others though, so it's a bit funny! I think Theo would like to have another friend and I'd like to see that too.

"There is a character that comes through in the future that Theo does have a bit of a bond with. That'll be something to look forward to."

As you mentioned, you started as a contestant on The Voice Australia. Was that a positive experience?

"I think it's what changed my life. I did that show because I'd hit a rock bottom where I was lost with what I was doing. I thought that I wanted to do more with my life.

"I got my acting agent from that show – she's an LA-based manager but she was in Perth watching the show at the time. She approached me and asked if I'd like to do acting.

"I'd never tried acting before, but I said that I'd give it a go and I just started auditioning for things. Next minute, I got an Australian agent and ended up on Home and Away.

"If I hadn't done The Voice, and if my agent hadn't seen me on that show, I probably would have never got into acting, as it's just a completely foreign thing for me. It changed my life, that's for sure, and it really helped me learn to just say 'yes' to things and put yourself out there."

Would you like to continue juggling acting and music, or do you see yourself ultimately making a choice between them?

"Hard question. I think that I do want to continue juggling them. The only reason not to would be if the music career took off and I didn't have time to do acting at the same time, or if the acting really took off and I didn't have time for music.

"So it depends – if one thing does really well and then I no longer have time, then maybe. But I can always circle back to it, so I think I'm always going to try and have both in my life in some way, shape or form."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR. First-look screenings air at 6.30pm on 5STAR and the show also streams on My5.

Selected classic episodes are available via Prime Video in the UK.

Read more Home and Away spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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