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Neighbours star Gail Easdale on Julie Quill's return

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Neighbours spoilers follow for UK viewers.

Neighbours brings back a memorable villain on UK screens next week as Terese Willis pays a visit to Julie Quill in jail.

Julie has been behind bars since 2016, when she was exposed as the mastermind of the Lassiters explosion that tragically killed Terese's son Josh.

In upcoming scenes, Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) is looking for closure as she comes face-to-face with Julie for the first time in five years, but how will the meeting go?

Digital Spy recently caught up with Gail Easdale, who plays Julie, for a chat about the storyline.

How did your return to the show come about?

"Neighbours called my agent and explained that they'd like to bring Julie's storyline back, linking it in with Terese. That was only a few weeks before filming, so they called my agent and booked me in.

"It was fabulous and great to hear. I couldn't believe that it had been five years since I walked into the building – it felt like it was just yesterday."

Julie has always been out there, but was it a surprise to be asked back?

"It was definitely a surprise. I think when your character gets sent down for manslaughter for years, you think: 'Oh dear, that's me!' It's almost like being killed off.

"But it was very interesting to hear that Julie was being brought back. There was a lot of unfinished business after the Lassiters explosion, so it was really good to bring in some closure for both Julie and Terese. It's a very meaningful and poignant moment for both characters."

Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5
Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5

Can you tell us more about Julie and Terese coming face-to-face again?

"Julie isn't expecting Terese. She's actually expecting her son Jesse to come and visit her. Julie comes into the visiting room and sees Terese, which is a huge shock.

"Terese has got a lot of things that she needs to get off her chest in order to find closure. I think she's expecting to meet the Julie that once was, but then she realises that Julie has actually changed an awful lot.

"Julie is extremely remorseful for what has happened. She's got more clarity and she's so sorry for the death of Terese's son Josh.

"The meeting starts off very tense, but by the end of it, they talk to each other as mothers and I think they have a bit of respect for each other."

Are you glad that the writers took that direction, rather than having Julie stay villainous?

"Oh, I'm so thrilled that they took that avenue. Julie couldn't have got to where she got to in life, without having honesty, compassion and being true and genuine.

"But she just lost her way. She became so self-orientated and so one-dimensional. She just couldn't see beyond what she wanted, so things just started happening and crashing down around her.

"Even at the end when Josh had died, Julie was still trying to put the blame on somebody else. She just couldn't take ownership for what she did, but five years in prison has definitely mellowed her and made her realise.

"Julie has also lost everything. She's lost her family, she's lost her business, she's lost friends and respect. She's started again as a compassionate person and she's extremely sorry for what she has done."

How long are you back for?

"I'm just back for this episode, but who knows? Julie Quill is coming up for parole, so watch this space.

"There's a few Quills out there, so it's a good family and lots of diverse storylines can come from that kind of dynamic. It'd be really great if Julie could come back and maybe have an affair with Paul, that could help!"

Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5
Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5

Were you disappointed not to have any scenes with Cameron Robbie, who's playing Jesse?

"Yeah, it would have been great to actually meet my son! That would have been fantastic.

"I know there's been a lot of hype for Cameron, being Margot Robbie's brother, but unfortunately our paths didn't cross this time around. Who knows, we might get a chance to work with each other in the future."

Most fans will know that you're married to Stefan Dennis, who plays Paul. Would you have liked to share some scenes with him again?

"Always! I love working with him. We bounce off each other very well. I actually met him while working with him in 1991, so we definitely click when we're in that kind of environment.

"We have a good little rhythm going, obviously. We've been together for a long time and married for a long time. He is a delight. He's so wonderful at what he does."

Do you ever run lines together at home?

"Every night! We run Stefan's scenes for the next day. Sometimes it can take a quick 10 to 15 minutes, other times it can take longer, depending on how many scenes he has the next day. He'll get out his book and we'll sit there and run it."

Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5
Photo credit: Fremantle - Channel 5

What was it like to work with Rebekah on the scenes?

"Rebekah and I are good friends. She can't be married to my husband on screen for all those years and not be a close friend! (Laughs.) We socialise together and we have a lot of laughs and fun.

"Rebekah is a wonderful actress and every time I've been there at Neighbours, she's made me feel very much at ease. I've had a lot of scenes with Terese in the past, so we have worked a lot together and she's an absolute joy. She's a bundle of energy and 'always on'. She gives you so much when you're doing the scenes.

"Rebekah is very patient as well. It had been five years since I'd been there and you can have some nerves and apprehension when you go back in. But everyone is so helpful and fantastic, that it all goes out of the window and you just have a great day."

Do you hope the fans can forgive Julie?

"I really hope so. She's a woman who lost her way and she knows that. She will spend her life trying to repay all of that back. She's a successful woman and she will make good in the end.

"I hope the fans see that she's had a lot of time to think and reflect and it will change her. She is a different woman."

Prior to playing Julie in 2016, you originally auditioned for a different Neighbours character, didn't you?

"Yes, I can't remember exactly which character it was, but it actually was a love interest of Paul Robinson's. I can't remember who got the job, but that was the role that I originally auditioned for and then I got the call to say that rather than that part, they'd like me to go in for Julie Quill instead."

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).

Read more Neighbours spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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