When Grant Denyer won his Gold Logie award it was a sweet victory given 10 had axed Family Feud.
But even after Eve Morey’s contract was not renewed by Neighbours, and she went on to land a Gold Logie nomination, she bears no grudges. It’s a mark of her humility that she considers the accolade as a recognition for the show and a testament to her work alongside co-star Ryan Moloney (‘Toadie’).
The storyline, in which her character Sonya died of cancer was an exit idea she collaborated on with producers.
“They weren’t renewing my contract, so I was processing that and asked, ‘What are we going to do for the character?’ It meant a lot to Ryan and me to have Sonya and Toadie grow together, and in this crazy soapie world, representing the average person,” she tells TV Tonight.
“Our storylines have always been about us trying to stay together. So I felt the only way they could separate us would have to be death. There’s no way Sonya would leave her husband or kids.
“If we don’t honour the storytelling then what have I been doing for the last 9.5 years?
“But even though it wasn’t necessarily my choice it came at time that made sense for my family. I have found it hard balancing work life and being a mum.
“In a way having that decision taken away from me was a huge relief.”
Her final episode after 9.5 years was a two-hander with Moloney, and brought them nominations as Most Popular Actor / Actress. The show also landed a rare peer nomination as Most Outstanding Drama.
“To be nominated in Most Outstanding, the industry vote, is the one that really means the most.
“Tt was such a spin-out. Since I’ve been on it, Neighbours hasn’t really had any recognition at the Logies,” she continues.
“I was in complete shock the whole day.”
While popular awards are one thing, Morey was particularly touched by the reaction to the storyline from those affected by ovarian cancer.
“I was contacted by a lot of people who had been through it which was overwhelming. But a lot of them said they felt represented in an authentic way. That’s all Ryan and I really cared about… to honour that journey for people.
“There’s not a lot of shows where you have 2 people who have been together for the best part of 10 years. You watch them grow up, have kids… and then find out one of them has cancer.
“It was a perfect storm to tell a unique story, in the way maybe other shows couldn’t.”
But her Logie nomination was not without some controversy after news that co-star Colette Mann had used social media to campaign for votes from the UK, with some fans indicating they had submitted votes with fake Australian addresses. Organisers insist those will not be valid.
“Colette’s been extraordinarily important and she believed in the work and was just trying to get people to honour it. I asked ‘Is there any way that this is not right?’ and I’ve been told unequivocally that it could not,” assures Morey.
Since leaving her on-screen role, Morey is enjoying a less hectic schedule, but remains part of the Ramsay Street family as a drama coach for younger actors. She hasn’t ruled out a return to acting at some point, and the Logie nod suggests she will likely be in demand.
“I’m undecided. If the right project came along that would be great,” she suggests.
“Never say never.”
1. How important is winning a Logie award?
EM: I’m very happy to be nominated and I don’t know what I would do if I won. I feel that for where the show is at, to be getting the recognition this year is pretty cool. So the winning isn’t that important, but the recognition is.
2. What was the TV highlight of your year?
Being part of the ovarian cancer storyline, because it spoke to people. That’s what we’re there for.
3. Aside from yourself, who is your tip to win and why?
I reckon Amanda Keller.. because I want it to be so. I’ve always seen her from afar and then when I met her I thought “Jeez you’re a wonderful woman.” She’s so funny, and I find her very real. She does Dancing with the Stars but has a really grounded sense to her.
4. If you win, where will you put your Gold Logie?
I think my daughter would take it and put it in a special drawer in her room. They gave us fake Logie Awards at Neighbours and my daughter took it.
5. Why should viewers vote for you?
I don’t know. I’m tensing up even answering the question! If you feel compelled, or the story moved you in some way, then please do… but you don’t have to!
Voting in the 2019 Logie Awards is open until 7:30pm AEST Sunday June 30.