Water Rats: articles

Jay, Brett, Raelee

In Deep Water

Raelee Hill has taken the plunge and become one of the Water Rats

When Raelee Hill answered her mobile phone in a dress shop and was told she won a role in Water Rats, the shop assistant though Raelee was having some sort of fit!

"I was standing in a clothes shop with a girlfriend and I squealed and fell down on the floor!' Raelee recalls. "The girl I was with is also an actress and she had to race over to the shop assistant and say. 'Don't worry, everything's OK, she just got a job.'"

Six weeks after doing a screen test in Melbourne, Raelee was flown to Sydney where she was told three other girls were also auditioning for the coveted role of Constable Taylor Johnson.

"It was exciting because they kept me holding for two months waiting to hear. That was the worst time of all," Raelee reveals. "To celebrate we went out to dinner and had lots of champaign!"

Known for her roles in Paradise Beach and Neighbours, and for her performance in Foxtel's soap spoof Shark Bay, Raelee was initially very nervous about making the jump from soap to drama.

"Those nerves stayed with me for a few weeks, which is unusual. I was a bit daunted about how polished and tight the cast were. Once nerves went, everything was fine—they're a very sweet and accommodating cast and crew," she says, sounding relieved.

The obvious question to ask any new actor on Water Rats is whether they suffer seasickness. "Fortunately, I don't get seasick," Raelee says, but her predecessor wasn't as lucky. "Sophie Heathcote, the actress before me, got into a bit of trouble because of seasickness."

As Raelee raves about her new role, it's clear that this is her dream job! "Every morning we have to catch a water taxi over to the island and it feels like you're going off on a crazy school excursion. All the crew and cast are together and it's lots of fun."

Raelee has also appeared in the film Hotel de Love, in which she flashed her breasts! "That wasn't in the script. It was my idea to do that because my character needed to be much more raunchy. When I did it I wasn't nervous. It was kind of strange. But it's only when you're topless that you realise how male a film crew is," she laughs.

So what's Raelee's secret to success in the acting game? "I don't think it's a secret at all," Raelee says. "I think it's pretty well known that you just have to have heaps of determination and persistence. The more noise you make about yourself the quicker people are going to offer you a job just to shut you up."

By Chris Sheedy
TV Week