Blue Heelers: articles

Samantha Tolj

AMBITION… Samantha Tolj has gone from guest star tart to Constable Kelly O’Rourke in Blue Heelers

Bad girl, good cop

WHEN Melbourne actor Samantha Tolj first appeared on Blue Heelers in 2000 to play teenage tart Loelle Nixon, she must have done something right.

She was asked back three times—in 2001, 2002 and 2003 to play the same role—a loud-mouthed troublemaker on the bad side of the law.

Now the 22-year-old actor has returned to play Probationary Constable Kelly O’Rourke. Her character is described as a woman with energy to burn who is keen to get ahead in the job as quickly as she can.

It’s a description which could almost be applied to Tolj herself. At just 22, Tolj is excited about her first full-time acting gig, and says she is happier working on the show than she has ever been.

“There’s not a lot of work around in Australia at the moment for actors, especially in my age group, so it’s an amazing opportunity for me,” Tolj says.

“I see the guys on the set as mentors, especially the ones who have been there for a long time. They are really friendly, I can learn from them all because they’re so good at what they do.”

Tolj began her acting career by attending acting workshops on weekends and during school holidays and, when Tolj was 15, her drama teacher opened an acting academy and listed her on the books.

Her first job was in a McDonald’s advertisement, followed by performances in her school’s play, and a part in which she appeared as a victim in a re-enactment of an alleged rape for Australia’s Most Wanted.

She then joined the Blue Heelers cast for her role as Nixon, followed up by stints on children’s shows Crash Zone, Eugenie Sandler, High Flyers and Pigs Breakfast. Stingers, After The Deluge, Marshall Law, MDA and Last Man Standing soon followed.

“All I’ve ever wanted is to be a working actor and get paid to do what I love,” Tolj says.

“I’ve definitely got dreams in regards to my career and would love eventually to travel around the world working.

“But as long as I’m working on what I consider to be a quality job, I’ll be happy.”

By Madeline Healy
July 22, 2004
The Courier Mail