Blue Heelers: articles

Familiar face in Blue Heelers

If you are a diehard Blue Heelers fan, you may recognise Mt Thomas Police Station’s newest recruit Probationary Constable Kelly O’Rourke.

O’Rourke is not the first character 22-year-old actor Samantha Tolj has played in the police drama.

In 2000, Tolj first played teenage tart Loelle Nixon—and she was such a success producers asked her back to play the same role on three additional occasions.

“I had played a guest role a few times and whenever a new regular artist came along I wasn’t allowed to audition because they liked the guest role I played,” Tolj said.

“But I was with a new agent and she said: I think it is about time that you let her audition because if you don’t, hopefully someone else will soon.”

Tolj went on to audition for the role, something she found incredibly nerve-racking.

“After the first audition I thought I had screwed it up but they called me back,” she said.

Describing her character, Tolj said Kelly gets along well with everybody at Mt Thomas, except for a bit of tension between her and fellow rookie Probationary Constable Joss Palermo.

“She is a really hardworking girl,” Tolj said of the character.

“She just wants to do well and will do all of the little annoying jobs, the things Joss wouldn’t do, so she slots herself in quite nicely there.”

Most challenging for Tolj has been learning her new character.

Tolj said: “everything else was so exciting” that even working hard to learn lines and studying scripts was exciting.

“I could imagine I would have been a nervous wreck if they were all new cast, so to come in and know everyone was a delight for me,” she said.

Tolj spent a day training with local police to prepare for the role, even getting an opportunity to fire a pistol.

“I went and spent a day on patrol with two police officers and learnt how to use the baton, fighting and all of that,” she said.

July 02, 2004