Water Rats: articles


Hill Climbs Aboard

… and, unlike her Water Rats predecessor, Raelee already has her sea legs

A plum role in an adult drama series was just what former Neighbours regular and now Water Rats newcomer Raelee Hill was looking for.

"For the past three or four years I've been hanging around within soap opera, and there is clearly a big difference between soap opera and Water Rats," says the 24-year-old, who has now relocated from Melbourne to Sydney.

Since leaving Neighbours, Raelee has been seen in soap spoof Shark Bay on Foxtel, in a small part in the film Hotel De Love and in several theatre roles.

"Water Rats is one of the most credible shows on Australian television, so to make that leap is something I was definitely working for," she says.

After the departure of Sophie Heathcote (who played Fiona), Raelee joins the cast as Tayler Johnson.

"She's a 25-year-old probationary constable. I think the executive producers were mainly looking, within her character, for youth and optimism.

"she can fill the niche of the new kid on the block at the station, because the rest of the staff are all senior and know their stuff.

"She's incredibly enthusiastic, and that is sometimes her downfall. She gets a bit too eager and thus she sort of speeds into things before thinking them through.

"She's not stupid—just enthusiastic and energetic. It is not incompetence, because she's very capable at her job. It is just inexperience."

Within a few weeks, Raelee's character ends up a part of the boat crew. Unlike her predecessor Sophie, she does not suffer seasickness.

"Fortunately, I don't have those problems. I've done only one day out, near the Sydney Heads, and if you're going to get seasick that's where it's going to happen. I was fine. It wasn't a problem."

As the new person on the boat, Tayler is given the cold-shoulder by workmates who are still missing former comrade Fiona.

In real-life, Raelee had no such troubles with her predecessor.

"Sophie was so sweet," she says. "Before she left she told me if I had any problems to give her a call."

By Shane Sutton
March 01, 1997
TV Week