Neighbours star Gemma Pranita has confirmed she is leaving Ramsay Street.
The 26-year-old, who joined the Australian soap in 2010 as feisty personal trainer Jade Mitchell, admitted it wasn’t easy to wave farewell to Erinsborough.
“The decision was made with a heavy heart as I love this job, but I just felt that two years was long enough to play one character,” she explained to the Channel 5 website.
“I became an actor to play lots of different characters and, while Jade has been an amazing role, I feel I want to challenge myself to do other things.”
Gemma plans to swap Down Under for Hollywood: “I’ve always aspired to have a crack at LA, and I don’t want to be left wondering. However, I’m definitely not opposed to working in Australia; I love the industry here.”
The actress admitted she would miss working with co-stars Christopher Milligan – her on-off love interest Kyle Canning – and Eve Morey (screen sister Sonya).
“I’ll miss the pranks Chris and I play on each other, and one I’m particularly proud of was putting fake dog poo in his script folder – payback for a prank he played on me,” she recalled.
Gemma – who will work with her Sydney theatre company Cry Havoc once she has completed Neighbours – teased that ‘hearts will be broken and lots of tears will be shed’ when Jade leaves Ramsay Street in August.
Her final scenes will screen on Channel 5 in December.