Neighbours’ Lilly Van der Meer, Ramsay Street’s Xanthe Canning, has talked to Soaplife about following Aussie actress Margot Robbie to Hollywood.

If a young actress is going to be compared with anyone, then former Neighbours’ actress-turned-Hollywood superstar Margot Robbie is surely at the top of the list. Neighbours star Lilly Van der Meer, who plays bubbly yet determined Xanthe Canning, is often hailed as the next Margot.

“It’s incredibly flattering to be compared with Margot Robbie,” 18 year-old Lilly shared with Soaplife. “Like me, she’s a girl from the Gold Coast who moved to Melbourne to be in Neighbours and the show was the launch pad for the career she has now. She makes me feel that anything is possible.”

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Neighbours star Lilly Van der Meer talks with Soaplife

Soaplife: Are you Hollywood bound like Margot, Lilly?

Lilly Van der Meer: “Not for a while yet! It is my goal to go to LA one day and delve into the world of film but right now, Neighbours is my absolute priority and I’m loving it just as much as when I first started in late 2015.”

S: How old were you when you got the part of Xanthe?

Lilly: “I was 15 when I did my first audition, at home. My mum is a photographer and she videoed me against a white sheet draped over the TV to make it look like a studio! I got the part two days after my 16th birthday. I’m 18 now so it’s like I’ve grown up on Ramsay Street.”

S: You live in Melbourne now?

Lilly: “Yes. I moved down permanently and it’s home to me now. Neighbours is like a family, anyway – my second family!”

S: We hear you’re close to Colette Mann who plays your screen gran, Sheila?

Lilly: “Colette’s a legend! She’s been a real help to me and is like my second mum. We have such a close connection and go out and watch plays and films together at the weekend.”

S: How did you first get into acting?

Lilly: “I started out doing speech and drama as mum thought it would boost my confidence. Mum wanted me to feel comfortable about talking in front of people. I loved the classes and became passionate about drama.”

S; What advice would you give young people who want to act?

Lilly: “I’m still learning myself! Neighbours is my first proper job. What I did do, though, is work a lot for free on short films and the like when I was younger. I also did quite a bit of work as an extra. You’ve got to be prepared to put in a lot of time and energy.”

S: What do you like doing when you’re not working?

Lilly: “I’m a surfer but there aren’t the waves in Melbourne. I love film and most weekends see me at the movie theatre, watching two or three films. Sometimes I go with friends although I’m happy to go alone.”

S: Finally, with a name like Van De Meer, do you have a Dutch family?

Lilly: “I have Dutch heritage as my dad was born in Holland. I’ve never been but would love to. I have aunts and uncles there. I’ve never visited the UK, either. That’s another place I long to see. It looks incredible, although I don’t know how I’d cope with the cold weather. As a Gold Coast girl, I find it tough enough in Melbourne!”

Neighbours continues on C5