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Neighbours star Matt Wilson reflects on his big first year as Aaron Brennan, saying the role has been challenging and he hasn’t always been able to switch off from the drama.

Aaron is about to deal with a twin whammy on the Channel 5 soap – first his ex, Nate, returns to Erinsborough without telling him (hint, hint) and worse, he thinks the fight just before Lassiter’s explosion has led to Tom Quill’s death.

Matt told What’s on TV: “The stuff that we’re filming now and the stuff that’s going to be on air next week has been challenging. I’ve had to go to some dark places for that where you’ve got a lot of inner conflict. When you go to those places in your mind, you just jump in you car and you drive home and you’re just confused… You just want to go to bed and you get angry with people you shouldn’t be angry at just because you’re testing yourself mentally.

“That stuff we’re doing and we’ve just done has been a stretch, but opposite to dancing!” he said, referring to his flamboyant entrance on Neighbours last year as a topless dancer.

Does he switch off easily from the drama? “I think I’m getting better at switching off. The way I like to think of it is with acting, to get into a character it’s like a race car. You’ve got be able to accelerate but you also have to brake, otherwise the race car is useless. So you need to learn how to step out of it as well as in – and that’s another skill altogether. Some people can’t do that and they struggle.”

Matt rules out trying to crack Hollywood – in the the short-term, anyway – like many previous Neighbours stars, but is emphatic about who his role model is.

“Hugh Jackman, hands down,” he said. “I think he represents Australia perfectly. He’s still quite modest. He lives his life in public, but he doesn’t put himself on a pedestal. He can sing, he can dance, he does theatre, he does film, he does one-man theatre shows in America… I look up to him.”

Watch the interview with Neighbours’ Matt Wilson, above.

Neighbours screen each weeknight on Channel 5 at 5.30pm