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Elena Carapetis
as Jackie Kassis

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Elena Carapetis as Jackie Exclusive interview with Elena Carapetis who played Jackie Kassis in Heartbreak High
 
First of all I would like to say thanks to everyone who ever supported the show and to all of you for taking the time to send me these great questions. And bravo to Ric and the webteam for this excellent site.
From: Olivia Ruiz-Joffre, 14, France "How did u start your job ? I mean, how did u start actress job ? Because I'm very interested in this job...
Thanks,
Olivia... Basically I studied drama all through school and secondary school, then went on to study it at university as well, before I got into drama school.
From:Janneke
Hi Elena, I think you're a great actress and I would like to know what its like to play the role. Is it always a lot of fun or are there also moments you would like to do something else instead of acting? Thanks.
Thanks Janneke!  I loved playing Jackie, it was lots of fun especially since she is quite different to how I am in real life. But also some hard work -  preparing the scene, rehearsing, getting up early, learning lines etc.  The only time it is hard being an actor is when you are out of work; in these times its easy to wish for another kind of job, but when the next acting gig comes along again you forget all about that.
From: Rik Runge, Holland Have you been acting in other shows?
I've done a few guest roles here on Australian TV (Murder Call, Children's Hospital). I trained in theatre, so most of my work has been theatre work, so I loved the opportunity to do television when Heartbreak High came along. My latest theatre job was in a production of urFaust  which toured to Weimar and Munich in Germany in October and will also be going to the 2000 Adelaide Festival.  
What is your birthday?
26th of February. Any presents are welcome. he he
From: Karine I've got family who lives in Australia in Melbourne exactly.  Are you greek?
Well I was born in Australia so officially that makes me Australian. But my mum is from Cyprus and my dad is from a Greek island called Icaria, so yeah you could definitely call me Greek.
Do you have a nick-name?
My friends call me Ele (pronounced Elli). Luke Jacobz used to call me Jelly (a mixture of Ele and Jackie) on the set of HBH, so I called him Zuke (Luke and Zak, geddit??)
From: Miljana I love vry much Heart break high.My favourite actor is Callan Mulvey. Who's your favourite actor? Bye!
Callan is very talented I agree. I have loads of favourite actors including Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush from Australia, Roberto Begnini, Johnny Depp, Glenn Close, Lily Taylor, Isabella Adjani, Jeremy Irons, Kate Winslet, Jerry Lewis, Olympia Dukakis, Richard E Grant ..... I could go on for hours, really.
From: Rianne *Who's your favourite singer?
Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Madonna, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, and many more
*Do you know Laura Pausini?
She is very talented but not as big in Australia as she is in Europe
*What's your favourite country?
I love living in Australia but I really enjoy travelling and seeing other countries. I love Europe and Africa. 
How did you get on with all the cast members?
I know this sounds boring but everyone was so nice! It's a bit scary joining an established cast and crew but everyone on set made me feel very welcome. I had a ball, not only with the actors but also with the crew who were supportive and a lot of fun.
From: Marion Claudon, 15, France
Hi Elena, would you have wanted that Miss Kassis fell in love with Marc in HBH?
Hi Marion. That's a tough one. I think that Jackie really liked Marc very much, but she was bound by her responsibility as a teacher not to let any feelings go too far. Maybe if Marc was a little older and not her student.......
From: Rik Runge, Holland 1. How did you end up at Heartbreak High??
Basically I went to an audition. I did a lot of preparation because I really wanted a chance to do the show because like you I admired it very much.
2. Please give us an example of how your workdays were filled...
Drive out to the school at about 5.30 or 6am, have breakfast, get into costume, make up, get the hair done, go out onto set, film the scenes, maybe a rehearsal here and there in between, and have lots of fun. Then the long drive home in peak hour Sydney traffic.
3. Was the school, seen in series 6/7, the same school where the in-class scenes were recorded?
Yes it was a self contained set. The science room was on the ground floor.
From: Karine, 23. I live in France near Paris.
Do you know if "Heartbreak High" shootings will start again in one or two years ? If yes, will you want to play Jackie again ?
Thank you.
Thanks Mourad, Karine,  I'd love the chance to do Heartbreak again, but as far as I know there are no plans for a series 8.   :-(  But if they ever want me back as Jackie, I'm there.
What were Cal and Lara like to work with? Thanks
I really enjoyed working with them, they are both down to earth, very warm, friendly and professional.
Im 13 years old and i live in Melbourne, Victoria. I would like to ask Elena Carapetis about her role as Jackie. Was it hard to get the part?, Do you enjoy playing Jackie? and i would just also like to add that you guys should just keep on doing what your doing because HeartBreakHigh has always been on my "things to watch" list!
Thanks Kayla. I was very lucky to work on Heartbreak, I nagged my agent that I would love an audition and when I got one I was so happy. I was even happier when I got the job! And yes I enjoy playing Jackie, because she is constantly being challenged as a teacher and sometimes she panics and gets herself into a bit of a mess. She's not much older than the students she teaches so her youth makes her both passionate and naive; its good to see a teacher learning as much as the pupils do.
From: Nicole Do u like working with the other acters off Heartbreak High??Thanks From Heartbreak Highs No.1 Fan!
Hi Nicole. I think the actors I worked with on Heartbreak are extremely talented and very generous actors.  That really does make all the difference when you are shooting a scene, because it comes alive.  Sometimes you see actors in a scene together but they are not working together, it becomes the whole "my line, your line" thing, where you know the other actor isn't even listening to you and all they are thinking about is how they look and what they are going to say next. That can be very frustrating. But I can't say that I experienced that at HBH. We had extensive rehearsals based on fine tuning our listening skills and making detailed choices about how to play a scene. I learnt so much from everyone from the directors, Andrea Moore and Khristina Totos our acting coaches, the crew, to watching the other actors work. I loved the fact that we were from different acting backgrounds too. John Gregg has been an actor for years and I loved working with him because he is so clear and precise, you know you are going to hit the scene in maybe one or two takes. (And he has great stories to tell about his career.) And then there's the younger actors who have had little or no training who are full of this amazing instinct.
From: Kelly, 17, Melbourne Australia 1.what was it like working with the cast?
2. were you disapointed when they stopped making hbh?
Like everyone I was very disappointed, not just because I loved my job on the show, but also because it was such a good programme that deserves to go on and on.
From: Del, 15, Sydney Australia What is your most fave episode?
I really liked the episodes where Marco and Jackie got close, and the storyline where Lee loses it and stands screaming on the top of the school building. Marcel's work was fantastic in that ep. And I really enjoyed the whole love-hate relationship between Marc and Thania, I think they had lots of spark and work beautifully together. And the Mr Carson outing episode was an interesting one. But then I have heaps of favourite eps from all the other series as well!

From: Jelena Stojanovic, Perth Australia 1. How did u get onto HbH??? 2. In the series, Marc has a crush on your character, if u were a teacher
for real, how would you handle that situation???
Hmmm, I think the mistake Jackie made in that situation was to panic. But that was due to her inexperience. Being a young teacher is challenging because you do have so much in common with the people you teach and it is absolutely understandable for teachers to develop a fondness for their students and vise versa. Sometimes that fondness from the student can tip over into a crush. If I were in a situation where a student had a crush, I think rather than panic, I'd try not give it too much negative thought, but figure out a way - still as a teacher- to let the student know that a relationship between a teacher and a student comprimises the both of them. Crushes are normal, they happen all the time and it would be nothing to be ashamed about. But teachers have a responsibility to their students and it would be unfair if they took advantage of their feelings.
3. Who was your best friend on the set of HbH??? thanx for the time
As I said before, everyone was brilliant. Putu was hilarious. I spent more time with certain people because I worked with them more. So I became quite close to Tasneem who is a gorgeous person and Danny who is very special. I also still love to see Luke, and John and Marcel (who are with the same agency as me), Bianca, Lara, Cal, Catherine and it's fantastic when you bump into a member of the crew on another job.
From: Angélique Middendorp (19 years old) from the Netherlands Dear Ms. Carapetis, A few months ago I've discovered Heartbreak High and absolutely love it. Currently I'm watching each and every episode of it and on France 2 I saw the series with you in it, you were great. Also in the same series recently shown on France 2, I saw that the character of Marco (played by Danny Raco) really liked "Jackie" (your character). Was Danny easy to work with?
Thank you Angelique. Danny was great to work with, he has a great honesty and sensitivity, but also a sense of humour. I would love to work with him again.
"Marco" later got a relationship with "Thania" (played by Tasneem Roc). Did Danny and Tasneem get along or don't you know about that?
They get along very well.  Tas was disappointed when Danny was out of town for her 21st, so we are planning a bit of a reunion soon.
Did everyone in the cast get along? I already know about Callan ("Drazic") and Lara ("Anita"). With whom were you able to work the best? Well, this were my questions (as you probably notice, they're mainly about being able to work with someone. It's really important to me to know whether my favourite characters get along with each other as actors). Thank you for your time. Sincerely. 
By "get along" do you mean date/go out with??? Most of us (apart from Cal and Lara) had partners at the time.

A big thanks to Elena Carapetis for taking the time to answer all our questions!

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