This youth-market Australian Soap, set in the fictional town
of Summer Bay, has been running since 1988. It follows the
lives of the people in this tight-knit community, especially
the teens, as they mature, interact, and find themselves.
One of the most popular couples on the show is Hayley (Rebecca
Cartwright) and Noah (Beau Brady), and in the 2002 season,
the writers decided to shake things up a bit. They introduced
Aimee Cooper, portrayed by Rhiana Griffith, a wild teen whose
appearance in Summer Bay would have a profound impact upon
Originally met by Noah at the town's Drop-In Centre, Aimee
was looking for work and a place to stay. Noah recommended
her to the local diner, but that ended up going badly after
Aimee got into a tempestuous relationship with one of her
coworkers there. In the aftermath, Noah's guilt over having
put Aimee in a bad spot led him to take her under his wing,
as did his girlfriend Hayley. This even resulted in her moving
into the house they and several other young adults shared,
and joining them in virtually every aspect of their days and
But Aimee had become infatuated with Noah, something that
would soon spin out of control. She began trying to take Hayley
on "walks on the wild side," encouraging her to
do things that the other people in her life wouldn't be able
to approve of. And slowly, she began to insinuate herself
between the couple, trying to drive a wedge into their relationship
so she could have Noah for herself. Eventually, Noah and Hayley
realized who was behind their misery and confronted Aimee,
who tearfully protested that she'd just wanted to belong...
before fleeing Summer Bay altogether. Left behind among her
things was a small newspaper clipping about the tragic death
of her parents, perhaps a motivation behind her deranged behavior.
Aimee's character arc was half Fatal Attraction and
half Single White Female. Like Glenn Close's "Alex"
in Fatal Attraction, Aimee was drawn to Noah because
he was one of the few people who had shown her compassion.
And like Jennifer Jason Leigh's "Hedra" in Single
White Female, her obsessions led her to try to become Hayley, mimicking her appearance, and trying to get Hayley
to become more like her. She wanted to be Hayley, and
have Hayley's life -- especially Noah -- for herself. It swiftly
became apparent to viewers that Aimee was capable of almost
anything, because she felt no remorse over her actions. This
was never made more clear than when Hayley fell down an embankment
and was trapped on the rocks... and Aimee almost left her
there to die, only deciding to help her once witnesses arrived.
Rhiana's performance was riveting and multifaceted, and utterly
convincing to the show's die-hard viewers, who came to revile
Aimee the way American audiences once reviled Joan Collins's
"Alexis" on the Prime Time soap Dynasty. A villain is a very challenging role for a young actress,
but Rhiana carried it off with style, grace, and authenticity.
Home and Away has started the careers of a great many
actors and actresses who went on to make it big in the film
industry, including Heath Ledger, Guy Pearce, and Naomi Watts.