Banno twins set stage for stardom

From Spring Farm to Summer Bay, Raechelle Banno is on her way.

The actress, whose twin sister Karina is also making waves in the industry, has been cast in long-running Aussie soap Home and Away, and will appear on screens across the country next Wednesday.

She plays a character named Olivia, who was born in the seaside town, but has spent more than ten years living in London with her uncle.

‘‘She’s come back to Summer Bay to seek out Irene and find some new opportunities,’’ Raechelle said.

‘‘It’s lots of fun — she’s a bold sort of character, she’s a definite go-getter and puts herself out there.

‘‘She might seem like a bit of a wild child, but you’ll really start to feel for her.’’

Raechelle hopes her character — who will act opposite VJ, played by Matt Little — can stay for the ‘‘long-haul’’, as she has had a ball in her first full-time acting job.

When she found out she had won the part, Raechelle rushed to see her sister at work, and Karina knew almost immediately what had happened.

It wasn’t twin ESP though — it was a long-standing tradition.

‘‘We’ve got this perfume that we both wear when we get good news, and she came into my work and stuck out her wrist,’’ Karina said.

‘‘I smelt the perfume and I started to cry because I knew what it meant.’’

When Raechelle auditioned for the part she was surprised to find the actors she would eventually be performing against were actually there for the first audition.

She said it was a welcome surprise to see the two actors, episode director and a producer in the initial audition.

‘‘Home and Away is not just work, it’s a learning experience,’’ Raechelle said.

‘‘There are so many different styles of performers, and there are 13-hour days on set, or 13-hour-days on the beach.

‘‘It’s a challenge, but it’s the best kind of challenge there is.’’

Raechelle Banno as Olivia in Home and Away. Picture: Channel 7

Raechelle Banno as Olivia in Home and Away. Picture: Channel 7

But Raechelle is not the only Banno with a project premiering next week — sister Karina, who also lives in Spring Farm, will debut her web-series The Unfortunate Files next Thursday.

The Unfortunate Files was written and directed by Karina as a semi-autobiographical four-episode series, and follows the trials and tribulations of social klutz Frankie Files, played by Izzy Stevens.

Raechelle is ‘‘very proud’’ of her sister, and describes the premiere as ‘‘perfect timing’’.

‘‘I know how much work she’s put in, and to have [the series] seen by more people is so well-deserved.’’ 

Production of the The Unfortunate Files took the cast and crew back to the Bannos' old school, Fairvale High School, where close to 200 students appear as extras.

‘‘It was sort of surreal to see Izzy in my old school uniform,’’ Karina said.

‘‘But everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastic.

‘‘The process was the most difficult thing — explaining that we really do need to get the same thing from 12 different angles, 20 different times, we’re not just fussing about.’’

Karina is excited to finally see the product of months of hard work reach a wider audience and said it was fantastic that she and her sister were both taking great career strides at the same time.

‘‘It is just really nice, I’m so proud of [Raechelle],’’ Karina said.

‘‘We’ve both worked really hard for such a long time.’’

Karina said she would love to work on a project with Raechelle in the future, as past projects they’ve done together have come so easy to the pair.

Her ultimate goal in the film industry is to write, direct and star in her own project.

The Unfortunate Files will have a private industry screening on Thursday, October 29 in Sydney.

Raechelle’s Home and Away episode will air next Wednesday, October 28.

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