Ashleigh Brewer is experiencing a classic case of life imitating art. Chelsea, the career-driven police officer she portrays in Home and Away, is forging a fresh, albeit uncertain path—just like Brewer herself. “Chelsea has been trying to figure out where she wants to be, whether that’s the city or the Bay,” explains the actor. “I feel like that’s a parallel between her and me.”
For Brisbane-born Brewer, her heart is split between Australia and the US. The 28-year-old established herself in Los Angeles while working on mega-soap The Bold and the Beautiful, a role she scored the second she landed overseas as a starry-eyed 21-year-old. Of course, avoiding the struggling actor trope is never a bad thing, but after four years on the show, while grateful for the lessons she learned, Brewer knew it was time for a change. “I grew into myself and realised that [the program] wasn’t where
I wanted to spend the rest of my life.”
Since trading the fast-paced world of Hollywood (“where everyone is very aware that there is always someone [waiting to] take your job”) for sunny Summer Bay, Brewer has finally been able to take a breath and reflect on what the future could hold.
“I don’t think it would be a huge jump to take on more of a producing role,” says the actor enthusiastically, hinting at an interest in working behind the scenes one day. “It would be really awesome to be the force behind something.”
Having established a tight-knit network during her career, which includes fellow Aussie Margot Robbie, Brewer also has good friends to turn to as she navigates a new chapter. “If I have any questions when it comes to work, Margot is easily the first person I call,” says Brewer, who bonded with former co-star Robbie on the set of Neighbours a decade ago, when their paths first crossed.
For now though, the actor is content to be working in an industry that speaks to her. “I honestly wouldn’t know what else to do,” says Brewer with a laugh. “It’s a language that I understand.”