'Home and Away' exclusive: Belinda Giblin teases Martha and Roo heartbreak
Summer Bay star Belinda Giblin tells us why Martha’s shock decision will leave the Stewart family in pieces.
Home and Away’s Belinda Giblin has shared with whattowatch.com that Martha Stewart’s complicated past with daughter Roo Stewart (Georgie Parker) will see her putting her own chance of survival at risk.
After her kidneys were irreparably damaged following the poison gas attack at Salt, her prognosis was looking dire. Without a kidney transplant, Martha would have to be on dialysis for life.
When her son Kieran Baldivis (Rick Donald) turns out not to be a suitable donor, Martha alarms Alf by looking at funeral plans and even talking to a priest!
“Martha’s not giving up on life and she doesn’t want to die. She wants to be with Alf, who she loves and adores, and Roo, who she loves and adores,” explained Belinda.
“She’s trying to be realistic and wants to start making plans. But when she starts looking at brochures on coffins, Alf absolutely breaks.”
It seems that the family’s prayers have been answered when Roo finds out she’s a match, but her good news is met with a distinctly cool reaction from Martha.
Mother and daughter have had a tricky relationship since Martha’s return to the bay three years ago. Suffering from borderline personality disorder, she abandoned Roo when she was a teen, faking her own death.
“Martha’s fragile. She’s afraid of what’s been going on with her but she’s more afraid for her daughter, although she doesn’t want to say that,” insisted Belinda.
“Roo thinks that she just doesn’t want the kidney transplant and she’s being pigheaded.
“But Martha feels she’s already hurt her daughter being away from her for thirty years and ruined her relationship with her to some extent anyway. She feels a bit of a millstone around her neck and Alf’s.
“Martha says, ‘I can’t do this, she’s my daughter, I don’t want her to die or to get hurt by donating a kidney’, but Roo doesn’t see it like that.”
Belinda pointed out that if Kieran – her son from a new life after Alf and Roo – had been a match, things might be different.
“Martha would have been more comfortable with Kieran as a donor. She’s been left with massive guilt about Roo and that’s still part of her persona.
“She left because she wanted to protect her daughter from what she didn’t know was a mental health disorder.
“I think that needs to be explored. Did Martha’s mother neglect and abandon her? I have a backstory in my head that the sense of abandonment and fear sometimes gets passed on in families.”
Although Belinda wouldn’t reveal what the outcome is for Martha and Roo, she did share her hopes for a new family dynamic going forward. Martha has had one traumatic storyline after another since her return!
“I can tease that Martha doesn’t die! I don’t want to give away too much but I think things will get much happier.
“I’d love to have some really fun storylines! I think there’s got to be some comedy and humour. Ray [who plays Alf] and I are great mates and we finish each other’s sentences and we banter all the time. I think viewers would love to see that.”
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Fans might have noticed that Martha often seems to be heading off to her country cottage in Merimbula for extended periods of time. The filming breaks mean that acclaimed stage actress Belinda is able to do other projects.
“I’m still a ‘guest’ artist on Home and Away! I do a block of eight to ten weeks, then I’ll go off and I’ll do a play and come back and film another block.
“Since I started, I’ve done about five plays in my breaks. Last year, I did Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in Sydney.
“I’ve also got two films that have just been released [currently in Australia only].
In one, I play Queen Elizabeth I in an adaption of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis and another film is Stitch In Time [directed by Sasha Hadden), which I did about four years ago but has just been released.
Belinda reassured us that she’s more than happy to be part of the Summer Bay cast.
“I would miss Home and Away terribly if they wrote me out! I like theatre, and film and television. I don’t prefer one over the other.
“It’s nice, certainly at my age and certainly in the last decade, that I’ve had this opportunity and had some of the best roles offered to me.”
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1:15 pm on Channel 5 and 6:00 pm on 5Star followed by a 'first look' episode on 5Star at 6:30 pm.
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Rachel is a soaps and TV writer for WhatToWatch.com, soaps podcaster and resident soap expert for UK TV listings magazines What's On TV and TV Times. After graduating with an art and design degree from Birmingham City University, she found her true calling in all things soap and has been writing about them for magazines and websites for over 20 years. A self-confessed soap addict, she's always had a great love of all the UK and Aussie soaps and owns everything from a Neighbours 1990 Annual to a DVD box set of classic Corrie episodes to prove it.
By Grace Morris