Home and Away siege: 'It was like filming a movie!’ reveals newcomer Rob Kipa-Williams

Home and Away Ari Parata (Rob Kipa-Williams)

Summer Bay newbie Rob Kipa-Williams is launched into the action when his character Ari Parata arrives in the middle of an armed raid on the hospital!

There's traditionally a cliffhanger of a season finale for Home and Away before it wraps up for Christmas in Australia. Next week, UK viewers will finally get to see the explosive episodes with a hostage situation, a shock tragedy and the introduction of Rob Kipa-Williams as Ari Parata, a member of one of the Bay's soon-to-be new families.

Home and Away Rob Kipa-Williams as Ari Parata

Rob Kipa-Williams plays newcomer Ari Parata in Home and Away, who comforts Marilyn Palmer during the siege (Picture: Channel 5)

We talked to New Zealand actor Rob about his first scenes as Ari and what if felt like to be playing an action hero!

“Ari is working on a nearby construction site and he cuts his arm,” explained Rob. “His boss sends him to the hospital to get checked over and literally the moment Ari arrives the gun siege takes place!”

The dangerous Ouroboros gang are trying to stop cop Robbo and wife Jasmine from testifying against two of their own. To create a diversion and trap Jasmine while they get Robbo out of the picture, the gang’s gun-toting thugs have taken over the hospital.

Home and Away, Mackenzie Booth, Bella Nixon, Alex Neilson

Mackenzie Booth, Bella Nixon and Alex Neilson are held at gunpoint (Picture: Channel 5) (Image credit: Channel 5)

Jasmine Delaney, Marilyn Palmer, Mackenzie Booth, Bella Nixon, Alex Neilson and Mason Morgan are among the Summer Bay residents trapped inside. When Ari is taken along with the other hostages, he’s thrown down next to a terrified Marilyn. But instead of freaking out, he immediately does his best to reassure her.

“Ari comes from a past where he’s not unfamiliar with bad guys. He’s relatively calm, he’s very aware and he’s strategizing a way to get the hostages – or himself – out.”

Determined to get control of the situation, he gets together with Mason to come up with a daring escape plan. While Ari leads people to safety, Mason distracts the gunmen. But Mason’s own heroics lead to tragic consequences for the young doctor, leaving everyone in shock…

“It felt like we were shooting a feature film,” revealed Rob. “We spent quite a number of days in the hospital set and at the exterior of the hospital so my first few days filming were quite intense. It was a really nice welcome!”

Rob was also pleased his first scenes saw him working alongside Emily Symons, who plays long-time Bay resident Marilyn Palmer.

"Emily is a really great actress and she has been on the show for a long time. I knew who she was. I was very fortunate to be paired with her in the scenes."

Ari certainly makes an impact during the hospital siege and we’re set to see a lot more of him when he moves to the Bay in the coming weeks.

The construction worker will be bringing his family along with him and – because it’s Summer Bay – some mysterious secrets!

Watch Home and Away every weekday at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5

Rachel Lucas
Forward Planning Deputy Manager

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.