tv & movies

Neighbours star Madeleine West reflects on the shock bus accident that nearly killed her

Neighbours actress Madeleine West has reflected on a near-death experience in 2002 that caused her to reconsider her idea of beauty and what she had to offer the world.

Madeleine, who played Dee Bliss in the soap between 2000 and 2003 before returning to the soap as ‘Fake Dee’ Andrea Somers in 2016, was hospitalised after she was hit by a bus in Sydney when she was 22, leaving her with a fractured skull among other injuries.

She reflected on the experience during a recent chat on KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show, explaining that it’s one of those things that “depends on how you take it, how you contextualise it”.

“For me, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me when it did,” she continued.

“I had just started acting on TV […] and it’s very easy to invest in that slippery slope which is making the way you look 100% about who you are, letting that be the quality that defines you.

“So being hit by the bus, and being forced to accept that maybe my physicality has changed forever, maybe that aspect of my acting career has to change diametrically moving forward.

“And it really made me think: did I become an actor so I could look sexy on the cover of TV Week, or so I could tell stories, and that people could vicariously walk in my shoes and live another life? And it was always about the latter.”

Madeleine continued to share that accepting that really helped her recovery process, and that it taught her that her appearance “makes up maybe two percent” of who she is.

“If I was to define myself and shove all of my dreams, all of my ambitions, all I had to offer the world into that minuscule two percent, not only was I missing out on a whole lot, but the whole world was,” she continued.

Madeleine is currently prompting all sorts of Neighbours theories at the moment as the latest chapter in her story has seen the actress’ character pop up in a psych ward, with fans unsure if she’s the real Dee Bliss or conwoman Andrea Somers yet again.

You can catch up on the whole saga so far in our gallery recap right here.

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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