Comedian Magda Szubanski has said Neighbours’ upcoming same-sex wedding ceremony strikes the right balance between “the laughing and the tears.”
The wedding episode of the long-running soap will screen next Monday (September 3), with Magda’s character Jemima officiating the wedding between characters David Tanaka and Aaron Brennan.
Magda told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I was pinching myself. I thought, ‘Here I am on Neighbours!’ I thought it was gold. It was hilarious and historic – my two favourite things.
“I thought the writers wrote some really funny stuff. Jason [Herbison], the producer, had some really funny ideas, but we also had to make sure that we honoured and acknowledged the moment.
“It was about getting the balance right.
“It is a joyous moment, so you want to have all of the feels – the laughing and the tears and the serious. I actually found it very moving when the boys were giving their vows. They were so sincere.
“Both Takaya [Honda] and Matt [Wilson] were so respectful and got what it all meant.”
Szubanski said she watched Neighbours’ iconic 1987 wedding between Scott and Charlene when she was 26 years old but at the time never could’ve imagined a same-sex ceremony on the show.
“The gays have always loved Neighbours but none of us would have thought there would be gay characters, let alone a same-sex marriage,” she said.
“It didn’t even occur to you that something like that would happen in your lifetime. If there had been, I would be completely different, honestly.”
David and Aaron got engaged in scenes that screened in May and earlier this month a trailer gave fans a sneak peek at the characters celebrating before David and Aaron (played by Matt Wilson and Takaya Honda) walk down the aisle.
As the pair exchange vows, Aaron says, “I, Aaron James Brennan, choose to share my life with you, David Yoshi Tanaka.”
Neighbours’ cast and crew filmed the wedding scenes in late May. It’s the first ever same-sex wedding in the show’s 33-year history, and the ceremony is the first legal same-sex wedding to appear on Australian television following the legalisation of marriage equality last December.
Earlier this year, Honda said of the big event, “When I started on the show, the head writer at the time pitched this [wedding] as the outcome of the relationship.
“Both [Matt] and I have been working hard to produce this really truthful, honest, real relationship that the audience will barrack for and I think we’re now in that place.
“With the story like ours which is representing a community like it is, we get messages where that reaction is so positive and powerful, it affects people in such a huge way. It’s a huge honour for us.”