Home and Away spoilers follow for UK viewers.
Home and Away star Courtney Miller has spoken to Digital Spy about Nikau Parata's shock cheating storyline.
This week's episodes on Channel 5 see Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) commit the ultimate betrayal by sleeping with his modelling agent Sienna Blake.
Nikau cheats on Bella as he wrongly believes that she has betrayed him with her photography mentor Emmett Ellison. He's later horrified to realise that this wasn't the case.
Speaking to Digital Spy about the sad plot, Courtney – who plays Bella – explained: "I knew this storyline would be a heartbreaker for those at home watching.
"Bella and Nikau share such a beautiful and realistic love. I was excited to bring truth to the heartbreak Bella would feel, a feeling that everyone watching would resonate with.
"If Bella found out about Nikau cheating, she would be absolutely heartbroken. Nikau is the earth under her feet. I hope Dean and Mackenzie will be able to help her through."
Asked how Bella and Nikau could have handled their recent challenges differently, Courtney replied: "Both Nik and Bella have chosen to be naive when it comes to their role in this new-found modelling world.
"They are trying so hard to support each other's endeavours that they fail to listen to what they actually want themselves. This will test them, but they will come out strong."
The ongoing storyline began earlier this year, when Nikau caught the attention of Sienna's modelling agency during a chance meeting in the city. Bella encouraged Nikau to go for it, but later became concerned by the sacrifices he had to make for the job.
Home and Away has filmed a number of the scenes on location in Sydney, away from the show's usual beachside setting.
Courtney added: "The modelling storyline has been huge for the show with its new stylised look and less 'beachy' feel. Playing the ups and downs of Bella and Nikau's relationship was a great challenge for us both as actors.
"It gave us opportunities as actors to sit in the sadness of confusion and heartbreak. This heartbreak, I'm sure, is not so fun for the fans to watch.
"I loved being a part of this new, never-seen-before feel to Summer Bay. Due to restrictions, our location co-ordinators had to be creative in choosing locations that weren't too far from Summer Bay.
"A lot of the locations are in the City of Sydney, the perfect place for most of the storyline to take place."
Courtney was also full of praise for JR Reyne and Rose Riley, who play newcomers Emmett and Sienna.
She said: "Rose was great in bringing absolute truth to Sienna, you really did want to hate her character. Of course, Rose herself was lovely!
"I worked the most with JR. In between laughing and talking, JR and I created a really nice dynamic between Bella and Emmett.
"This close character relationship was undoubtedly influenced by mine and JR's strong friendship. We had lots of fun on set, but he definitely made me go from an 'A' student on set to a 'B' due to all our talking!"
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK), with first look screenings at 6.30pm on 5STAR. Selected classic episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
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