Neighbours actor Matt Wilson has reacted to his on-screen husband Takaya Honda’s shock exit from the soap, noting that the pair had been together as an on-screen couple longer than he’s been with his own wife.
Honda’s longstanding character, David Tanaka, tragically died after he fell off a cliff in an episode that aired last week, marking the end of his time on Ramsey Street, eight years after he first arrived in 2016.
Wilson, who has played David’s husband Aaron Brennan since 2015, has asaid that the loss of his on-screen partner has also hit him personally.
“Aaron and David have been together longer than I, Matt, have been with my wife, so that says a lot,” Wilson said in an interview shared on the official Neighbours Instagram account.
“Our characters have been through lots of ups and downs and we’ve always worked through it, and I think the only way for our characters to go apart is if one of us has to kick the bucket. It’s incredibly dramatic.
“It’s incredibly emotional, not only for the characters, but for us as the actors, because Takaya and I have had such a good mate-ship ever since we’ve been here. We really understand each other.”
Elsewhere, Honda revealed in an interview with that David’s death held emotional meaning for him, as those scenes were filmed mere days after his mum passed away from Alzheimer’s.
“This one’s for you mum,” he wrote in a post on Instagram shortly after the episode aired.
“Some of you know that my mum passed away last year after living with early onset Alzheimer’s for about 15 years. What very few know is that she passed away just days after I filmed this scene.
“In the lead up to David’s death I was experiencing a strange kind of grief. When David was to die I felt that part of me was going to die. We had shared 8 years together and he was very much written into the fabric of myself.
“With his death looming I began thinking a lot about my mum and how she had never really watched me on Neighbours, not in any real sense, as the Alzheimer’s had progressed too far by the time I was cast.”
In many ways, he felt like he was doing the scene for his mum.
“I didn’t know why at the time but when she passed a few days later it finally made sense to me, why I felt so motivated and why she would pass away at the beginning of my last week of filming,” he continued.
“She wanted me to know that she knew, that she had been watching, and she was proud. And as she had been non verbal for years, this was the only way she could tell me.”
New episodes of Neighbours air Monday to Thursday on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US.