Neighbours star Xavier Molyneux shares secret about Byron recasting

xavier molyneux as byron stone in neighbours
Neighbours star reveals secret about Byron recastFremantleMedia Australia / Amazon Freevee

Neighbours spoilers follow.

Neighbours newcomer Xavier Molyneux has revealed that he was originally in line to play Byron Stone last year.

Show bosses recently announced that Xavier is taking over the role of Jane Harris's son in the new season, which launches later this month.

Joe Klocek previously played Byron for a few weeks last year, with the character bowing out just before the finale. However, things could have been very different at the time.

xavier molyneux as byron stone in neighbours
FremantleMedia Australia / Amazon Freevee

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Speaking to Digital Spy and other press, Xavier explained: "I cried when I got the part. Just because, obviously, it was huge when I was growing up. I loved the show.

"I was supposed to be travelling all this year and I got a call from my agent, whilst I was in Canada.

"My agent called and said: 'If you get on the next flight, you can get in front of Thea McLeod, who's casting Neighbours for Byron Stone' – who I tried out for last year, and I came second to Joe Klocek! So it was a big moment."

"It was just one of those moments where you go, 'Maybe somebody's looking after me, after all!'" he said.

byron stone and reece in neighbours
FremantleMedia Australia

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The new-look Byron features prominently in the recently released trailer for the new season, which showcases a passionate relationship between him and newcomer Reece, played by The OC star Mischa Barton.

Xavier continued: "It was great to work with Mischa. We both came into this trying to find our feet and find our characters. So a lot of the time we were leaning on each other to get through the days, because we did have a lot of two-handers where it was just us.

"For a green actor like myself, it was quite intimidating at the start, but we got through it and she was more than helpful to me."

"Storyline-wise, Byron is working at the hotel and comes across Reece. She's staying there at the hotel and they have a bit of a spark," he said. "They have their own little romance, which they try to keep to themselves and try to keep it away from the Ramsay Street chaos.

"But unfortunately, it all gets sucked in together and they have to navigate that in some way, somehow, without stepping on toes. Paul Robinson obviously has a part to play, as he always does in everybody's story! They come up against the great Paul Robinson. Do we win? We don't know!"

byron stone in neighbours
FremantleMedia Australia

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He added: "The kissing scenes were hot and heavy! Also, just because I'm a bit more green than Mischa is, we were just trying to figure out exactly how we fit together and what chemistry we do have.

"That came with the intimacy team, that we've worked with here, who've been fantastic. Hopefully it looks legit on screen."

Neighbours returns on September 18, with new episodes streaming on Mondays to Thursdays for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. Network 10 will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new series.

Read more Neighbours coverage on our dedicated homepage.

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