From filming dramatic scenes in a red-hot desert to stirring things up in Summer Bay, it's safe to say *Guildford *-born actress *Kelly Paterniti *has already left her mark on Seven's hit soap Home and Away.
Making her return to the sunny coastal community this week as Casey's ( *Lincoln Younes *) mysterious desert saviour Tamara, things get a little heated after she takes up an offer to stay at Casey's place.
While Casey's former love Sasha ( *Demi Harman *) seethes with jealousy as Tamara and Casey's bond grows, little does she know of Tamara's rocky history with an abusive former boyfriend, who suddenly reappears on her doorstep.
Paterniti, above, admits it was difficult dealing with such a heavy storyline for her character.
"It was challenging, especially because we didn't actually deal directly with any violence," Paterniti told _ AAA _. "Being hit on screen or thrown around, you'd build up that tension where it happens at any second, but if you don't actually see it, it's a lot more challenging. It was quite difficult to do."
Paterniti also wanted to pay homage to victims of domestic violence.
"You've got to be very wary. People are very passionate about these kinds of issues - you don't want to be portraying it in a way that's going to insult anyone," she said.
Now a series regular, Paterniti said she already felt like she was a part of the close-knit Home and Away family.
"It's been lovely, everyone has been very welcoming, I feel very at home," she said.
She's also had the chance to chat about home with cast mate and former *Balcatta * concreter *Johnny Ruffo *.
"He's lovely, I didn't actually realise he was from Perth as well," she said.
Though it's not known how long Tamara will stick around in Summer Bay, Paterniti said she was thankful to have landed such a meaty role on the long-running series which is renowned for launching the acting careers of former cast members, including Thor star *Chris * *Hemsworth *, True Blood hottie *Ryan Kwanten *and *Perth *-raised exports *Melissa George *and *Isla Fisher *.
"I've been really fortunate," she said. "Tamara is going to be around for a while but who knows just yet how long. But there's some drama coming up and the stakes are high, so hopefully it's interesting to watch."