> Guest Character
Larissa Calwell Leah De Niese
Larissa Calwell 2001
Whilst on a trip to Paris with his foster dad, Harold Bishop, Paul McClain developed a friendship with fellow Australian teenager, Larissa Calwell, who was holidaying there with her parents. Upon his return to Australia, Paul was shocked to realise that Larissa had been emailing him and his best mate, Tad Reeves, had been replying. At first, Paul was horrified, before realising that Tad’s more interesting personality might actually win Larissa over, and so he asked Tad to continue with the deception. But they were both in for a surprise when Larissa phoned, having returned home, and announced that she was coming to visit. Tad quickly coached Paul on dance music, an interest which he shared with Larissa, but Paul had no knowledge of. With the help of some notes and a few phonecalls to Tad, Paul managed to bluff his way through the first date and Larissa announced that she was going away for a few days, but would like to see him again upon her return.
During Larissa’s absence, Tad managed to teach Paul more about DJing and, during their second date at the Coffee Shop, he managed to convince her once again. Tad then suggested that Paul make a mix tape for Larissa, but they were forced to make more excuses when she wanted to watch him at work, and Tad quickly covered by saying that Paul had broken some of his mixing equipment. However, as Paul began to doubt whether the plan was going to work, Tad started to wonder whether he himself stood a chance with Larissa, since they had so much in common. It wasn’t long before the boys were arguing over who should get to date her and, in the end, they agreed to come clean to her and let her choose. When she found out, rather than being upset, she simply stated that she would go on dates with both of them, until she worked out who she preferred. Although Tad and Paul protested, she reminded them that they’d been messing her around, so they could hardly complain.
The first date Larissa went on was with Paul. Although Tad scoffed at Paul’s idea of a pizza and a movie, it still resulted in Larissa giving Paul a goodnight kiss on the doorstep. A few nights later, Tad had his turn, and took her for a night out in which they just made up as it went along. Larissa came to the conclusion that Paul was romantic, while Tad was more exciting, but she still couldn’t make up her mind. After deciding that she was stringing them along, both Paul and Tad secretly called Larissa to arrange another date. Both believing that they were the only one still dating her, Paul and Tad confided in their mutual friend, Flick Scully, who realised what was going on. She arranged to meet up with Larissa and told her that the games would have to stop. Larissa, however, pointed out that she was simply having a little fun and that if a boy had done it, everyone would laugh and call him a stud.
After being caught chatting online once too often by her parents, Larissa was taken off her school correspondence course and began attending Erinsborough High, with Paul, Tad and Flick. It wasn’t long before Larissa’s deception came close to being discovered, when she turned up at a football game to watch Paul play, only to find Tad was in the crowd too. Larissa quickly passed it off as a coincidence, claiming that she lived nearby and had gone out for a walk. Tad warned her that they would have to be more careful, and started to wonder if they should come clean to Paul. Soon after, she turned up to see Tad DJing at Hemisfear nightclub. Unfortunately, Paul had the same idea and walked in to see Tad and Larissa kissing behind the decks. Realising she’d been rumbled, Larissa ran out in tears while a fight broke out between Paul and Tad. However, they quickly realised that it wasn’t worth losing their friendship over a girl and agreed to simply ignore her, though it was a long time before they were as close as they’d been before Larissa came into their lives.
Notes: Leah De Niese previously played the recurring role of Hannah Martin's best friend Miranda Starvaggi in the mid-90s.
Biography by Steve