Interview from the Official Always Greener site (2001)

Michala Banas has a wealth of experience in the Australian TV industry and she's putting it to good use playing the fiery Marissa Taylor in Always Greener. She loves playing a character whose problems and struggles echo those of so many ordinary young Australians, including herself.

"Marissa's an 18-year-old girl who has a boyfriend her dad hates," says Michala. "She's just finished school and isn't sure what she wants to do. She doesn't have a job so she's biding her time and not really doing much. She's a bit of a party girl, trying out some drugs. Having fun seems to be her priority at the moment." She may be a handful but Marissa has her strengths.

"I like that she has guts and she is a strong girl," Michala explains. "I like her dryness and her sarcasm- she's a lot of fun to play. I like how real she is and the fact that she's got all these vulnerabilities lying beneath the surface."

Always Greener is a show about real people, dealing with real situations. Sometimes these situations aren't pretty.

"Kids are experimenting with sex and drugs younger and younger and I like the fact that we're dealing with these controversial issues because thay need to be addressed," Michala stresses. "We need to look at these things, they're a fact of life."

The producers of Always Greener have put together a varied cast, from seasoned performers like John Howard and Denise Roberts to relative newcomers. For Michala, the mix of experienced and youthful enthusiasm is a dynamic combination.

"Working with John Howard and Anne Tenney is amazing. I'm going to be learning a lot working with them. I'm also learning from the people who have less experience than me because they're new and fresh. I think it's a really good combination."

So how much is Michala Banas like Marissa Taylor, glamorous and confused good time gal?

"I'm not much of a party girl. I do go out and have a good time now and then but generally I'm a bit of a Nanna.That was my nickname in Melbourne, "Nanna Michala". I'm a bit of a homebody most of the time.

"My work doesn't stop after I've finished filming. I'm learning lines and going through scripts, working a 14-hour-day. I'm a little bit busy to be partying too much at the moment and on weekends I just want to go home and sleep," Michala confides. "But you will see me out sometimes."