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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

House(mate) rules: Jacqui Purvis and Matt Evans share a home together away from the bay

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These Home and Away stars are in real life roomies!

If you ask the majority of people in their mid-20s if they have a bad flatmate story, they’ll probably cite stolen items or rude roommates.

Matt Evans and Jacqui Purvis from Home And Away are an exception to this rule.

It’s startling to hear that the couple’s contented living situation was more the result of luck than planning when they speak to TV WEEK from the living room of their home near the beach in Sydney’s east.

As Felicity, played by Jacqui, explains, “I was couch surfing after moving from Melbourne [in 2020] and had all my belongings still in my car.”

Matt had his first day on set a few weeks after I began working there. It was our final day of shooting, and he was having a wardrobe and makeup session to attempt to get a feel for the venue.

At the cast Christmas party that evening, Jacqui and Matt (who she likes to refer to as “Merv”) struck up a conversation. A few weeks later, they had a get-to-know-you over a cafe breakfast, and Jacqui had agreed to rent a home in Sydney’s south-east with the Summer Bay newcomer.

Since then, they’ve moved to the laid-back coastal district of Coogee, where their apartment resembles the average share home for twenty-somethings, complete with pops of vintage art and a number of meticulously maintained house plants (which Jacqui declares she looks after).

He kills them all, which is probably my biggest pet peeve, she chuckles.
Fortunately, her complaints are limited to Matt’s lack of gardening skills and his sporadic tendency to bottle up his emotions.

The pair say they’ve never had a bad experience of sharing, with Matt crediting their carefree nature as the key to surviving almost two years under the same roof.

”We’ve never actually discussed our living situation or house rules,” Matt, who plays Theo, says.

”We clean up after ourselves and we don’t even have to talk about it.

”If there’s ever a problem, we either get it all out in the open or we just pretend like it never happened.”

And, though working and living together could pose a separate set of challenges for the young stars, it’s the opposite.

”When we come home and just don’t want to talk, we understand that sometimes there needs to be no talking,” Jacqui explains.

”Be we do still vent and debrief [and] it’s really nice to have someone who ‘gets’ it and knows the feelings behind it.

”And, of course, sometimes we’ll run through our lines [together].”

Matt also admits Jacqui is one of the biggest fans of his music – something that’s taken a back seat since his 2020 appearance on The Voice Australia.

”Jacqui has taught me to be more of a hustler, and really encourages me to try to make things happen with my music rather than sit back and wait,” he explains.

”In turn, I think I help her to not take life too seriously.”

But, as Jacqui notes, there’s only one real secret to maintaining a steady household: ”We started as housemates and we’re just so lucky that friendship came afterwards,” she says.

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