At 20 years of age, Aleetza Wood joins the cast of Home and Away as Peta Janossi, a 16-year-old student.
Aleetza, born in Germany, moved to Australia when she was four years old and was raised in Sydney.
This is Aleetza's first acting role and she was thrilled when she got the part.
'I was on the phone to my best friend and I was actually talking about the audition, and my mobile rang, and it was my agent on the other line. He didn't sound too happy, and I just guessed that I didn't get it. He then yelled out that I got the part and I was screaming and having a two-way conversation with my friend and agent. I went to work that night and I was serving customers with the biggest smile on my face', she says.
Aleetza has always had a passion for acting since she was very young. Every year she would travel to England with her family to be reunited other family members for Christmas. Her mother always took her to pantomimes and the theatre.
'I would often make up my own plays and perform in front of the whole family at Christmas, and I would throw lollies out to them like they were an audience, as they do in the pantomimes.'
Aleetza did some ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) courses on and off during school and studied drama at university.
Her favourite subject at school was English and she was involved with volleyball, netball and hockey, and tries to go skiing every year. She also enjoys snowboarding and says, 'I am still stacking, but am up to doing jumps now'.
Aleetza is currently studying Media and Cultural Studies at university, which covers journalism. She is in her last year and will juggle studying for exams with studying her Home and Away scripts.
Aleetza is still coming to terms with the fact that she is on Home and Away, and is trying to prepare herself for when she first sees herself on screen and being asked for autographs. 'I was filming on location when I first started on Home and Away and there were some English tourists asking Zac for autographs. They then turned to me and they all asked me for my autograph; I had no idea what to do or write. I actually think I was more nervous than they were'.
She also enjoys the behind-the-scenes involvement of making a television show and has been seen wandering around Channel 7 asking if she can sit in the control room to see it all happening. 'I am sure that people think I am on work experience, because I keep asking questions. I enjoy learning about every aspect of how the show is made,' she says.
She is, however, no stranger to production, having been a runner on the film The Boys, and a production assistant in her first year at university on a short film called Fetch, which made it to the Cannes Film Festival.
Aleetza was chosen for the role as Peta, a 16-year-old student with a mysterious past, because she is 'fresh faced', says Russell Webb, Home and Away producer.
'She is a gutsy little performer, who at 20 looks young enough to play a 16 year old but has that maturity level, which her character is supposed to have. She is perfect for the role,' he says.
Aleetza constantly asks people how old she is because she says that people can't believe it when she tells them she is 20.
She says of her character, Peta Janossi, 'I think Peta is very passionate about everything in life and she is a nice kid. She can tend to fly off the handle at different times, only because she cares so much about everything. She would prefer to try and sort out anything that goes wrong in her life and tries to be very upfront about issues affecting her'.
Aleetza Wood joins Home and Away on May 28th, 1999.