Life’s light and shade
Troubling times lie ahead for one of Winners & Losers’ favourite characters as the Seven series returns. Guy Davis learns more from the show’s Virginia Gay.
Of the four friends at the core of Seven’s popular series Winners & Losers, Frances James, played by Virginia Gay, initially appeared to be the one who had all it all together. A little uptight, perhaps, but generally stable and balanced.
Not quite the case, laughs Gay, who affectionately refers to Frances as “a woman constantly wrestling her own neuroses” whose tumultuous inner life sometimes reveals itself in “these psychotic threeminute monologues”.
As the show’s title indicates, there have been plenty of ups and downs for the women of Winners & Losers over the years and, as
Iits fourth season gets under way, Frances is dealing with particularly troubling stuff.
Her feelings towards her partner Zach ( Stephen Phillips) were changing, especially as her relationship with her self- defence instructor Shannon ( Luke
Gay: “In a fictional life, you want terrible, terrible things, so you can really start
McKenzie) started to develop.
But a violent confrontation between the two men at the end of the show’s last season ended badly for Zach, and Frances now finds herself at a crossroads. Let’s be honest, Frances – probably subconsciously blinded by a combination of lust and flattery – still believes Shannon had nothing to do with this terrible thing that has happened to Zach. And with Zach being the greatest thing that’s ever happened to her, it’s a bit of a bugger. At the same time, she was thinking she perhaps wasn’t There’s certainly a scene at the end of the first episode between Frances and Shannon that I am so proud of. It’s so beautifully written and so wonderfully tense, and Luke McKenzie, who plays Shannon, is so good in it. The sound recordist came up to me after our first few takes and said that he could hear my heart beating. What a very sweet, flattering thing to say to an actress! But then he said, ‘ No, I can literally hear your heart beating’. We had to