THE BIG ASK
Bed of Roses
You’re a busy man. Tell us what you’re up to. I’ve just been on the Gold Coast doing some work on the new drama series The Strip. Very cool. It’s a guest role with some boat chases, so it’s like old home week (Laga’aia was a regular on Water Rats). Also, I’ve just finished doing a children’s show (he’s been on the road performing Jay and Friends and promoting his first album for kids, Come Dance and Sing). I’ve released a DVD of the show, which won a Sydney Theatre Critics Award. Oh, I’ve also read for a part in an American TV show called Wizards, being directed by Sam Raimi. You also had roles in Daybreakers with Willem Dafoe and Nim’s Island with Jodie Foster. What’s it like working on big US productions? Daybreakers was great. Willem Dafoe is a lovely man. And Jodie Foster was very laid-back. If there were any (negative) stories going around about her, I wasn’t privy to them. It was a joy to work on the film. You were in Star Wars movies. There are whispers you might be involved in a Star Wars TV series set to be shot in Australia. What can you tell us about that? What is your view of Bed of Roses? There are some critics who said it was ‘‘same old’’, but I don’t think you should judge it from the first episode. Kerry Armstrong (co-star) is amazing. She embarrassed me at the readthroughs. She was there, in character, and suffering through it (her character’s turmoil). I forgot my lines It’s a fully fledged TV series. I hear they’ve started building the sets. The latest is that George Lucas wants to write all of the series before starting filming. What was it like going on the road with your kids’ show? It’s great fun and hard work. I’ve been in this industry since 1982 and it was time for me to recreate the wheel a bit, going back to touring, doing shopping centres, that kind of thing. I figured if I’m not prepared to back myself with my own money, why would anyone else? I have to take risks and I do take risks every day. They (scriptwriters) don’t write for my skin colour. It’s just a fact, you adapt or you get left behind. My aim is to try to get people to change their minds and there are people out there who are willing to change. because I was too busy watching her performance. You simply have to bring your A-game when you’re working with Kerry. One of the biggest players in Bed of Roses is the town of Foster (main filming location). I became the unofficial mayor. Being in Bed of Roses was like being given new shoes and the chance to walk around in them a bit. I’d love to see a second outing for Bed of Roses. Do you agree Julia Blake is one of Australia’s great actors? Julia is one of those people who is so dynamic she can make you feel tired. We all love her to bits. Being on set with her is like playing Roger Federer. You throw your best serve at her and she just hits back with something you’ve never seen before. She is also fantastic because she has that ability with the young ones to suggest something, but make them think they came up with the idea.