THE BIG ASK

Bed of Roses

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Out Of The Box - with DAR­REN DEV­LYN

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.

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