A stretch for Wood

A busy the­atre and TV sched­ule keeps chal­leng­ing vet­eran ac­tor John Wood, writes Dar­ren Devlyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

JOHN Wood con­sid­ers him­self one of the lucky ones. Gold Lo­gie win­ner Wood has not only avoided the curse of un­em­ploy­ment since his 12-year run on Blue Heel­ers ended in 2006, he has thrived in a string of the­atri­cal and TV pro­duc­tions.

To­day, how­ever, Wood feels as though his achieve­ments as an ac­tor are of lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance.

He’s for­tu­nate his ru­ral re­treat es­caped the bush­fires that rav­aged Vic­to­ria, but is sad for the loss of life in­flicted by the dis­as­ter.

Wood had been in Syd­ney with his fam­ily when he heard about the fires and made an ur­gent flight back to Mel­bourne.

‘‘We saw the footage on TV and got the first flight back,’’ Wood says.

‘‘We drove back from the air­port and through Eltham, Re­search and War­randyte, Wonga Park, Li­ly­dale to home to give us an idea of what was hap­pen­ing. When we got within 5km from home, we saw the first burnt-out pad­dock.

‘‘We’ve been ex­traor­di­nar­ily lucky. Our place is un­touched.

‘‘The wind had turned around. We are bloody lucky, be­cause our fire plan is non-ex­is­tent, re­ally.’’

It ap­pears Wood’s act­ing col­league Reg Evans, 80, and Evans’ part­ner, artist, An­gela Brun­ton, were not so lucky.

The pair have not been heard from since fierce flames tore through their town, St An­drews.

Evans, re­garded as one of Aus­tralia’s finest char­ac­ter ac­tors, ap­peared with Wood in Blue Heel­ers.

‘‘Reg was a man of his com­mu­nity, ac­tive in the La­bor Party and very much an Ac­tors’ Eq­uity man. He was a ter­rific bloke,’’ Wood says.

Wood (right) speaks from the court­yard of Gas­works The­atre in Port Mel­bourne, where he’s in re­hearsals for the one-man show A Stretch of the Imagination, which opens in Mel­bourne next month.

There are plans to take the show to Tas­ma­nia, South Aus­tralia, New South Wales and Queens­land, adding to a tour sched­ule that Wood at times has found chal­leng­ing.

He has barely been home in 18 months, busy with the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions and film­ing roles in Un­der­belly and The Cut.

Matt Pass­more, who plays good cop War­wick Mobbs in Un­der­belly, was re­united with Wood on the set of The Cut, in which they ap­pear as fa­ther and son.

Set in the murky world of sports man­age­ment, Pass­more por­trays An­drew, the hap­less son of rogue agent ‘‘Wild’’ Bill Telford (Wood).

TThe Cut, M ABC1, Mon­day, 9.35pm Wry look at sports man­age­ment Du­ra­tion: 55 min­utes HE se­ries opens with larg­erthan-life Bill break­ing the shack­les of work pres­sure by tak­ing a hol­i­day in Thai­land.

While sip­ping a cock­tail, the bar is bombed, with Bill next seen wak­ing to find wife Roz (Julieanne New­bould) and An­drew by his bed­side.

Bill and An­drew might be es­tranged, but it soon be­comes ap­par­ent the sports-man­age­ment busi­ness will strug­gle to sur­vive if An­drew is not pre­pared to run it in Bill’s ab­sence.

The more An­drew delves into his dad’s af­fairs, the more ob­vi­ous it be­comes that Bill’s busi­ness prac­tices are not en­tirely eth­i­cal.

Wood is chuffed the role of Bill was writ­ten with him in mind.

‘‘ The Cut is a great con­cept. We are all amazed by the bad be­hav­iour of sports stars,’’ Wood says.

‘‘ It’s un­for­tu­nate foot­ballers achieve all this no­to­ri­ety and money be­fore some of them have a chance to ma­ture.

‘‘You see it hap­pen in our busi­ness ( act­ing), too. Peo­ple be­come enor­mously wealthy and fa­mous and go nuts. I didn’t be­come fa­mous un­til into my 40s and I was slightly more ma­ture, but it still goes to your head a bit.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.