BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

BY DAR­REN DEV­LYN

GIA Carides has flexed her comedic mus­cle in a string of films in­clud­ing Strictly Ball­room, Austin Pow­ers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and My Big Fat Greek Wed­ding. Now she’s play­ing a darkly amus­ing part in Small Time Gang­ster, which pre­mieres on Tues­day. Carides plays Dar­lene, a brassy pub owner with un­der­world con­nec­tions. What’s the ap­peal of Small Time Gang­ster? Aus­tralia is bril­liant at dra­matic un­der­world sto­ries. Look at Un­der­belly, Blue Mur­der and Chop­per . . . no­body does it bet­ter. Small Time Gang­ster is great be­cause it has a dark, edgy hu­mour. The script reads so well. Be­ing the cen­tral fe­male char­ac­ter in that dark un­der­world was in­cred­i­bly ap­peal­ing to me. I was thrilled to be of­fered it. I had to look at the lo­gis­tics be­cause it was shoot­ing in Mel­bourne and I spend most of my life in Los An­ge­les. The pro­duc­ers were in­cred­i­bly ac­com­mo­dat­ing. To cram all my stuff in tightly into two weeks. I flew to Mel­bourne, shot for two weeks, and flew home. And what a cast. It was fan­tas­tic to be re­united with Gary Sweet (ex-Po­lice Res­cue). I was blown away by Sacha Hor­ler and Steve Le Mar­quand (who plays the lead role of a gang­ster who loses his nerve). Steve says he likes to break the ice on set by break­ing a bit of wind. Were you lucky enough to en­counter that? It was a blokey set. A lot goes on and you just roll with the punches. It wasn’t that at­tribute of Steve’s I fell in love with — it was his tal­ent, warmth, strength and gen­tle­ness. Dar­lene is a great char­ac­ter, isn’t she? I love that she is the mid­dle­man be­tween two oth­ers. She an­swers to Gary’s char­ac­ter (crime boss) and calls the shots with Steve’s. When you are a mid­dle-sta­tus char­ac­ter, there’s so much light and shade to play. Have you a good sys­tem in place as far as be­ing a work­ing­mum(Carides and hus­band, for­mer With­out a Trace star An­thony LaPaglia have a daugh­ter, Brid­get)? I’ve never had trou­ble bal­anc­ing. And my hus­band, bless him, is al­ways in­cred­i­bly ac­com­mo­dat­ing. If there’s a chance for me to work, he’s the first to say, ‘‘Come on, babe, we’ll make this hap­pen’’. Is it eas­ier or harder for you to work now that he’s not on With­out a Trace? It’s great be­cause he’s more avail­able to be there (home) if I need to work. At the same time, he’s look­ing for his next pro­ject. Small Time Gang­ster, Movie Ex­tra, Tues­day, 8.30pm

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