So­phie’s risky busi­ness

Tragedy is set to over­whelm the cast of Win­ners & Losers, writes

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

‘‘Went to see Lin­coln. Only seats left were in the bal­cony. Passed.’’ @Al­bertBrooks AKA ac­tor and au­thor Al­bert Brooks prefers to re­main out of range.

SO­PHIE Wong has al­ways been the most con­tro­ver­sial char­ac­ter on Win­ners & Losers. In last year’s first episode of the Chan­nel 7 drama, it was re­vealed So­phie, played by Me­lanie Vallejo, had a co­caine habit.

It was a risky sto­ry­line for a sup­pos­edly warm and fuzzy show that cen­tred on four fe­male friends who win the lottery.

Now So­phie has split the Win­ners & Losers au­di­ence with her de­ci­sion to have an abor­tion.

In last week’s show, she re­vealed to boyfriend Doug (Tom Wren) that she was preg­nant— but didn’t want to keep the baby.

So­phie gave Doug no say in the mat­ter. It was a done deal.

Doug, who des­per­ately wants to get mar­ried and have chil­dren, is dev­as­tated.

The shock sto­ry­line has been a chal­lenge for Vallejo. The 33-year-old mar­ried Matthew Kingston in May last year and is keen to start a fam­ily.

‘‘ It (ter­mi­nat­ing a preg­nancy) is a huge de­ci­sion for any woman,’’ Vallejo says.

‘‘ It (the abor­tion sto­ry­line) sparked a lot of con­ver­sa­tions with friends.

‘‘ It helped me to work through why would So­phie make that de­ci­sion be­cause that is not what I would do.

‘‘( I re­alised that) a lot of peo­ple have ba­bies be­cause their re­la­tion­ship is not do­ing so well, but that’s a hor­ri­ble rea­son to bring an­other per­son into the world.

‘‘ It (abor­tion) is a com­pletely valid choice (for So­phie). It would be ridicu­lous for her to have a child to Doug at this point in her life.’’

The first se­ries of Win­ners & Losers was ac­cused of be­ing soft. So­phie, Frances James (Vir­ginia Gay), Jenny Gross (Melissa Ber­g­land), and Bec Gil­bert (Zoe Tuck­well-Smith) spent most of their time bond­ing af­ter be­ing bul­lied years ear­lier by Tif­fany Turner (Michala Banas).

This year things have deep­ened and So­phie’s de­ci­sion to have an abor­tion has topped a string of con­tro­ver­sial sto­ry­lines.

‘‘ So­phie doesn’t re­ally know what she wants,’’ Vallejo says.

It is a very dif­fer­ent story for Vallejo, who says mar­ry­ing Kingston was ‘‘ the eas­i­est de­ci­sion of my life’’ and that she wants to ‘‘ have ba­bies and lots of them’’.

‘‘ Chan­nel 7 hired four women in their late 20s and early 30s to be in the show, so some­one’s go­ing to get knocked up.’’

Vallejo, mean­while, is tightlipped about the loom­ing sea­son fi­nale of the show.

What is known is


She can be a bitch, some­one’s best friend, and a bit of a mother fig­ure

tragedy will strike with the death of one of the char­ac­ters.

Seven has sent out pre­views of the episode with the fi­nal 10 min­utes miss­ing. It doesn’t want any leaks.

The on-air pro­mo­tion — ‘‘ Who Will Lose Their Life?’’ — sug­gests a num­ber of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

So­phie, Brian Gross (Fran­cis Greenslade), Doug, Bec, Matt, and Frances are the pos­si­ble can­di­dates.

View­ers are teased with scenes of a gun, some­one cross­ing the road, Bec driv­ing er­rat­i­cally, fur­ni­ture be­ing smashed, Brian step­ping in front of a bus, a mo­tor­cy­cle swerv­ing, and a pos­si­ble build­ing ac­ci­dent. What­ever hap­pens will have a ma­jor im­pact on the sto­ry­lines for next year’s third sea­son.

‘‘ Se­ries three of Win­ners & Losers is all about re­build­ing,’’ a Seven spokesper­son says.

‘‘ It’s time for ev­ery­one to start over. Re­la­tion­ships, ca­reers, as­pi­ra­tions will all be turned on their head.’’ Win­ners& Losers, Chan­nel 7, Tues­day, 8.30pm

Me­lanie Vallejo (right) wears Thur­ley tank and skirt in cit­rus, LeSilla Shoes from Loula Bou­tique, Dan­niJo stingray cuffs from Grace. Pic­ture: ANDY DRE­WITT

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