From The Flying Doctors to Packed to the Rafters, New Zealand-born Rebecca Gibney has been one of Australia’s favourite actors for almost three decades. She produced and stars in new crime series Winter, which starts where telemovie The Killing Field left off.
Congratulations on turning 50 in December. Did it feel any different to turning 30 or 40? No, apart from being a little (more) tired. But I’m a lot wiser and a lot more comfortable with who I am.
You’ve certainly disproved the idea female actors over 40 can’t get jobs … If you can’t find them then go and create them!
Were British crime dramas inspiration for Winter? A little bit. Obviously with the success of Broadchurch, The Killing and The Bridge we did want to create something in a similar vein, but we wanted it to be very Australian.
Was the The Killing Field always intended to be a series? It was always the hope but you never know. Once upon a time Rafters would rate 2 million, now most dramas are lucky to get 700,000.
Given that, were you nervous when The Killing Field rated “just” 1.166 million? Yes I was actually!
On making Winter, what did you want to change from the original telemovie? I think we definitely needed to explore the characters more. So we go home with (Eve Winter), we get to see her family, we get to see what makes her tick and as the series goes on we’ll get to see her out of her depth and struggling with elements of the case, which is good.
After being a stay-at-home mum for a while, what was it like working long hours again? I underestimated the challenge of being a producer and actor at the same time. As much as I loved it, and I did relish it, I’d do a 10-12hour day then come home and watch rushes and try and learn my lines and make notes, then get up at 5am to go to work. My fabulous husband and son had to put up with my absence quite often.
Your sister Stella’s book It Will Get Better detailed her kidnapping and sexual assault as well as a troubled home life with a sometimes violent alcoholic father. Did reading it dredge up some bad memories? I actually encouraged her to write the book. Yes there were moments that were really sad and there were things I didn’t know about her struggle, which were difficult but that’s her story and good on her for putting it out there.
Damon Herriman’s character “fantasises” over your Australian Women’s Weekly cover in the film 100 Bloody Acres. What did you think of memorable appearance? (Laughing) I only saw that a few months ago. It was hilarious! They asked me about that, they said do you mind if we do this? I read the script and I laughed and laughed. I was very flattered to be honest.
WINTER, CHANNEL 7, TONIGHT, 9PM
Rebecca Gibney shines in new drama Winter.