Co­me­dian finds it’s all Go in new se­ries

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - SHAN­NON MOL­LOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Not only did he land his first tele­vi­sion role at the ten­der age of 14, but up-and-com­ing ac­tor Trys­tan Go also scored the lead.

It’s an achieve­ment the equally am­bi­tious boy he’s por­tray­ing in the up­com­ing SBS com­edy The Fam­ily Law would have been bit­terly jeal­ous of.

“I’ve done a lot of stage work pre­vi­ously, but this is so dif­fer­ent and it was so, so much fun,” Go (pic­tured) says.

The ac­tor, whose theatre cred­its in­clude The King And I, plays Ben­jamin Law in the small screen adap­ta­tion of the best-sell­ing mem­oir about life on the Sun­shine Coast in 1990s Queens­land.

For the se­ries, the plot fo­cuses on one long sum­mer dur­ing which “ev­ery­thing goes wrong” for the fam­ily, in­clud­ing the mar­riage break­down of par­ents Jenny and Danny.

“When I read the scripts, I could re­ally see that I’d en­joy play­ing Ben,” Go says.

“Ben is funny, with­out try­ing to be — a real show­man. He’s in­tense, too, a bit self-cen­tred, but also re­ally coura­geous. He’s try­ing to get his fam­ily back to­gether, so he’s full of heart.”

Be­fore meet­ing the story’s au­thor, Go won­dered whether the real Law would have changed as he grew up.

“Not re­ally,” Go laughs. “He’s ex­actly the same as in the book. He’s cool and re­ally funny.”

“The first day on set, Ben ar­rived and he was wear­ing yel­low pants with a match­ing yel­low um­brella.”

For his part, Law, now 32, was ner­vous about meet­ing the ac­tor who’d por­tray his younger self on screen.

“I left that to the cast­ing agent, pro­duc­ers and di­rec­tors,” Law says.

“It’s psy­cho­pathic enough to write a show about your­self with­out also cast­ing the ac­tor to play it. That would be tak­ing the Twi­light Zone el­e­ment a lit­tle too far.”

He de­scribes Go’s work as “im­pres­sive on so many lev­els”.

“He’s pretty much in ev­ery scene, so a lot was re­quired of him. He was the one who was al­ways on, al­ways at the same level and ea­ger to work. I don’t think I saw him yawn once.”

Re­liv­ing the story of his teen years was an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Law says. There was the suc­cess of his first book, a se­cond one to come, plus a news­pa­per col­umn, speak­ing en­gage­ments and now a TV show.

“I think 14-year-old Ben­jamin would be quite chuffed at all this,” Law says. “But I sus­pect he’d look at Trys­tan and how in­cred­i­ble he is and just be mon­strously jeal­ous. Like, how dare he get the lead on his first try.”

THE FAM­ILY LAW, SBS, THURS­DAY, 8.30PM

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