Good for a laugh

It helps in play­ing a happy cou­ple that Kat Ste­wart and Eddie Per­fect like each other, writes Tif­fany Dunk

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY -

The first scene Kat Ste­wart and Eddie Per­fect filmed to­gether for the pi­lot of Off­spring sealed their fate as an on-screen cou­ple.

The duo had to per­form a steamy sex scene — and they bombed spec­tac­u­larly.

“We were so awk­ward that they just started writ­ing us for com­edy in­stead,” Ste­wart says.

“They were never go­ing to get that out of us and it’s pretty much held.

“Dave (Whit­ley, Ste­wart’s hus­band) and Lucy (Cochran, Per­fect’s wife) have got noth­ing to worry about — Eddie’s in safe hands with me.”

As the much loved se­ries re­turns to screens on Wed­nes­day, June 29, the easy rap­port be­tween Ste­wart and Per­fect re­mains.

Not only that, but their Off­spring char­ac­ters Bil­lie and Mick are still hap­pily to­gether, al­beit in sep­a­rate coun­tries when the show first airs.

“It would be ter­ri­ble to break them up af­ter the way they got to­gether at the end of sea­son five,” Ste­wart says. “I love their re­la­tion­ship be­cause it’s play­ful.

“They’re not a glam­orous, windswept, ro­man­ti­cised ver­sion of mar­riage. They’re real peo­ple — well, they’re like real peo­ple to me.”

Both Ste­wart and Per­fect signed on for the new sea­son of Off­spring with­out hav­ing any idea what was ahead for their char­ac­ters. Such is the trust both have in the pro­duc­ers and writ­ers, they were cer­tain the scripts would be faith­ful to the char­ac­ters. And so far, they say, so good. Bil­lie has been in Lon­don, man­ag­ing Mick’s band. How­ever, she re­turns home to Melbourne for the much pro­moted “fam­ily cri­sis”.

Mean­while, Mick won’t ar­rive on screens un­til a lit­tle later into the sea­son as he con­tin­ues his tour.

“When Mick comes back their re­la­tion­ship is still re­ally strong but a lot of things have changed in the Proud­man world,” Per­fect says. “Bil­lie is ba­si­cally co-par­ent­ing Zoe with Nina (Asher Ked­die) and try­ing to run a house.

“Mick kind of lands like I landed — just not know­ing what the hell is go­ing on. Like, wait, what? It was great that I was ig­no­rant to what was go­ing on — no act­ing re­quired. I just turned up and dealt with it.”

“It’s weird, it’s like we’ve never left ac­tu­ally,” Ste­wart says. “By about page three we were all play­ing with each other across the ta­ble like we al­ways have and it felt re­ally right.”

The ma­jor­ity of cast and crew have re­turned for the sixth sea­son. But there will be a few new faces among them.

New­com­ers Dan Wyl­lie, T.J. Power and Lawrence Le­ung have been wel­comed by the orig­i­nal cast.

“We love new­com­ers be­cause it’s some­one whose en­tire per­sonal life his­tory we don’t know yet,” Per­fect says.

“So in be­tween takes we’re like, ‘What’s your story?’ We’ve heard all our per­sonal bol­locks non-stop for six years now.”

They’re not the only new­com­ers on set. When Switched On ar­rives, we’re in­tro­duced to Ste­wart’s new ad­di­tion to her grow­ing fam­ily, 14-week-old daugh­ter Ge­or­gia, or Gigi as she calls her.

Gigi was just a few weeks old when pro­duc­tion be­gan. But de­spite working 13 hour days — breaking ev­ery few hours to breast­feed — Ste­wart says she’s tak­ing it all in her stride.

“I came back to work when (my son) Archie was only five weeks old so I knew it was pos­si­ble,” she says. “Daunt­ing, but pos­si­ble. And she’s a re­ally great baby, which makes a big dif­fer­ence, too.”

And Ste­wart has found an­other added ben­e­fit of re­turn­ing to work with Per­fect. Four-year-old Archie is a big fan of her co-star.

“We watch Eddie on Playschool,” she says.

Per­fect says: “When I went back on the set of Off­spring I re­alised my abil­ity to be present and con­fi­dent and take own­er­ship of what I’m do­ing, and not be in­tim­i­dated by cam­eras, is a di­rect re­sult of do­ing Playschool.

“It’s helped me with my act­ing im­mea­sur­ably.”

“I would dis­pute that, I’d say he’s gone down­hill,” Ste­wart says. “No, he’s great. I love working with Eddie, it’s al­ways so much fun.”

“They’re real peo­ple — well, they’re like real peo­ple to me”

KAT STE­WART ON THE OFF­SPRING CAST

OFF­SPRING, CHAN­NEL 10, WED­NES­DAY, JUNE 29, 8.30PM

To­gether again; Kat Ste­wart and Eddie Per­fect are lov­ing be­ing back for a new sea­son of Off­spring.

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