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