Howzat for power games with friends
When Alexander England turned up on the set of Offspring it was like old home week. The 30-year-old actor already knew most of the cast and crew who work on the Asher Keddie dramedy.
England had worked alongside Lachy Hulme on Nine’s Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, with Hulme playing media mogul Packer and England playing famed cricketer Tony Greig.
The pair worked together again on Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story. This time Hulme played Sir Frank Packer and England his brother, Clyde Packer.
England appeared in an episode of Kat Stewart’s Mr and Mrs Murder and he’s also friends with Richard Davies and Jane Harber. His most recent credit was for Offspring co-creator Imogen Banks’ The Beautiful Lie.
“This opportunity (to act on Offspring) presented itself as ‘do you want to come to Melbourne and have a really good time’,” England says.
“I thought ‘Yes, I probably do’. The cast are a colourful bunch of characters and a lot of them are good friends of mine.
“I’d also worked with a lot of the creatives like Imogen and a lot of the heads of department.
“I had never worked with Asher before.”
All of that will change when England’s Harry Crewe arrives at St Francis Hospital.
Crewe is the new crisis and culture manager and he is quickly under the pump when the hospital faces a public relations disaster.
That puts Crewe and Keddie’s Nina Proudman (both pictured left) on a potential collision course.
“Harry is an outsider who is brought into the hospital, which is a space that characters like Nina have so much ownership of,” England explains.
“He has his own agenda which is resolving an image issue at the hospital.
“He doesn’t know the hospital staff at all so he is assessing them and that is how he comes into contact with Nina.
“Our characters are trying to figure each other out. We’re very different. There’s a bit of friction because we’ve got different agendas.”
Knowing so many of the actors and crew has proved a blessing for England who arrives as a newbie into the sixth season of Offspring which runs like a well-oiled machine.
“I tried not to worry about how I was going to fit into it (even though) these guys are all so well versed in their characters and working together,” England says.
“I was aware that I was entering a very full world.
“Offspring is a really interesting show tonally. It can swing from the extreme height of comedy to serious tragedy within one episode. I knew I was going to have to pay attention to what was going on around me and really respond it.
“Working with Asher is proving a real pleasure. It has been great to get to know each other in the course of shooting our scenes. It adds a real quality to the making.
“She’s obviously incredibly supportive and encouraging and a lovely and very talented woman,” he says.
OFFSPRING, CHANNEL 10, WEDNESDAY, 9.10PM