IN her first professional acting role, Janet King debutante Zoe Terakes all but steals the show from her more acclaimed co-stars.
Her performance stunned the ABC drama’s lead Marta Dusseldorp, while director Peter Andrikidis has declared her one of Australia’s hottest young talents to watch.
When did the acting bug first bite you? Last year I played Blanche [from A Streetcar Named Desire] in a school drama production, and I thought, ‘Oh, OK, this is cool.’ Then I decided to start classes, and that teacher got me to meet an agent and a week after, I got an audition [for Janet King].
You audition, you get the job. What was that first day like? It was pretty surreal because it was all these people I looked up to for so long and seen everywhere. It was daunting and intimidating at the start, and then I realised how lucky I was to be in that situation, to be learning on the job with the best people.”
What was the first scene you filmed? It was the first scene in the first episode, the assault scene … that was everyone’s first day on set. My first day on a set, full stop, so it was a pretty intense scene to film straight up. But everyone was so respectful and so careful and just made such an unsafe situation feel so safe. Did Marta give you any advice? Every single day. She’d say something and I’d write it on my phone and then read them back to myself each morning. She’d say things like, ‘Never worry about what you look like, it’s always about how you sound,’ or, ‘Once you’ve done it let it go,’ and, ‘If you trust your instincts, not much can go wrong.’ She is honestly magic, so supportive and so good to me. Next week, your character Pearl reacts quite explosively. How was that to film? I had to attack [another character] and Marta had to pull me off [them] and she just said this line, off script, ‘I need you to do this with me,’ and I don’t really remember what happened, I just lost it bawling, hyperventilating … and the director said, ‘That’s it.’ We did it in one take … it was five minutes of the whole shoot and the coolest moment of
my whole life, really.
Given the buzz around your debut, has that brought added pressure? Because I’m not trained and don’t understand the lingo of the industry, I just go and do my best and what comes of that, comes of that. I’m just going to keep doing what I do and trust that.”
WATCH JANET KING, ABC, THURSDAY, 8.30PM
“I realised how lucky I was to be in that situation”
Zoe Terakes makes her acting debut in