THE STORY OF US

A PLACE TO CALL HOME’S REAL-LIFE COU­PLE TALK LOVE AND MAR­RIAGE

New Idea - - The Story Of Us - By Jackie Brygel

Adecade of happy wed­ded life is a mile­stone to be cel­e­brated. And in the case of Sara Wise­man and Craig Hall, the spe­cial an­niver­sary was cer­tainly marked in un­for­get­table style.

Ten years af­ter the pair wed in 2006, the ac­tors found them­selves ty­ing the knot on screen – as A Place to Call Home’s beloved cou­ple Carolyn and Jack. “It was a bit crazy and weird,” laughs Sara. “Hav­ing an en­tire rent-a-crowd come in and cheer as you get mar­ried again!

“It was quite a sur­real thing ... our own [wed­ding] was very in­ti­mate, small and very un­der­stated, so to have a full-blown, tra­di­tional wed­ding dress, veil – the whole lot – in a church was quite ex­tra­or­di­nary and a weird mo­ment to be shar­ing very tra­di­tional vows with your hus­band!”

Grow­ing up just a sub­urb apart in Auck­land, Sara, 46, and Craig, 44, met while work­ing to­gether on a short film in New Zealand some 18 years ago.

Over the past two decades, the travel-lov­ing cou­ple based them­selves in Syd­ney. “We’ve done hol­i­days where we’ve gone off by our­selves, so it’s been a bal­ance of solo trips and as a cou­ple,” says Sara. “I have a lot of friends who take sab­bat­i­cals when they can, and I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to re­fresh on that. Craig is a pas­sion­ate biker – I have a huge pas­sion for it too – but he’s been mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ing since he was five, so ob­vi­ously that’s a big thing for him. I’m an am­bas­sador for [not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion] Out­ward Bound and I come from a sail­ing and ski­ing fam­ily, so I’ve al­ways been at­tracted to be­ing in the out­doors. We’ve had bik­ing hol­i­days to­gether and we’ve just had a hik­ing hol­i­day – it’s been a won­der­ful bal­ance.”

And there are many more ad­ven­tures in the pipeline. “We’re go­ing to Europe at the end of the year,” says Craig, with Sara ad­ding, “We’ll hope­fully see Italy and Paris for the first time!”

Iron­i­cally, how­ever, A Place to Call Home pro­duc­ers were ini­tially un­aware that Sara and Craig were a real-life cou­ple.

“They didn’t know we were to­gether when I joined up,” says Sara. “We’ve thor­oughly em­braced the op­por­tu­nity. It’s been an ab­so­lute joy to have that short­hand that we can throw our­selves head first into each scene that we have to­gether – and that sup­port.

“Very of­ten, act­ing cou­ples will be in dif­fer­ent towns and dif­fer­ent time zones, so to ac­tu­ally be work­ing on the same project has been a won­der­ful thing.”

As for those times when their TV al­ter egos have been at log­ger­heads, that’s never been an is­sue for the cou­ple ei­ther.

“Sara just sends me to the doghouse,” quips Craig, to which Sara says with a laugh, “Or we go out and have a nice red wine and dis­cuss!”

With the much-an­tic­i­pated se­ries fi­nale of A Place to Call Home just weeks away, Sara and Craig could be for­given for feel­ing a lit­tle nos­tal­gic about their stint on the cher­ished pe­riod drama.

Cer­tainly, they’d rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to work to­gether again on an­other long-run­ning se­ries. “Yes, ab­so­lutely,” says Craig. “Some peo­ple say it would be their worst night­mare to be work­ing with their part­ner,” says Sara. “But, for us, as cheesy as that is, it’s been an ab­so­lute joy and we’d jump at the chance to do it again. They’re rare treats.”

A PLACE TO CALL HOME AIRS SUN­DAYS AT 8.30PM ON FOXTEL’S SHOW­CASE

The cou­ple love work­ing to­gether and hope to con­tinue act­ing on screen with each other in the fu­ture. “On set as a dys­func­tional hus­band and wife in a play called Killer Joe by Tracy Letts, in Auck­land,” Sara says.

Sara and Craig also love na­ture and hik­ing. “This is our favourite quick-but-tough jaunt up Pauanui Moun­tain Coro­man­del Penin­sula, NZ – very close to our place in NZ.”

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