Baird back in Perth with fond mem­o­ries

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

AC­TOR Jenni Baird may have grown up in Syd­ney but the 2000 WAAPA grad­u­ate re­gards Perth “as the kind of place you imag­ine your per­fect child­hood to be”.

The mother of two re­turned for the first time in 15 years for Cine­festOz 2015 with hus­band and writer/di­rec­tor Michael Petroni and rem­i­nisced about liv­ing on Sev­enth Av­enue off Beau­fort Street and rid­ing her bike to cam­pus.

“My en­dur­ing mem­ory of Perth is that end­less, beau­ti­ful sum­mer heat with the big open skies,” Baird said.

“We used to sit out on the ve­randa in the evening and watch the night fall. The sky in Perth just seems big­ger and the streets wider.”

The cou­ple pre­sented the WA pre­miere of Petroni’s film Back­track in Bus­sel­ton, star­ring Baird, Adrien Brody and Sam Neill, which was a fi­nal­ist in this year’s Cine­festOZ $100,000 Film Prize.

They also at­tended the gala on Satur­day night, where Baird said she was ex­cited to wear her favourite WA de­signer Flan­nel and daz­zled in a floor-length mid­night blue lace gown with long sleeves on the red car­pet.

Baird de­scribed Back­track, filmed in Jan­uary 2014 in Mel­bourne, Syd­ney and Car­coar, NSW, as a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller with supernatural sus­pense in the tra­di­tion of Al­fred Hitch­cock.

Film­ing be­gan af­ter the sec­ond sea­son of A Place to Call Home, when Baird thought she would never play her char­ac­ter Regina Stan­dish again fol­low­ing the show’s ax­ing by Chan­nel 7. It has since been picked up by Fox­tel and the third sea­son will pre­miere Sun­day, Septem­ber 27.

Tanya MacNaughton

Ac­tor Jenni Baird.

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