Q&A

ac­tor

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by VIC­TO­RIA HAN­NAFORD The War­riors pre­mieres 9.30pm Wed­nes­day, April 12, on ABC TV.

Lisa Mccune re­veals why she de­cided to keep her fam­ily life pri­vate.

You scored your first big role in 1994, play­ing Mag­gie Doyle in Blue Heel­ers. Do peo­ple on the street still call you Mag­gie? In­ter­est­ingly, not so much any­more. Sea Pa­trol and do­ing the odd mu­si­cal helped wear Mag­gie down a lit­tle. Not that I want to take any­thing away from that, be­cause it’s been the spring­board for me, but hav­ing those other things helped give me longevity. Af­ter Mag­gie was killed off in 2000, you played Maria in The Sound Of Mu­sic. Did you worry you’d pit­ted your­self against Julie An­drews? No, be­cause I was smart enough to know that when you do mu­si­cals on­stage, it’s re­ally dif­fer­ent to a movie. And it’s the pro­ducer’s and di­rec­tor’s job to know who might fit the role, and also how they can make it their own. It was a re­ally big risk step­ping out of Blue Heel­ers at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity, and it could have been a dis­as­trous move. For­tu­nately, it was a good one to jump on and it showed me in a very dif­fer­ent light. Since then, you’ve had star­ring roles in TV, film and stage, in both mu­si­cals and plays – which medium do you pre­fer? They’re all so dif­fer­ent. In mu­si­cals or stage plays, you’re there eight times a week with the same peo­ple, whereas in TV and film you never do the same thing twice. I can’t say I pre­fer one, but a live au­di­ence is a re­ally im­por­tant tool for an ac­tor be­cause they ed­u­cate you – they sur­prise and teach you; you don’t get that re­ac­tion on tele­vi­sion. Have you ever suf­fered from a bout of stage fright? I had a great chat to Ma­rina Prior one day. We were about to do Guys And Dolls to­gether and I said, “I’m so ner­vous I feel sick,” and she said, “You’re not ner­vous, you’re just re­ally ex­cited.” I thought, “Yes, she’s right.” It’s like a run­ner be­fore a race; your adren­a­line pumps. Did you ever con­sider go­ing to Amer­ica to have a crack there? Af­ter my third baby was born, I went for three days and had a bit of a look around LA. I thought: “Do I want to come over here with three kids?” I could have been a hit here and not there – I don’t know. There’s no set path as an ac­tor. I love Hugo Weav­ing and Sam Neill and I’m kind of jeal­ous of their ca­reers. They do re­ally in­ter­est­ing work – some of it’s quite high-pro­file, but their lives haven’t been swept up­side down and scru­ti­nised. You’ve man­aged to main­tain your own pri­vacy in the past few years, re­fus­ing to com­ment on your re­la­tion­ship sta­tus. What do you make of ac­tors who over­share via so­cial me­dia? I’m start­ing to see peo­ple get­ting work be­cause of the num­ber of In­sta­gram fol­low­ers they have, so I can un­der­stand the power in that. For me per­son­ally, I have al­ways been open and happy to talk about my ba­bies when they were born and my mar­riage, and then I hit a speed bump.

“It was a re­ally big risk step­ping out of Blue Heel­ers at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity”

I went, “All of a sud­den, this is not com­ing out in a pos­i­tive way,” and I rethought it. I was get­ting ad­vice say­ing, “Make state­ments,” [about her re­la­tion­ship with her The King And I co-star Teddy Tahu Rhodes] and I just thought, “No, I don’t need to, be­cause it’s my life.” And that’s when I look to those ca­reers of peo­ple that I as­pire to. With an ac­tor, it’s hard to un­der­stand what makes them tick. That’s what is so thrilling about Sam Neill and Hugo Weav­ing. Ev­ery time I see them do some­thing, I be­lieve them be­cause I don’t know who they slept with last night, and I re­ally like that [laughs]. I hate know­ing that [ac­tors] go to the gym – I just love get­ting lost in their per­for­mance. You had to wear a corset when you played Anna in The King And I, and one of the dresses weighed 12kg. How did you man­age to sing and move around? Get­ting that dress to move re­quired a lot on the tech­ni­cal side; it be­comes a prob­lem for the per­former and a whole swag of peo­ple. It’s amaz­ing, though, when you put an au­di­ence in a room – the prob­lems are solved pretty damn quickly [laughs]. Your new show, ABC TV’S The War­riors, fo­cuses on star Indige­nous play­ers in the AFL. What is your footy knowl­edge like? Fun­nily enough, for the past 20 years that I’ve lived in Mel­bourne, which is the epi­cen­tre of foot­ball, I was work­ing in TV, and then I’ve had a fam­ily, so footy kind of [passed me by]. But be­cause I grew up in WA, my footy knowl­edge is pretty sound. In The War­riors you play the team’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager. Did it give you a new re­spect for peo­ple whose job it is to face the pub­lic when some­thing goes awry? My god, you be­come privy to that in this in­dus­try, so you know what goes on be­hind the scenes some­times; that was fun to ex­plore. When you’ve got young men earn­ing a lot of money, I can see where it all goes hay­wire, and my char­ac­ter is like a den mother to them. She loves those boys and re­ally looks out for them. Is there a dream role you still want to tackle? I would love to do a Bell Shake­speare play be­fore I die. I haven’t done that. It would be great to work with a bunch of ac­tors, walk into the room and be re­ally green – I love be­ing out of my depth.

``I was happy to talk about my mar­riage and then i hit a speed bump´´

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