Q& A

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - with David Field COLIN VICK­ERY

EV­ERY­ONE has heard of The 40- Year- Old

Vir­gin, but ac­tor David Field can go one bet­ter. His Wild Boys char­ac­ter, Cap­tain Gun­pow­der, is a 50- year- old vir­gin. But it looks as if Gun­pow­der’s luck may be about to change now he’s woo­ing Hopetoun teacher Cather­ine Bell ( Caro­line Bra­zier).

Q: You’re play­ing a 50- year- old vir­gin. What’s go­ing on there? A:

I thought I should try to play the un­playable – es­pe­cially for me.

Q: What do you make of Cap­tain Gun­pow­der? A:

Here was a guy who’d come to Aus­tralia as an or­phan kid and has had to sur­vive. I think that is why he has os­tracised him­self from the world. Then he meets these young fel­las Jack [ Daniel Macpher­son], Dan [ Michael Dor­man] and Con­rad [ Alexan­der Eng­land] and he be­comes like a fa­ther to them.

Q: How much power did you have to shape the Cap­tain Gun­pow­der char­ac­ter? A:

The pro­duc­ers were com­ing from the an­gle that he wants to be fa­mous, but I didn’t re­ally see that in the script. He’s a taxi­der­mist, he’s got the abil­ity to build things, he’s taught him­self to read, make ex­plo­sives – so he’s poorly ed­u­cated but he’s ob­vi­ously very smart.

Q: Is he go­ing to get lucky with the school­teacher? A:

He’s com­pletely ob­sessed with Cather­ine, but he’s got no so­cial skills. He’s in­ept with her. That’s a nice di­chotomy in the char­ac­ter.

Q: It must be a chal­lenge get­ting that bal­ance be­tween humour and drama right. A:

With a new se­ries you’re try­ing to find the right en­ergy – the right note. I don’t think we re­ally got those notes to click un­til the fourth or fifth episodes. I think that hap­pens a lot with a new se­ries. Some­times we might have to re­hearse a scene 15 or 20 times to get it [ the bal­ance] right, but there are a lot of jokes on set.

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