All the luck of the Ir­ish

With stand­out roles in and giv­ing her fab­u­lous ex­po­sure last year, Aussie TV star Diana Glenn is find­ing she’s land­ing some of the most cov­eted jobs in the biz, writes Guy Davis

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television -

‘‘ I TEND to like things with a bit more dark­ness,’’ says Diana Glenn. ‘‘ It’s just the way I’m wired.’’ If that’s the case, the grey area was good to Glenn in 2011. Al­ready well­known and re­spected for her star­ring roles in Sat­is­fac­tion and Carla Cametti, P. D., she stood out in two of the year’s most ac­claimed Aus­tralian pro­duc­tions: Killing Time and The Slap.

Her per­for­mance as Sandi, the abused wife of Harry ( Alex Dim­i­tri­ades) in The Slap, gained her an Aus­tralian Academy of Cinema and Tele­vi­sion Arts Award nom­i­na­tion.

Bring­ing a bold com­bi­na­tion of fragility, strength and com­pas­sion to com­plex char­ac­ters is be­com­ing a trade­mark of Glenn’s work, but the role she’s film­ing op­po­site Guy Pearce in the ABC tele­movie Jack Ir­ish: Black Tide has given her a chance to lighten up a lit­tle.

Be­tween takes on this pro­duc­tion, Glenn took a few min­utes to talk about what she calls her ‘‘ lovely year’’. Q: Con­grat­u­la­tions on ev­ery­thing that hap­pened in 2011. A: It’s an ac­ci­den­tal kind of suc­cess. The Slap was filmed at the start of the year, but Killing Time was done so long ago and now ev­ery­thing seems to have come out at once.

I’m so glad Killing Time is fi­nally be­ing seen. I re­ally wanted to be part of The Slap since I first read the script and now I’m film­ing this, so I’m get­ting some re­ally lovely jobs. And to have a nom­i­na­tion makes me feel quite lucky and scared. I’m not used to things go­ing so well. Some­thing ter­ri­ble has to hap­pen soon, right? Q: Look­ing back at your per­for­mances as Denise Fraser in Killing Time and Sandi in The Slap, does any­thing stand out – any as­pects, any traits or qual­i­ties the char­ac­ters shared? A: They’re def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent peo­ple and the de­ci­sions they make are dif­fer­ent, but Denise and Sandi put up with a lot more than a lot of women would.

I’ve found in my own life that it’s very easy to think about what you would do in a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion, to take a very blackand- white view as to how you would be­have, but when it hap­pens, you never know what you’re go­ing to do.

I do know Denise loved that man. She said that to me when we met. The love be­tween Denise and An­drew [ Fraser, dis­graced Aus­tralian lawyer] was re­ally strong and gen­uine, even af­ter ev­ery­thing that has hap­pened.

Some­thing she said to me, and it was a re­ally great hook into play­ing the char­ac­ter, was that she was ter­ri­fied be­cause part of her knew she shouldn’t get in­volved with him but she loved him so much she just ran down the aisle. ‘‘ Noth­ing could stop me,’’ she said.

And then think­ing about Sandi, you think about the com­pro­mises and ne­go­ti­a­tions that oc­cur in a shared life. Q: Por­tray­ing those com­plex­i­ties, does it make you a stronger, more sen­si­tive ac­tress? A: For me, the beau­ti­ful thing about The Slap is that the char­ac­ter’s flaws were never hid­den. It was never shied away from. It was brave enough to show you ev­ery­thing. When you’re al­lowed to do that, you’ll be sur­prised at how much an au­di­ence or a read­er­ship or what have you, will for­give. You may think I’d never be friends with that per­son or ‘ This is wrong, this is right’ but you do find com­pas­sion. I love it when you get the op­por­tu­nity as an ac­tor to show all sides.

And we can’t be afraid to think the au­di­ence isn’t go­ing to love a char­ac­ter be­cause they’re not per­fect. The beauty of tele­vi­sion right now is that it’s not afraid to show that ugly side. Au­di­ences still care about those char­ac­ters. Q: Given that then, your char­ac­ter of Lyall in the Jack Ir­ish tele­movie seems a lit­tle lighter than your usual fare. A: Lyall has got a lot more front than some of my other char­ac­ters but at the same time she’s a bit more mys­te­ri­ous, and I just hope I’ve made her seem a bit mys­te­ri­ous be­cause I tend to be an open book. What I’m lik­ing about these Jack Ir­ish sto­ries is there’s this beau­ti­ful comic el­e­ment to these crime sto­ries, a wry way of look­ing at the world. And the way Guy is play­ing Jack, as this kind of di­shev­elled and reluc­tant hero, sets a lovely, left- of- cen­tre tone.

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