Wa­ters feels fam­ily ties

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DAVID POUGHER

JOHN Wa­ters can be for­given for be­ing taken aback by the sto­ry­line in the lat­est se­ries of Off­spring that re­vealed that his char­ac­ter, Darcy Proud­man, was not the fa­ther of Nina Proud­man, played by Asher Ked­die.

The ver­sa­tile Wa­ters rel­ishes play­ing the pa­tri­arch in the pop­u­lar se­ries about the some­times dys­func­tional but al­ways en­ter­tain­ing Proud­man fam­ily. And tak­ing on the role of Ked­die’s fa­ther is some­thing he has ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.

‘‘ I’ve ac­tu­ally played Asher’s fa­ther be­fore – the first time I met her, about 1996, some­thing like that, I played her fa­ther in an episode of Good Guys Bad Guys, so you might say I have these in­grained pa­ter­nal feel­ings for her,’’ Wa­ters says with a laugh.

‘‘ But in a way that made the sto­ry­line at the start of this third se­ries even more af­fect­ing. ‘‘ It was ac­tu­ally a bit of a bomb­shell. ‘‘ And to have a sto­ry­line like that, to have the rev­e­la­tion of what that would do to you, how much as a fa­ther that would take the wind out of your sails, you re­alise what a huge shock it re­ally would be.

‘‘ So it was a very big thing to play and both Asher and I thought it was kind of sad in a way – but as an ac­tor you want big things to play.’’

Off­spring has pro­vided the 63- year- old ac­tor and mu­si­cian with an­other hit in a ca­reer that has in­cluded stage shows as di­verse as Hair, God­spell and The Sound of Mu­sic, TV roles in Rush, All the Rivers Run, All Saints and Play School and movies such as Eliza Fraser, Breaker Mo­rant and Boule­vard of Bro­ken Dreams.

‘‘ Off­spring is a great show to work on with a bril­liant en­sem­ble cast, led by Asher of course,’’ says Wa­ters.

‘‘ She’s a young ac­tress at the peak of her pow­ers, re­ally. We’re all happy to have great char­ac­ters to play who are very well writ­ten and the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween them is a lot of fun.

‘‘ It’s adult, it’s a fam­ily saga that’s de­signed for think­ing grown- ups and it ex­ag­ger­ates the quirky side of all fam­i­lies, I think. It ex­ag­ger­ates and in some cases makes them slightly grotesque, but there’s some­thing en­dear­ing about all the fam­ily mem­bers nonethe­less.’’ Nat­u­rally, Wa­ters has great re­gard for his char­ac­ter, Darcy.

‘‘ For me to be play­ing the older man who still gets the women is a great priv­i­lege, but I wouldn’t say it ex­actly re­flects my life. It re­flects my am­bi­tion,’’ Wa­ters says with a chuckle.

‘‘ He’s a man who goes for the pos­i­tive spin in ev­ery­thing in life.

‘‘ It’s a joy to play him.’’

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