Fitting tribute to loving dad
GAIL Mabo, the fifth of Eddie and Bonita’s 10 children, says she was moved to tears by Deborah Mailman and Jimi Bani’s portrayal of her parents.
Before filming began, Gail was in Sydney and headed along to some read- throughs with Mailman and Bani.
She reveals it was just like listening to her real parents.
‘‘ The first time I did the reads with Deb and Jimi I closed my eyes and just listened and I pulled myself up and I said, ‘ Deb, you sound so much like my mother when I close my eyes, it’s really freaky. There’s something in your voice that’s just like Mum’. I had to open my eyes and go, ‘ Yeah, that’s Deb, it’s not Mum’,’’ Gail says.
She had an equally bizarre experience when seeing Bani dressed as an older version of her father.
‘‘ The first time I saw him in the grey, ageing beard it was like, ‘ Wow’. I had to stand back and I cried,’’ she admits.
‘‘ When he’s got his face on I go, ‘ You’re my dad. You’re not Jimi, you’re not my brother, you’re my dad’. And he comes over and hugs me and it’s like I’m getting hugs from my dad.’’
When asked what it means to her to see her father’s story brought to film, Gail begins to cry.
She pauses and composes herself before answering, ‘‘ very proud’’.
‘‘ It’s a long time coming but it’s good,’’ she says.
‘‘ Now we have the honour to share with everybody exactly who he was.’’
PROUD DAUGHTER: Gail Mabo, one Eddie and Bonita’s 10 children.