Fit­ting trib­ute to lov­ing dad

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - ANOOSKA TUCKER- EVANS

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.

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