Hicks up to old tricks

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

HER cast- mates call her the God­dess of Mis­chief. The nick­name was be­stowed on ac­tor Kather­ine Hicks’ as her col­leagues dis­cov­ered her sense of fun dur­ing long days on set as she set­tled in as a full- time cast mem­ber on South­ern Cross drama Win­ners & Losers.

And on this day, hav­ing come in on a rare day off shoot­ing to grab lunch and chat, the mis­chief level is run­ning high, as she cheek­ily ex­plains how you pre­pare for an on- screen snog.

“You just break it down,” says Hicks, who plays the role of Sam Macken­zie the sur­prise and mostly un­wel­come new ad­di­tion to the Gross fam­ily on Win­ners & Losers.

“The best way is to be com­pletely open and talk about it and pick the mo­ment that needs to be punc­tu­ated so you know when it’s go­ing to hap­pen,” Hicks says.

“That way you don’t get ner­vous and end up kind of ran­domly suck­ing face. You just make it re­ally tech­ni­cal, then it’s less weird and awkward.”

All of which in­di­cates Hicks’ Sa­man­tha might be in for the long haul on Win­ners & Losers this sea­son, with the prospect of ro­mance, de­spite this week’s episode in which it seems her days try­ing to get to know her new- found fam­ily are num­bered.

Hicks burst into the show at the end of last sea­son, turn­ing up as the “sur­prise” daugh­ter of Brian Gross ( Fran­cis Greenslade) the prod­uct of a one- night stand when Brian and his wife Tr­ish ( Denise Scott) were tem­po­rar­ily sep­a­rated.

Sam was un­wel­come then, and in last week’s sea­son opener was again pushed away, when, with an un­in­ten­tional but ap­palling lack of tim­ing, she reap­peared at the Gross fam­ily home dur­ing a wake.

This week’s episode sees Sa­man­tha, three months on, and the Gross fam­ily un­easily try­ing to move for­ward.

Cue the most awkward of fam­ily lunches as Brian tries to get to know his daugh­ter, his wife grimly pre­tends ev­ery­thing is fi ne, daugh­ter Jenny ( Melissa Ber­g­land) fears for her place in the fam­ily, and brother Pa­trick ( Jack Pear­son) makes lit­tle ef­fort to con­ceal his bit­ter­ness to­wards her.

It’s a sce­nario re­quir­ing tact, del­i­cacy, diplo­macy and a softly- softly ap­proach from straight- shoot­ing coun­try girl Sa­man­tha.

And for Hicks, it’s a far cry from her last free- to- air role as the feisty fl ame- haired ac­tion woman pilot Heidi on the now- de­funct Res­cue Spe­cial Ops.

That role earned her a nom­i­na­tion for Most Pop­u­lar Fe­male New Tal­ent at the 2010 Lo­gie Awards and an Out of the Box Ac­tor in Tele­vi­sion Award nom­i­na­tion at the 2010 IF Awards.

“Heidi and Sa­man­tha were straight shoot­ers, but Sa­man­tha is still a bit of a mys­tery and she’s hav­ing to tread very care­fully,” Hicks says.

“As an ac­tor I have been able to play around with bring­ing a level of grief and shell- shock into the char­ac­ter from the be­gin­ning.

“It’s tough times for Sam. It’s a tough en­try into their cir­cle.”

In a way life has im­i­tated art for Hicks she has en­tered an es­tab­lished show as “the new girl”, much like Sam.

A coun­try girl at heart she was raised in By­ron Bay Hicks got se­ri­ous about act­ing when she was 16. Af­ter a string of theatre, fi lm and tele­vi­sion roles mainly based in Melbourne, she re­lo­cated to Syd­ney for Res­cue Spe­cial Ops.

Then Win­ners & Losers saw her pack her bags again to move back to Melbourne as the new girl.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause from a char­ac­ter per­spec­tive I was meet­ing all th­ese peo­ple for the fi rst time, as well as from a real per­son with the cast,” Hicks says.

“It gave me a lot of ma­te­rial to use in terms of cre­at­ing dy­nam­ics.

“It meant I could to­tally re­late to that sto­ry­line of mov­ing to Melbourne and meet­ing new peo­ple that’s what I’m do­ing.

Sa­man­tha may have got a frosty re­cep­tion, but not so Hicks es­pe­cially from the four women at the core of the show Ber­g­land, Me­lanie Vallejo, Zoe Tuck­wellSmith and Vir­ginia Gay.

“They’ve worked to­gether for three years, they have this great rap­port and they’re an­gels,” Hicks says.

“It seems like a com­ple­men­tary dy­namic – where some­one is a bit full on oth­ers are qui­eter.

“Where do I fi t in? Maybe for my comic ef­fect.

“They call me the god­dess of mis­chief on set at times you can some­times be bored out of your brain wait­ing, it’s the end of the day, you’ve been on set for hours, you want a diver­sion. I some­times cre­ate it.”

“One of the best things I’ll take away from the job are meet­ing those four and think­ing ‘ wow, what awe­some chicks’.

“I’ve landed in a good place.”

WIN­NERS & LOSERS South­ern Cross, Tues­day, 8.45pm CHEEKY: Win­ners & Losers star Kather­ine Hicks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.