She feels right at Home
Brenna Harding is a symbol of change in A Place To Call Home, writes HOLLY BYRNES
IT’S not just fans who mourn the demise of their favourite television shows.
When Channel 10 missed the chance to renew Puberty Blues, Brenna Harding, one of the show’s Logie-winning young stars, was left in a kind of creative limbo. The retro drama series had given the teenager her first big break.
With her final year of high school to focus on, Harding was able to distract herself with exam study but admits she still misses her character Sue Knight “like an old friend”.
Still, if she’s learned anything from joining the revived production of A Place To Call Home – saved from the brink of TV oblivion by Foxtel after it was axed from Seven – it’s to keep the faith until the fat lady sings.
“They had heard it was axed twice and had to mourn the loss of this show before Foxtel picked it up, so I guess with Puberty Blues there’s always a bit of hope in the back of my mind,” she says.
The show’s rejuvenation has brought “this really excited air” on set, Harding says.
“When I first entered the set, I was like, ‘Woah, everyone is so happy and so over the moon and they’re throwing themselves into the project; talking about their characters and their storylines together, I think it’s because it was saved and everyone’s fought so hard to get it back on.
“Interestingly,” she says, “as a new character I almost became a symbol for everybody … that they were back and this was a new series with something different to explore.
“Everyone was really excited to meet me and see me and hear what was happening … it was really wonderful.”
But as the secrets of season three unravel, her character, Rose, may not always be so welcomed.
Hired as a nurse maid by Olivia Bligh (Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood), who is hiding the truth about her baby’s birth, Harding hints: “There are interesting things about Rose and more than one reason why she’s at Ash Park. Everyone’s got a secret and it’s a really interesting story to follow throughout the entire season.”
Her relationship with resident troublemaker Regina (Jenni Baird) will also raise eyebrows, Harding adds: “She’s by no means as innocent as she seems.”
While other actors her age are making tracks to Hollywood, Harding has been fortunate to find opportunity at home, while completing her HSC.
“I’ve been getting work in Australia so there’s been no real need for me to go overseas, but at the same time, I’m very passionate about the local industry and the people I’m working with,” she says.
“Even on A Place To Call Home, I’ve been working with some of the same people I was working with on Puberty Blues and it’s been really nice to see them again and work with them again. They’ve been supportive of me and I love supporting this industry.”
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
SUNDAY, 8.30PM, SOHO