All in it to­gether

They were the most cel­e­brated stars in the hottest drama of 2015. Tif­fany Dunk finds out if the faces of 800 Words are feel­ing sea­son two pres­sure

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

AF­TER star­ring in the toprat­ing reg­u­lar drama se­ries of the year and all be­ing nom­i­nated for Lo­gies for your work – with two go­ing on to win – you’d al­most be for­given if things had gone to your head.

But when TV Guide caught up with 800 Words leads Erik Thom­son, Melina Vi­dler and Ben­son Jack Anthony as they re­united to film a sec­ond sea­son of the hit show, we were hap­pily re­lieved to find the cast as down to earth – and close knit – as ever.

“We were very lucky to have landed on telly at a time that was a per­fect en­vi­ron­ment to kick the show off,” says a mod­est Thom­son who, in ad­di­tion to star­ring as wid­ower Ge­orge Turner, is also as­so­ciate pro­ducer of the se­ries.

“We formed a re­ally good bond in se­ries one and we kept in touch.”

Anthony, who plays Thom­son’s on­screen son Arlo, adds: “The dif­fer­ence be­tween first and sec­ond sea­son, be­cause we’ve gone through all of this to­gether and know each other re­ally well, is that there’s more room for com­fort­able si­lences, which is re­ally nice.”

The easy ca­ma­raderie be­tween the three re­mains. In fact, Anthony and his on­screen sib­ling Vi­dler were at Thom­son’s home for din­ner when Vi­dler learnt she’d won the Best New­comer Logie.

Thom­son was also the one to share news with his cast­mates that the sec­ond sea­son’s or­der of episodes was ex­panded be­yond last year’s eight.

It’s a big in­vest­ment and show of faith from Seven at a time when most net­works see shorter-run se­ries as a safer bet.

But while you’d ex­pect the cast, Thom­son in par­tic­u­lar, would feel pres­sure to live up to those ex­pec­ta­tions, all three say they’re more ex­cited than ner­vous for the show to hit screens on Tues­day.

“The scripts have been good and the episodes we’ve shot so far have been re­ally well re­ceived by the net­work – they’re pumped,” says Thom­son.

So what can we ex­pect with the Turner fam­ily re­turn to screens?

At the end of last sea­son they were in dis­ar­ray. Dad Ge­orge was mak­ing rash de­ci­sions, daugh­ter Shay had fled to Syd­ney and son Arlo was try­ing to hold it all to­gether.

But a di­vided fam­ily won’t last long, prom­ises Vi­dler.

“We pick up three weeks on and Shay has been in Syd­ney find­ing her feet (but) she doesn’t want Ge­orge or Arlo to know she’s strug­gling,” she re­veals.

“Shay comes back for a few rea­sons but fun­da­men­tally it’s be­cause she wants to be with her fam­ily. Plus I wanted to come back!”

We’ll also see far more of Bridie Carter’s Jan who has moved in with the Turn­ers … and into Ge­orge’s bed, much to Arlo’s dis­may.

And last, but cer­tainly not least, we’ll get to know more about the di­verse per­son­al­i­ties who in­habit Weld.

“We’ll get op­por­tu­ni­ties to know all of the char­ac­ters much bet­ter,” prom­ises Thom­son of the sup­port­ing cast which in­cludes Aussies Rick Don­ald and Emma Leonard and Kiwi heavy­weights Michelle Lang­stone and Peter El­liott.

“They’re all great ac­tors and are bring­ing a whole lot to the show. It’s nice to see them get­ting op­por­tu­nity as well.”

800 WORDS TUES­DAY, 8.30PM, SCT

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