Rachael Tay­lor:

Rachael Tay­lor is fas­ci­nated by Alan Bond’s com­plex sec­ond wife Diana Bliss, writes HOLLY BYRNES

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING -

Bliss­ful role

RACHAEL Tay­lor, like the woman she plays in Nine’s new tele­movie House of Bond, is sparkling com­pany, a deep thinker and beau­ti­ful.

We may be on set, in a makeshift tent in a Dar­linghurst park you wouldn’t nor­mally fre­quent at night, but Tay­lor is the kind of woman who com­mands at­ten­tion in any room.

Ex­plain­ing what ap­pealed about the role of Diana Bliss – the sec­ond wife and long-time mis­tress of the late busi­ness ty­coon Alan Bond – the 32-year-old re­veals as much about her char­ac­ter as the one she plays so well.

“I’m in­ter­ested al­ways in peo­ple who have to keep se­crets for some rea­son,” she tells TV Guide.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing thing to do as a hu­man, to stuff things back down and try to hold things in, and to be able to live in a way, cer­tainly in (Bliss’s) re­la­tion­ship, that was sort of clan­des­tine … that must have been re­ally dif­fi­cult.”

And yet, in other ar­eas of her life, Tay­lor says of Bliss: “As a pub­lic fig­ure, a theatre pro­ducer … she was so open. It’s an in­ter­est­ing di­chotomy.”

Bliss, who met Bond in 1979, would earn peer ac­claim and global ac­co­lades as a theatre pro­ducer. But, as Tay­lor ar­gues, that iden­tity would largely be lost in the head­lines sur­round­ing her af­fair and, later, 1995 mar­riage to Bond.

They wed in a lav­ish so­ci­ety cer­e­mony in Sydney, be­fore he was jailed in 1997, serv­ing three years of a seven-year sen­tence for Aus­tralia’s big­gest cor­po­rate fraud.

His du­ti­ful wife would stand by her man, rea­son­ing: “You can’t only be around for the good times.”

Tay­lor, who fled her own celebrity cou­pling in 2010 af­ter tak­ing out an AVO against for­mer part­ner Matthew New­ton, is re­luc­tant to judge Bliss but says: “I don’t think I could have stood by a man like Alan Bond … but I think she re­ally loved him.”

Af­ter be­ing the mis­tress, Tay­lor says “there was a cost to (Bliss) hav­ing to live on the side­lines”, adding: “Some­times the thing we think we’re stay­ing for is not what it turns out to be.” That price, it seems, was Bliss’ men­tal health – she suf­fered dev­as­tat­ing de­pres­sion be­fore her sui­cide in 2012.

Tay­lor says there’s a “re-nar­ra­tion of women’s achieve­ments of­ten that I don’t like” – women such as Bliss, whose ac­com­plish­ments risk ap­pear­ing as foot­notes in their hus­bands’ sto­ries.

“I think there are a lot of women who strug­gle with that bal­ance of, ‘How do we sup­port not just our part­ners, but our kids and our friends, and take enough space up for our­selves?’,” she says.

“That’s some­thing I com­pletely re­late to.”

HOUSE OF BOND MON­DAY AND TUES­DAY, 9PM, NINE

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