Writ­ing her DES­TINY

Re­becca Gib­ney may be on the run in Wanted, but now she sets the rules, she tells COLIN VICKERY

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - GARDENING -

WHEN

Re­becca Gib­ney cre­ated Wanted’s mum-on-the-run Lola Buckley she didn’t have to look very far for in­spi­ra­tion.

The 52-year-old star sim­ply had to gaze in the mir­ror and chan­nel her trou­bled teenage years to cre­ate a char­ac­ter who is fiercely in­de­pen­dent but has a se­cret past.

Like Gib­ney, Buckley has been hurt by men, with the lat­ter find­ing so­lace in her friend­ship with ac­coun­tant Chelsea Bab­bage (Geral­dine Hakewill) as they are chased by crooked busi­ness­man Kel Mor­ri­son (An­thony Phe­lan).

Gib­ney grew up in an abu­sive house­hold, with her fa­ther Austin an al­co­holic who reg­u­larly beat her mother Shirley. The tur­moil forced Gib­ney to drop out of school at 15.

At 17, Gib­ney nursed her fa­ther, who had lost a leg to poly­cythemia (a blood can­cer), un­til his death.

“Lola is me when I was a 14-year-old,” Gib­ney says.

“I was a rebel. I was the girl who never wore makeup. I was the tomboy. I was al­ways get­ting around in baggy jumpers. I hated hav­ing breasts. I didn’t want to be­come a woman. I was very much a sporty kind of mas­cu­line girl.”

The Gold Lo­gie win­ner be­lieves she acted this way “be­cause when I was born I knew that my dad wanted another boy. He al­ready had three girls and two boys and I was meant to be a boy … so I think I was a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment to him. [So] I tried to be a boy,” she says.

“It was my mum, who when I was about 15 said, ‘You re­ally need to get some modelling lessons or some­thing’.”

From that tomboy came Lola, Gib­ney says, adding “I still have her in me.”

The first sea­son of Wanted saw Lola and Chelsea be­ing chased by crooked cop Ray Stan­ton (Nicholas Bell) and crime boss Mor­ri­son af­ter the pair wit­nessed a mur­der.

Mor­ri­son wants a key tag the women un­wit­tingly pos­sess and now he has kid­napped Lola’s son David (Charles Cot­tier) in Thai­land to force Lola to give it back.

De­tec­tive Charles Levine (Stephen Pea­cocke) is also on the hunt for the women but his in­stincts tell him Lola and Chelsea are in­no­cents caught in a bad sit­u­a­tion.

“David’s kid­nap­ping brings out Lola’s fierce side,” Gib­ney says. “Sea­son one was about get­ting away from the bad guys. Sea­son two is about bring­ing it to them be­cause they [vil­lains] do some­thing that is un­for­giv­able.

“Lola de­cides, ‘I’m not go­ing to let them get away with that’ and de­cides to hunt them down. She be­comes a driv­ing force.

“Don’t mess with her. That is also a bit like me. No one re­ally knows that side of me and Lola is bring­ing it out.

“I think there is an in­ner Lola in most women. That is why so many women [view­ers] have re­lated to her.

“Just like they re­lated to mum Julie Rafter (her char­ac­ter on Packed to the

Rafters) they re­late to Lola – to her se­cre­tive side and her abil­ity to just go out there and do it.

“I’ve had so many peo­ple come up to me and say, ‘If I was in that car with you two girls on that ad­ven­ture it would be so awe­some’.

“They [fe­male view­ers] know they are in dan­ger and on the run but they love the fact it is an ad­ven­ture and that it is two women who aren’t look­ing for boyfriends or hus­bands.

“These two strong women are in con­trol of their des­tiny and have never felt more alive even though they are in trou­ble.

“It is a love af­fair be­tween two women in a way, with­out be­ing sex­ual at all. It is a friend­ship but it is a love af­fair. That is what has been so won­der­ful about this whole show.” Gib­ney says cre­at­ing

Wanted with her hus­band Richard Bell has been a lifechang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We work well to­gether,” Gib­ney re­flects. “If any­one from the out­side comes in and tries to get in the mid­dle of us we’re both like lions. We have each other’s back fully.

“I’ve also learnt I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was. I’m a lot more re­silient than I was a few years ago. Cre­atively, I have a lot to of­fer and I’m will­ing to back my­self on that. I think that is what I have learnt the most.” WANTED MON­DAY, 8.40PM, SCT

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