Nina grows up

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

THIS time it is per­sonal. When Asher Ked­die was helping plot the sev­enth sea­son of Network Ten’s drama favourite Off­spring, she turned to her own life for in­spi­ra­tion.

Ked­die’s lead char­ac­ter, Nina Proud­man, is set to deepen her re­la­tion­ship with cri­sis con­sul­tant Harry Crewe (Alexan­der Eng­land), with the cou­ple mov­ing in to­gether.

It’s not a de­ci­sion Nina makes lightly, con­sid­er­ing its ram­i­fi­ca­tions for Proud­man’s young daugh­ter Zoe (Is­abella Mon­aghan).

For Ked­die, 43, it’s a fa­mil­iar sce­nario, rem­i­nis­cent of when she first be­gan dat­ing her artist hus­band, Vin­cent Fan­tauzzo, who has a young son, Luca, from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship.

“There came a point for me [with Fan­tauzzo] when I thought, ‘I can’t go half­way here, this is ac­tu­ally boot­sand-all, oth­er­wise I might as well walk away now, be­cause this lit­tle boy [Luca] is fall­ing in love with me and I’m fall­ing in love with him and I’ve got to be very care­ful here’,” Ked­die says.

“Our com­mu­ni­ca­tion [Ked­die and Fan­tauzzo] at that time was very clear about that and very open. We didn’t pussy­foot around it. We knew the enor­mity of the ef­fect that it was go­ing to have on Luca if we were to join up and move in to­gether.

“We’ve ex­plored all that ter­ri­tory in this series. It has res­onated with me much more than other sea­sons.”

Ked­die says she was also de­ter­mined Nina would grow up this year.

Last sea­son, Nina’s re­la­tion­ship roller­coaster started with Leo Tay­lor (Pa­trick Bram­mall) and in­cluded a steamy one-night stand with Franklin Swan (played by Fan­tauzzo), a friend of her new half-brother Wil Bowen (T.J. Power).

“It is a ter­ri­ble thing when you start judg­ing your char­ac­ter … but there came a point last sea­son where I felt like shak­ing her [Nina] and say­ing, ‘Come on, get it to­gether, grow up, you are a par­ent – stop act­ing like you’re in your 20s be­cause you’re bloody not!’,” Ked­die says.

“Nina has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make her child feel safe and sta­ble and loved and pro­tected and her be­hav­iour last series, I’m not sure [she did that].

“It was clear to me that if we were to move for­ward [with a sev­enth sea­son] Nina had to progress in the ma­tu­rity stakes. I wanted her to chal­lenge her­self to em­brace a re­la­tion­ship and stay in it ... stand solid in it.”

So what does Nina see in Harry? “They have so much to learn from each other,” she says. “She, in her play­ful­ness, is able to hack him open a lit­tle and loosen him up. He, in turn, is able to of­fer her the sta­bil­ity to re­lax and be hon­est and en­joy being her­self rather than try­ing to hide her­self.

“It is very ro­man­tic too … they en­cour­age each other to be the best ver­sions of them­selves.”

Ked­die’s de­ci­sion to take the leap with Fan­tauzzo also paid off, with the pair mar­ry­ing in 2014 and wel­com­ing baby Valentino a year later.

“It was such a big time,” Ked­die says. “It was such a big choice as well but it wasn’t one I doubted.

“I learnt that I had the grit to make a choice and stick to it and not let this lit­tle boy [Luca] down. I knew when I was mak­ing that choice, it would be a for­ever choice.”



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