Through the dra­mas darkly

2011 was a big year for in-de­mand ac­tress Diana Glenn, writes Guy Davis

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

ITEND to like things with a bit more dark­ness,’’ says Diana Glenn. ‘‘It’s just the way I’m wired.’’ If that’s the case, the grey area has been good to Glenn in 2011. Al­ready well known and well re­spected for her star­ring roles in Sat­is­fac­tion and Carla Cametti, P.D. she has stood out in two of the year’s most ac­claimed Aus­tralian pro­duc­tions, Killing Time and The Slap.

In­deed, her per­for­mance as Sandi, the abused wife of Harry (Alex Dim­i­tri­ades), in The Slap re­cently earned her an AACTA (Aus­tralian Academy of Cinema and Tele­vi­sion Arts) Award nom­i­na­tion.

Bring­ing a bold com­bi­na­tion of fragility, strength and com­pas­sion to com­plex char­ac­ters is be­com­ing a trade­mark of Glenn’s work, but the role she’s film­ing op­po­site Guy Pearce in the ABC tele­movie Jack Ir­ish: Black Tide – set to air in 2012 – has given her a chance to lighten up a lit­tle.

Be­tween takes on this pro­duc­tion, Glenn took a few min­utes to talk about what she calls her ‘‘lovely year’’. Congratulations on every­thing that’s hap­pened in 2011.

It’s an ac­ci­den­tal kind of suc­cess. There’s been this sat­u­ra­tion – I guess The Slap was filmed at the start of the year but Killing Time was done so long ago, and now every­thing seems to have come out at once so it does look like I’m ev­ery­where. I’m so glad that Killing Time is fi­nally be­ing seen and be­ing seen in its en­tirety, I re­ally wanted to be part of The Slap since I first read the script and now I’m film­ing this, so I’m get­ting some re­ally lovely jobs. And to have a nom­i­na­tion makes me feel quite lucky and scared – I’m not used to things go­ing so well. Some­thing ter­ri­ble has to hap­pen soon, right? Look­ing back at your per­for­mances as Denise Fraser in Killing Time and Sandi in The Slap, does any­thing stand out for you? Any aspects in com­mon, any traits or qual­i­ties the char­ac­ters shared?

They’re def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent peo­ple, and the de­ci­sions that they make are dif­fer­ent – but Denise and Sandi both put up with a lot more than a lot of women would. I’ve found in my own life that it’s very easy to think about what you would do in a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion, to take a very black-and-white view as to how you would be­have. But when it hap­pens, you never know what you’re go­ing to do. I do know Denise loved that man – she said that to me when we met. The love be­tween Denise and An­drew (Fraser, dis­graced Aus­tralian lawyer) was re­ally strong and gen­uine, even af­ter every­thing that has hap­pened. Some­thing she said to me, and it was a re­ally great hook into play­ing the char­ac­ter, was that she was ter­ri­fied be­cause part of her knew she shouldn’t get in­volved with him but she loved him so much she just ran down the aisle. Noth­ing could stop me, she said. And then think­ing about Sandi, you think about the com­pro­mises and ne­go­ti­a­tions that oc­cur in a shared life. Por­tray­ing those com­plex­i­ties, does it make you a stronger, more sen­si­tive ac­tor?

For me, the beau­ti­ful thing about The Slap is that the char­ac­ters’ flaws were never hid­den. It was never shied away from; it was brave enough to show you every­thing. When you’re al­lowed to do that, you’ll be sur­prised at how much an au­di­ence or a read­er­ship, or what have you, will for­give. I

star Diana Glenn love it when you get the op­por­tu­nity as an ac­tor to show all sides. The beauty of where tele­vi­sion is at right now is that it’s not afraid to show that ugly side of char­ac­ters. And au­di­ences still care about those char­ac­ters. Your char­ac­ter, Lyall, in the Jack Ir­ish tele­movie seems a lit­tle lighter than your usual fare.

Lyall has got a lot more front than some of my other char­ac­ters but at the same time she’s a bit more mys­te­ri­ous, and I just hope I’ve made her seem a bit mys­te­ri­ous be­cause I tend to be an open book. What I’m lik­ing about these Jack Ir­ish sto­ries is there’s this beau­ti­ful comic el­e­ment to these crime sto­ries, a wry way of look­ing at the world. The way Guy is play­ing Jack, as this kind of di­shev­elled and re­luc­tant hero, sets a lovely, left-of-cen­tre tone.

Jack Ir­ish: Black Tide: Com­ing soon, ABC1

Jack Ir­ish

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