A trail of bit­ter­sweet thrills

David Wen­ham plays a de­tec­tive in this mys­tery, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

DAVID Wen­ham wishes his mother was alive to see his tele­movie Drip­ping in Choco­late be­cause it’s a show she would have loved.

‘‘My mother would have loved to have seen this,’’ he says. ‘‘She loved mys­ter­ies, any type of mys­ter­ies. It’s a pity she’s not around be­cause she would have been able to give me lots of point­ers.’’

Wen­ham, the youngest of seven chil­dren, says his mum loved read­ing Agatha Christie nov­els. He and one of his sis­ters used to be sent to the li­brary once a week to bor­row books for her. They al­ways picked mys­tery nov­els. ‘‘In­vari­ably we’d come home and she’d go ‘no, no, no. I’ve read it, read it, read it’,’’ he laughs. ‘‘More of­ten than not we’d have to go back up to the li­brary and get more books. I’ve never seen any­one read as much as her. She was an amaz­ing lady.’’

She was just as avid with her mys­ter­ies on the tele­vi­sion.

‘‘She’d say ‘it’s the only thing I watch a week’,’’ he says.

‘‘Well the only thing she seemed to watch a week, seemed to be quite a few of them.’’

Wen­ham took on the project just be­cause it looked fun.

‘‘It’s just an en­joy­able thing, that’s not go­ing to fry my brain and I’m not go­ing to have an emo­tional break­down get­ting the char­ac­ter to­gether,’’ he says.

He plays the pro­fi­cient, though jaded, De­tec­tive Ben­nett O’mara.

‘‘He’s very, very good at his job,’’ Wen­ham ex­plains.

‘‘He’s detox­ing when we first meet him and that seems to sug­gest that there has been some­thing dif­fer­ent in his life. We find out dur­ing the movie what that is.’’

His on­screen love in­ter­est, choco­late shop owner Ju­liana Lovece, played by Bri­tish ac­tress Louise Lom­bard, is the ex­act op­po­site – she’s in­no­cent, but not naive; di­vorced but not dis­trust­ful.

‘‘Af­ter ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened to her she could have be­come bit­ter or cyn­i­cal but she hasn’t,’’ Lom­bard says. ‘‘She’s a light spirit and I like that.’’ Lom­bard says she liked the fact that the role was a big de­par­ture from the many de­tec­tive roles she’s played.

‘‘There’s also some­thing quite old fash­ioned about the pace of the piece that I was drawn to too,’’ she says

Play­ing some­one who works with choco­late was hard to re­sist, says Lom­bard.

‘‘It says so much about a per­son who chooses to make choco­late their life,’’ she says.

As you would ex­pect from some­one whose oc­cu­pa­tion is choco­late, her char­ac­ter can­not un­der­stand why Ben­nett would choose to go on a detox.

‘‘Es­sen­tially it’s de­priv­ing your­self,’’ Lom­bard says.

Lom­bard loved mak­ing choco­late so much she’s con­sid­er­ing open­ing a shop of her own in Los An­ge­les where she lives.

‘‘I’m very tempted to open a choco­late shop when I get home,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s a fan­tasy but the idea of mak­ing many flavours of choco­late. What a won­der­ful pre-oc­cu­pa­tion.’’

The ac­tress says she liked the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Ju­liana and Ben­nett be­cause it re­flected the life ex­pe­ri­ences of many peo­ple in their 30s and 40s.

‘‘If you’re this age and haven’t had a re­la­tion­ship that has had is­sues, or has gone badly, or ended badly or you’ve done the wrong thing then it’s quite un­usual,’’ she says.

8.30pm, UKTV.

Satur­day,

stars David Wen­ham and Louise Lom­bard.

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