Lead roles one after another
Porter never thought she would end up on so many television shows, writes Darren Cartwright
SUSIE Porter is going through an acting time warp. This year alone Porter has lead roles in Bikie Wars:
Brothers In Arms, set in the ’80s, and the ’70s-based hit series Puberty Blues.
Her latest show Dangerous Remedy transports her back to the illegal abortion era of the late ’60s.
Porter plays Peggy Berman in the ABC1 production about the true heroic story of Dr Bertram Wainer, who brings to account backyard abortionists and corrupt Victorian police officers.
Wainer’s crusade to end crude illegal terminations and to change the law for women to have abortions was not without danger. Several attempts were made on his life but his efforts were not in vain.
There were two inquiries, police were jailed, abortion was made legal in Victoria and in 1972 he opened a Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne.
‘‘I didn’t know any of this sort of stuff happened,’’ Porter says.
‘‘I’d heard about backyard abortions and people going away to have babies on farms, but it was kind of folklore. It’s one of my favourite things about the job. You research, read the books and look at documentaries on these subjects and you learn about history while working.’’
Dangerous Remedy will be the fourth ‘‘era’’ television piece Porter has worked on this year. She is currently shooting the latest Underbelly instalment Squizzy, set in the early 1900s in Melbourne, which will be screened next year.
Porter has also signed on for a second series of Puberty Blues, which Channel 10 has recommissioned for more than eight episodes, when it begins shooting in 2013.
Just to round out Porter’s total rewind experience, she appeared in the 1950s stage show The Summer of the Seventeenth
Doll in the midst of shooting Bikie Wars. ‘‘I’m happy with what we achieved on
Puberty Blues,’’ Porter says. ‘‘A lot of the jobs I’ve been doing are different eras and it’s good the Aussies are doing it. I was covering up tattoos on my body, which I had for Bikie Wars, while I was working on stage at the same time.’’
Despite the demand for her services, Porter never thought she would end up on so many television shows, especially in the one year, when she first took up acting.
Her immediate goal was to focus on film and theatre, but the wheels turned over time and the opportunities in Australian TV have immensely increased, she says.
‘‘When I got into this industry if you wanted to be a serious actor you did theatre and film, and television you just didn’t do,’’ Porter says.
‘‘But it’s changed and you look at the US and the quality of the shows and the actors, who maybe like are movie stars, and get the roles now and do television and the quality of it is amazing.’’
Dangerous Remedy: Sundays, 8.30pm, ABC1.