Ac­tor stay­ing close to home

David Berry has his Re­venge on Seven, writes Dar­ren Cartwright

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

DAVID Berry got his big break on A Place To Call Home, but at the same time he could have scored a role on top-rat­ing US se­ries Re­venge.

The Aussie ac­tor was asked to screentest for the pilot of a US drama in 2011 af­ter his agent for­warded his au­di­tion tape. The only prob­lem was, Berry was in Syd­ney and un­pre­pared for such a quick and pos­i­tive re­sponse dur­ing pilot sea­son.

The ini­tial au­di­tion tape he sent out was lit­tle more than a fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion, hav­ing only just grad­u­ated from NIDA, and sur­pris­ingly he got a bite straight away.

Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Phillip Noyce was in charge of the pilot for Re­venge and wanted Berry to au­di­tion in per­son.

How­ever with­out a US work­ing visa in his pos­ses­sion, Berry passed up what might have been the big­gest break of his ca­reer.

‘‘I did the au­di­tion in Syd­ney with (cast­ing agent) Faith Martin and a week or so later I got a a call from my agent say­ing you might have to go to LA to­mor­row be­cause Phil Noyce re­ally liked your tape and you have a test deal (for Re­venge),’’ Berry says.

‘‘It was al­most straight out of drama school to LA but it didn’t end up pan­ning out in the end be­cause of the visa.’’

Berry then fos­sicked for lo­cal roles, cast as heart throb Lo­gan Meyer on Home and Away and also scor­ing a part on the ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mysteries.

It may not seem a huge num­ber of cred­its for a 29-year-old, but Berry is still a rel­a­tive new­comer and has also spent time writ­ing a short film and a cor­po­rate show.

A Place To Call Home is his most com­plex role and the learn­ing curve has ex­tended well be­yond act­ing along­side and learn­ing from the likes of vet­eran Noni Ha­zle­hurst and Brett Climo.

Berry has had to take lessons to drive a man­ual car for the se­ries that is set in the 1950s and in­cludes vin­tage ve­hi­cles.

He has kan­ga­roo-hopped a few ve­hi­cles dur­ing his time there and in one scene with Marta Dus­sel­dorp, it wasn’t the lines he was for­get­ting, but how to drive a 60-year-old car.

‘‘I only just learned how to drive a man­ual a week be­fore we started film­ing. In one scene when I meet Marta at the cot­tage, it took 10 takes for me to get it right . . . some­times the hand brake wouldn’t work.

‘‘You re­alise how far the car has come be­cause you couldn’t drive one of th­ese things on a high­way from Syd­ney to Can­berra.’’

A Place To Call Home: Sun­days, 8.30pm, Seven, Prime7

David Berry (as James Bligh) and Ari­an­wen Parkes Lock­wood (as Olivia Bligh) in A Place to Call Home.

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