Actor staying close to home
David Berry has his Revenge on Seven, writes Darren Cartwright
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.