Arianwen right at home in new role
NIDA graduate Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood didn’t need to fall back on her training when the cameras started rolling for A Place To Call Home. The Channel 7 production is the biggest role in Parkes-Lockwood’s blossoming TV career. She plays Anna Bligh, the wife of James Bligh (David Berry), and in the opening scene Parkes-Lockwood has to nervously watch on as her drunken husband creates a commotion. ‘‘It was intense when I got the role,’’ she says. ‘‘It was a big set and my first day was the ballroom scene on the ship. I was extremely nervous and my character was nervous as well so I really didn’t have to act.’’ Before being cast in the period drama, the 25-year-old’s biggest role was playing Dolly Green in Underbelly Razor, which was based on events in the 1920s and ’30s. The actress admits a strong connection with period pieces after falling in love with Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, and now she has moved into the 1950s with A Place To Call Home. What’s even more charming about the popular Aussie series is that it is set on a huge estate that reminds Parkes-Lockwood of her childhood and growing up on a property in rural NSW. ‘‘I’ve always loved period dramas so when this role came along and I read the script, it didn’t feel like work,’’ she says. ‘‘I grew up on a 200-acre property at Armidale. This is what I always wanted and it has happened.’’ She says the attention to detail on A Place To Call Home extends well beyond the costumes, props and locations. ‘‘The pains they went to maintain accuracy – down to the registration stickers on the vehicles – no one is going to see them on TV but they have the correct date. It shows the level of dedication to the production.’’ While it’s expected that a second series of A Place To Call Home will be commissioned by Seven, Parkes-Lockwood has gone back to her day job while she awaits the call-up.