Ari­an­wen right at home in new role

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION - – DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT A Place To Call Home: Sun­days, 8.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

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.

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