Porter sees potential rich seam of material in gold rush era
ACTRESS Susie Porter (pictured) wishes a network was brave enough to make a series about Australia’s gold rush era. Porter’s enthusiasm for 1850s-based Australian series stems from her recent journey back in time on several television projects. She appears in Channel 9’s Underbelly: Squizzy, set in the early 1900s, while filming the second season of Ten’s 1970s-based Puberty Blues. Last year, Porter had key roles in the miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, set in the 1980s, and Dangerous Remedy, about Dr Bertram Wainer’s fight against corruption in the 1960s. Added to that was her recent personal journey on SBS’s Who Do You Think You Are?, which traced her family tree back to the Victorian gold-mining town of Ballarat. Porter reckons a goldrush boom series in the vein of US hit westernDeadwood, set in the 1870s, would be a hit. ‘‘I would like to see more of the earlier stuff and I think the gold rush era is incredibly interesting,’’ says Porter. ‘‘Not sure how much we have done of that but . . . I think Australia has a rich history. A lot of my ancestors came from Ballarat . . . it was real wild west stuff and they built Ballarat out of nothing, it’s incredible. That was fascinating and you had a lot immigrants coming out as well.’’ It’s not just storylines about period dramas that grab Porter’s attention, she’s keen on the clothes too. . ‘‘I like putting on a costume and a wig,’’ she says. In Underbelly: Squizzy, which is the tale of Australia’s first celebrity gangster Leslie ‘‘Squizzy’’ Taylor, Porter plays the crime figure’s mother, Rosie.
– DARREN CARTWRIGHT Underbelly: Squizzy: Sundays, 9pm, Nine, NBN.