Porter sees po­ten­tial rich seam of ma­te­rial in gold rush era

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

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.

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