Show a win­ner for vet­eran Mel

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

WIN­NERS & Losers star Me­lanie Vallejo says the hit Chan­nel 7 se­ries has given her some fi­nan­cial re­lief and al­le­vi­ated the stress of al­ways hav­ing to look for work.

Vallejo plays So­phie Wong, one of four cen­tral char­ac­ters in Win­ners & Losers, which is now in its third sea­son and air­ing on Tues­day.

The role is Vallejo’s big­gest and most se­cure in tele­vi­sion since she was Madi­son in the Dis­ney TV se­ries Power Rangers: Mys­tic Force op­po­site Un­der­belly star Fi­rass Di­rani.

‘‘This is my big­gest role . . . and the thing about be­ing on this show is that when I do have a break, I don’t feel like I am strug­gling for work any­more,’’ Vallejo says.

‘‘I feel as though I can re­ally take the time off and en­joy it.

‘‘I don’t have that hor­ri­ble anx­ious feel­ing that ac­tors live with day-in, day-out of hav­ing to find work.’’

Not only has Win­ners & Losers pro­vided some job se­cu­rity for Vallejo, she’s been moon­light­ing for Seven on two other pro­grams.

She is the host of For­mal Wars about teenagers hand­ing over con­trol of their high school for­mal plans to their par­ents in re­turn for $2000 to buy their dress.

Vallejo also makes a guest ap­pear­ance on Grant Denyer’s new fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment se­ries Slideshow in late Au­gust.

All that while still shoot­ing episodes of Win­ners & Losers in Melbourne, which the for­mer Syd­neysider has since made home.

Vallejo said be­ing just one of four prin­ci­pals on Win­ners & Losers means the act­ing work­load is evenly spread across the piv­otal roles.

The other three stars are Vir­ginia Gay (who plays Frances James), Zoe Tuck­well-Smith (Bec Gil­bert) and Melissa Ber­g­land (Jenny Gross).

‘‘I look at other big US se­ries and some Aus­tralian se­ries where there is re­ally just one main char­ac­ter and you’re think­ing that per­son is re­ally work­ing their butt off,’’ Vallejo says.

‘‘Some­times when you ar­rive on set you see other peo­ple tak­ing over and do­ing the dra­matic scenes and you go, ‘this day is pretty easy for me’.

‘‘It’s nice, be­cause the show is 26 episodes long, that we share the dra­matic load among the four of us.’’

– DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT SlideShow: Wed­nes­days, 7.30pm; For­mal Wars: Thurs­days, 10pm; Win­ners & Losers: Tues­days, 9pm, Seven, Prime7. Me­lanie Vallejo

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