Show a winner for veteran Mel
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