Touch­ing tale of gen­eros­ity

Luke Ford wanted to make his grand­mother proud in his role as Kerry Packer, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

LUKE Ford watched tears well in his grand­mother’s eyes when he told her he had scored the role of Kerry Packer in Power Games: The Pack­erMur­doch Story.

Lit­tle did he know, his grand­mother had a touch­ing tale to tell about the gen­eros­ity of Kerry Packer’s fa­ther, Sir Frank Packer.

Ford’s grand­fa­ther was di­ag­nosed with bowel can­cer, and later died, while work­ing at The Daily Tele­graph un­der Sir Frank.

‘‘My nan got a lit­tle emo­tional and thought it was a good thing I was do­ing this role,’’ says Ford.

‘‘Frank paid his salary for a year af­ter he died and made sure the fam­ily was taken care of.’’

Ford knew his grand­fa­ther had a formed a friend­ship with Packer af­ter the pair worked along­side each other in the ‘‘dun­geon’’ at The Tele­graph. But his nan’s rev­e­la­tion about Sir Frank’s gen­eros­ity came out of the blue.

It made Ford de­ter­mined to play Kerry Packer in a way that would make his 86-year-old grand­mother, Maude, very proud.

‘‘It made me want to try and do this even bet­ter,’’ says Ford.

By tak­ing on the role of Kerry Packer, Ford knew his own por­trayal of the me­dia mogul would be com­pared with the ac­claimed per­for­mances of Lachy Hulme and Rob Carl­ton.

Carl­ton por­trayed Packer in Pa­per Gi­ants: Birth of Cleo and the se­quel Pa­per Gi­ants: Mag­a­zine Wars while Hulme played Kerry Packer in Howzat: Kerry Packer’s War. ‘‘I’m not sure how I went,’’ says Ford. ‘‘I know Lachy was great (as Kerry) and he’s just as great play­ing Sir Frank.

‘‘Rob, I watched him on Pa­per Gi­ants the other night and I shouldn’t have done that – he is re­ally good. Get ready for the worst Kerry Packer in his­tory.’’

Hulme plays Sir Frank Packer. Pa­trick Brammall plays Mur­doch.

The sup­port cast in­cludes Maeve Der­mody as Mur­doch’s sec­ond wife, Anna Torv, Heather Mitchell as Lady

Power Games: The Packer-Mur­doch Story Gre­tel Packer and Anne Looby as Florence Packer.

The minis­eries cen­tres on es­tab­lished me­dia gi­ant Sir Frank Packer and then ‘‘boy pub­lisher’’ Ru­pert Mur­doch and how their paths crossed in the early 1960s.

Ford de­vel­oped an ap­pre­ci­a­tion and a fas­ci­na­tion for the Packer fam­ily and also learnt how money can get in the way of re­la­tion­ships.

‘‘I worked out how money can get in­volved in fam­ily and the pros and cons of that . . . and the dam­age that can be done with that,’’ says Ford.

‘‘There’s a real mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion of love in this fam­ily.

‘‘They all felt love but they showed it in the wrong ways and it was wrongly in­ter­preted.’’

Power Games: The Pack­erMur­doch Story: Sun­days, 8.30pm, Nine, NBN.

Heather Mitchell, Luke Ford, Anne Looby and Lachy Hulme in

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