Touching tale of generosity
Luke Ford wanted to make his grandmother proud in his role as Kerry Packer, writes
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