BERRY SEA­SON

AC­TOR DAVID BERRY ON WHY HIS ROLES IN TWO OF TV’S HOTTEST SE­RIES SHOULDN’T BE AN IS­SUE

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY COATES

There are two dis­tinct sides to the coin when con­sid­er­ing the sim­i­lar­i­ties David Berry’s char­ac­ters have in A Place to Call Home and Out­lander.

The Aus­tralian ac­tor stars as a gay man in both, but David is in two minds about how that should be treated.

“I think that draw­ing attention to the fact that they both have same-sex lean­ings is a bit re­duc­tive,” he says.

“I can see sim­i­lar­i­ties but there’s so much more to both char­ac­ters.

“In A Place to Call Home James is a wealthy landowner, an es­tab­lished Aus­tralian aris­to­crat. In Out­lander, John is an of­fi­cer in the Bri­tish army in the 18th cen­tury.

“Some­one can go back to back play­ing a straight char­ac­ter and we wouldn’t ask, but as soon as you start play­ing a sex­u­al­ity for some rea­son it’s dif­fer­ent.

“It’d be good if it was a non-is­sue.”

But to be­come a non-is­sue, it must be nor­malised and David is well aware he is play­ing a role in mak­ing on­screen ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity nor­mal.

“I do have a sense of pride that they (his char­ac­ters) can be pos­i­tive role mod­els for peo­ple and cer­tainly I’ve had some re­ally touching feed­back from fans,” he says.

“Some have told me these char­ac­ters are re­ally im­por­tant to them and ac­cept­ing their sex­u­al­ity.

“I’m very proud, hum­ble and grate­ful I can play a role in their lives.”

It’s a timely topic, given the same sex-mar­riage equal­ity vote tak­ing place cur­rently, but aside from this there’s plenty go­ing on in both se­ries, with Out­lander well into sea­son three and A Place to Call Home one episode into its fifth sea­son.

David says we can ex­pect an in­jec­tion of en­ergy in A Place to Call Home.

“Sea­son four ended things in a com­plete, rounded way, so for sea­son five the writ­ers had to come up with new ways to re-en­er­gise the fans and they’ve done it in a re­mark­able way,” he says.

“There’s no cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger can cut both ways; it can po­larise an au­di­ence. “It’s a bit ma­nip­u­la­tive. “We have such great fans that are so pas­sion­ate about the show, they’re here for it one way or an­other.

“And in sea­son five you re­ally can’t tell where the char­ac­ters are go­ing.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited for peo­ple to see.” A Place to Call Home and Out­lander are both air­ing cur­rently on Foxtel, or avail­able on Foxtel Now

Picture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

Ac­tor David Berry ap­pears in both A Place to Call Home and Out­lander.

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