On to a winner
KATHERINE HICKS STRIKES VICTORY IN THE NEW SEASON OF WINNERS & LOSERS
HER cast mates call her the ‘‘Goddess of Mischief’’.
The nickname was bestowed on actor Katherine Hicks as her colleagues discovered her sense of fun during long days on set settling in as a full-time cast member on Seven drama Winners & Losers.
And on this day, having come in on a rare day off shooting to grab lunch and chat, the mischief level is running high as she cheekily explains how you prepare for an on-screen snog.
‘‘You just break it down,’’ says Hicks (pictured), who plays the role of Sam Mackenzie – the surprise – and mostly unwelcome, new addition to the Gross family on Winners & Losers.
‘‘The best way is to be completely open and talk about it and pick the moment that needs to be punctuated so you know when it’s going to happen,’’ Hicks says.
‘‘That way you don’t get nervous and end up kind of randomly sucking face. You just make it really technical, then it’s less weird and awkward.’’
All of which indicates Hicks’s Samantha might be in for the long haul on the family drama this season, despite this week’s episode in which it seems her days trying to get to know her newfound family are numbered.
Hicks burst into the show at the end of last season, turning up as the ’surprise’ daughter of Brian Gross (Francis Greenslade) – the product of a one night stand when Brian and his wife Trish (Denise Scott) were temporarily separated.
Sam was unwelcome then, and in last week’s season opener was again pushed away, when, with an unintentional but appalling lack of timing, she reappeared at the Gross family home during a wake.
This week’s episode sees Samantha, three months on, and the Gross family uneasily trying to move forward.
Cue the most awkward of family lunches as Brian tries to get to know his daughter, his wife grimly pretends everything is fine, daughter Jenny (Melissa Bergland) fears for her place in the family, and brother Patrick (Jack Pearson) makes little effort to conceal his bitterness towards the new addition.
It’s a scenario requiring tact, delicacy, diplomacy and a softly-softly approach from straightshooting country girl Samantha.
And for Hicks, it’s a far cry from her last free-to-air role as the feisty, flame-haired action woman pilot Heidi on the now-defunct
Rescue Special Ops.
That role earned her a nomination for Most Popular Female New Talent at the 2010 Logie Awards and an Out of the Box Actor in Television Award nomination at the 2010 IF Awards.
‘‘Heidi and Samantha were straight shooters, but Samantha is still a bit of a mystery and she’s having to tread very carefully,’’ Hicks says.
‘‘It’s tough times for Sam. It’s a tough entry into their circle.’’
In a way, life has imitated art for Hicks – she has entered an established show as ‘‘the new girl’’, much like Sam. Hicks was raised in Byron Bay and got serious about acting when she was 16.
She admits she fit better into the acting fold than she did at her first job in a bakery.