Why Hollywood hasn’t yet wooed Anna Bamford away from Wonderland
BEFORE she had graduated from Perth’s prestigious acting school, WAAPA alum Anna Bamford was already “the girl most likely”.
It was 2012 and, at just 23, she found herself at the centre of a bidding war between local agents desperate to represent her, while also being bombarded with offers by Hollywood talent scouts.
Not expecting such a fuss, the pretty Sydney-born actress – who plays good girl Miranda Beaumont on Channel Ten’s drama series,
Wonderland – says she was daunted by all the attention.
It says something about the wise head she has on such young shoulders that Bamford, affectionately nicknamed Bam Bam by her castmates, put Tinseltown plans on hold.
“The US guys were saying, ‘Come over, come over now, do it, do it’,” she told TV
Guide. “But it really scared me. Then I did 22 episodes (of Wonderland) last year and went over during our last break and I felt so much more ready than I did the year before.”
Her TV alter-ego, Miranda, knows all about the benefits of the slow burn, teasing viewers with her easy-does-it relationship with flatmate Tom (Michael Dorman).
It’s their URST – screenwriting shorthand for unresolved sexual tension – which has been at the centre of the series (likened flatteringly to pioneering drama The Secret Life Of Us).
With a new man – played by
Underbelly’s Les Hill – on the horizon for Miranda, fans will have to wait a little longer for this likable couple to finally get their act together.
“Miranda is a good girl when it comes to her sexual experience and (new guy) Max is the opposite. He definitely awakens this wilder side in her,” Bamford said.
“She’s creative and likes experimenting, so Max just opens those doors for her.
“It makes her grow and learn so much more. She sees Tom in a different way because of it.”
Bamford was attracted to playing Miranda because they were both on a similar learning curve, with the fledgling actor’s life imitating her art.
“What was really funny was, when I got the role, the character brief for Miranda was ‘girl moves from Toowoomba into the city and is living in a sunroom in Coogee’,” she says.
“And I was living in a sunroom in Coogee, was working in an Italian restaurant on Coogee Bay Rd and just moved back to Sydney after three years in Perth and was starting my life again.
“I could draw so many parallels, it was amazing.”
The chemistry between the core cast, which includes Brooke Satchwell, Jessica Tovey and Ben Mingay, has been fostered on and offscreen, Bamford says.
While the band of friends share the same beachside apartment block and bond over their “food appreciation time” nights, away from set the group share drinks most Friday evenings like any other workplace.
The ratings don’t reflect that commitment or the quality of this production, but Bamford wants to be a part of any new season should Ten decide to “go again”.
“I know if this show were to finish I would miss it incredibly,” she says.
“This is obviously the first role I’ve ever done … but everyone’s in it for the same thing: to create something great and enjoy it.”
WEDNESDAY, 8.40PM, TEN
Chemistry: Wonderland’s Anna Bamford and Michael Dorman.