Wham, Bam

Why Hol­ly­wood hasn’t yet wooed Anna Bam­ford away from Won­der­land

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

WON­DER­LAND

WED­NES­DAY, 8.40PM, TEN

Chem­istry: Won­der­land’s Anna Bam­ford and Michael Dor­man.

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