The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD - WithHol­lyByrnes

“I LOVE play­ing real life peo­ple be­cause all the work is done for you, ba­si­cally.

All the re­search is avail­able and once you’ve gath­ered and con­sol­i­dated it all, you get to make your own in­ter­pre­ta­tion of that per­son and it’s great fun.

I was just ex­cited to be in­volved in this project, full stop. I started talk­ing with [direc­tor] Glen­dyn Ivin about two years ago, when we were work­ing to­gether on Howzat. It was Glen­dyn and Chris Lee, who wrote it, [pro­ducer] John Ed­wards and I all hav­ing a meal to­gether.

They asked if I’d be in­ter­ested in be­ing in­volved, there was no talk of what role be­cause we didn’t even have a script at that stage.

As things started un­fold­ing and my dance card started get­ting filled up, the win­dows of op­por­tu­nity started closing.

At that stage we didn’t know the story would cen­tre around the four young boys, but Glen­dyn rang and said, ‘What do you think about play­ing Kitch­ener?’

Hav­ing just done Sir Frank Packer [in Pow­erGames] and play­ing an older man in that, I thought we could prob­a­bly pull it off. It’s been an ab­so­lute thrill to be back on set with Glen­dyn.

We’re very close and I do rate him as the best film­maker in this coun­try and I felt that about him even be­fore we did Bea­cons­field to­gether.

That showed the mas­tery of the man – he could do some­thing like Bea­cons­field, which is es­sen­tially two men stuck in a cof­fin and we all know how it ended; but right up un­til Todd and Brant walked out of the el­e­va­tor you were still on ten­ter­hooks about what’s go­ing to hap­pen.

It’s not a foot race against the other Gal­lipoli [TV] projects ... each of them is go­ing to find an au­di­ence, all of them will have some­thing im­por­tant to say about this event but, in terms of get­ting the full meal, this is it.

From my point of view, [play­ing Dr Martin Clegg on] Off­spring was like a va­ca­tion job for me. I got to go and be sur­rounded by the most beau­ti­ful, tal­ented women in Australia, who mol­ly­cod­dled me be­yond be­lief and let me get away with any­thing. Asher [Ked­die], Kat [Ste­wart], Deb Mail­man, Jane Har­ber, Linda Crop­per ... those girls just wrapped me up in cot­ton wool and let me be the ter­ror at the back of the class­room.

It was prob­a­bly the best en­sem­ble we’ve brought to­gether in Aus­tralian TV his­tory. Every­body who came to the ta­ble had se­ri­ous cred­its and se­ri­ous act­ing chops. The per­son­al­i­ties re­ally meshed on that show.” GAL­LIPOLI MON­DAY, 8.40PM, NINE

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