It does feel like the world’s long­est year ’ preg­nancy. It’s gone on for about a year

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

“WE started shoot­ing Ricky’s preg­nancy sto­ry­line just af­ter the 2014 Lo­gies. We shot the ‘birth’ late last year. It stretched out a good eight or nine months in real time, and then there’s been the wait for it to air.

So it does feel like the world’s long­est preg­nancy. It’s gone on for about a year since the time we started to shoot­ing.

I still miss Steve (Pea­cocke, who played Brax on Home And Away, and is the fa­ther of Ricky’s child, but has left the show). It’s like any work­place, when your bestie leaves it’s a dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ence. But then you open up and adapt to what­ever is around.

Play­ing preg­nant with the pros­thetic belly helped me grow per­for­mance-wise. Ricky al­ready has a strong, earthy en­ergy to her. She doesn’t re­ally need ground­ing, but it helped my per­for­mance to change bal­ance by chang­ing my body. It was fun to play.

The belly was not so much weighty as un­wieldy. It’s like a one­sie, that does up be­tween your legs. So it was a lit­tle … um … (laughs) strange, to have th­ese lit­tle steel things right where they shouldn’t be. You will see Ricky giv­ing birth, but with the lower part of the body out of the shot – I mean, it’s a 7pm times­lot – but to be play­ing that you feel just as ex­posed and vul­ner­a­ble.

I re­searched by pay­ing a visit to the women’s hos­pi­tal in Rand­wick and dropped into the mid­wifes and had a talk with them about how cer­tain stages of preg­nancy would be af­fect­ing her be­hav­iour in or­der to make it as real as pos­si­ble.

It’s a bizarre thing to be able to play. There was the fear of sur­ren­der­ing into that state and let­ting your in­stincts take over, but I think that’s what real moth­ers do – they are in this ex­tremely height­ened state where all they can do is feel with all their senses rather than think­ing. And you just have to give over to it. For Ricky that would be ter­ri­fy­ing with­out Brax in there.

I’m not a con­trol freak. But Ricky – she needs to man­age ev­ery­thing and she doesn’t like to lose that sense of con­trol – she’s been a bit of a ma­tri­arch and she finds it dif­fi­cult to lean on other peo­ple. My life seems pos­i­tively nor­mal in com­par­i­son. At the mo­ment, I’m sin­gle, not preg­nant, fully em­ployed … life is good.

I wouldn’t have learned to surf with­out play­ing Ricky. I learnt on the job be­cause Ricky played a surfer be­cause I just wanted to know the ba­sics of how to pad­dle and just get out there and en­joy it an in­cor­po­rate it into my char­ac­ter.

I’ve al­ways loved the wa­ter. And with act­ing you do have the odd af­ter­noon off – and the week­ends, so I do have some time on my hands to be spend­ing surf­ing. I mean, do­ing char­ac­ter re­search. It’s a good kind of homework.”

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