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