THE LAST WORD... ‘ I am the great­est mother. It’s given me moth­er­hood’ a to­tally warped idea of

WITH VIR­GINIA GAY, WIN­NERS&LOSERS’ FRANCES JAMES

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - TODAY'S PICK - WithAn­naBrain

“WHAT’S amaz­ing about pre­tend­ing to be a mother on-set [her char­ac­ter, Frances, gave birth in the fi­nal episode of last sea­son] is that the ba­bies’ ac­tual moth­ers are there, there’s a mid­wife and a nurse, all of whom are shush­ing the ba­bies, feed­ing the ba­bies, putting the ba­bies to sleep.

Then they come and put them in your arms, and you feel like a baby whis­perer. I am the great­est [pre­tend] mother. As soon as they get just a lit­tle bit grumpy, you give them back to a team of pro­fes­sion­als. It’s given me a to­tally warped idea of moth­er­hood. They’re al­ways sleep­ing in my arms.

Frances was al­ways the one least likely to be a mother, but she’s ob­vi­ously find­ing out she’s quite chilled at it, which is a nice sur­prise. I be­lieve ba­bies just want to be fed, played with and loved. And I’m like, ‘That’s all I want too, I un­der­stand those base de­sires. Then put to sleep’. It’s all I want from life.

I’ve played Frances for so long now, and as the years go on, I get more and more like her, which I didn’t think would hap­pen. I did a flow chart the other night, be­cause I couldn’t make a de­ci­sion. A flow chart! It did help. But also, I had to go with my gut in­stinct. I said to a friend, ‘I wish there was a clear ra­tio of how much I can take in this sit­u­a­tion’.

And they said, ‘You have just Frances-ised. You’ve Frances’d that sit­u­a­tion’.

It’s been ter­rific play­ing her. But we don’t know how long it will con­tinue [ Win­ners & Losers is film­ing sea­son five]. For how­ever long we shoot each year, the other months are a kind of en­forced cre­ative hot­house. Rest on your lau­rels? No thank you.

My lovely boyfriend says to me, ‘You don’t have to do all the things, all the time. Maybe have a bit of a lie-in’. But it’s such an op­por­tu­nity when peo­ple are will­ing to see your work in other sit­u­a­tions. I don’t want to look away from that for too long and find that peo­ple aren’t in­ter­ested in cabaret or me do­ing theatre. Its’ fas­ci­nat­ing what a draw a crowd is. Es­pe­cially [do­ing] the cabaret, which I write my­self.

You don’t know if a joke will fail … if and when the laughs roll in, it’s the most in­cred­i­ble feel­ing in the world … higher than Frances on drugs giv­ing birth.

I am ob­sessed with live-tweet­ing episodes [of Win­ners & Losers], it’s my favourite.

My favourite show when I was grow­ing up was Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer. The idea of watch­ing a show while the peo­ple in it chat­ted on the in­ter­net with me would have to­tally blown my mind.” WIN­NERS & LOSERS TUES­DAY, 9.20PM, SEVEN

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