THE LAST WORD... ‘ I was like, ‘There’s not much around’. And up ’ then this lit­tle gem popped

WITH RICK DON­ALD, WHO PLAYS WOODY IN 800WORDS

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

“WORK­ING on (US se­ries) Friends with Bet­ter Lives was a roller­coaster, that’s the best way to ex­plain it.

It’s an ab­so­lutely full-on ex­pe­ri­ence just to get cast in a pi­lot. Then you hope it’s good and you wait to see if it gets picked up. And ours did. But even then I was like, ‘Well I’m re­ally happy that Friends with Bet­ter Lives got picked up for the sea­son but I hope I’m get­ting picked up too’. You can’t celebrate un­til you’re on the floor there, ready to go. The job could still very easily get it taken away from you, even while you’re do­ing it. Peo­ple get re­cast all the time.

I saw on our show, peo­ple would come in for ta­ble reads and guest episodes and they wouldn’t be there the next day be­cause they hadn’t done a good read.

You know what? It hap­pens ev­ery day over there and they don’t even blink. They’ll be like, ‘Is her hair re­ally that short? It was longer in the head­shot – no, we’ll get some­body else’. And all of a sud­den they’re gone. You’re a chess piece.

We shot 13 episodes and were wait­ing for the rat­ings to come in think­ing, ‘Are we go­ing to go for a sec­ond sea­son?’.

And it looked like we were. They had writ­ers work­ing on the sec­ond sea­son. We had con­fir­ma­tion from peo­ple it was hap­pen­ing. And then (the US net­work) cut an hour out of their com­edy slot. Two shows got cut and one of them was ours. It was a bit up­set­ting be­cause it wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily that the show wasn’t work­ing, it was that they didn’t have space for it. It was dis­ap­point­ing but it was also re­ally nice to come home.

It’s a dif­fer­ent world over there. I like work­ing, but I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily like the crazi­ness of the LA vibe. Hol­ly­wood’s in­sane. I’m a coun­try kid at heart and I do love Aus­tralia so I was happy in a way to come home. The only re­gret was that I wouldn’t get to work with those peo­ple any­more who had be­come re­ally good friends.

When I got back to Aus­tralia, I was like, ‘God, there’s not much around’. And then this lit­tle gem 800 Words popped up. I read it and just loved it in­stantly. I loved the char­ac­ter Woody, I could re­ally re­late to the writ­ing.

Grow­ing up I loved shows like Al­ways Greener and SeaChange and I hadn’t seen a lot of that kind of stuff on the telly for a while. Even though 800 Words is ob­vi­ously dif­fer­ent, there are some sim­i­lar­i­ties there.

I knew im­me­di­ately it was go­ing to be a re­ally good show be­cause it’s rooted in some­thing mean­ing­ful. I’m prob­a­bly more ex­cited about this than I have been about any­thing in a long time.” 800 WORDS TUES­DAY, 8.40PM, SEVEN

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