‘We were shoot­ing … in Tony Ab­bott’s coup’ court­yard about 10 days be­fore the

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD... - WITH MAR­CUS GRA­HAM, FROM JACK IR­ISH

“I did Home and Away for about two-and-a-half years (to 2014) and the in­dus­try didn’t know I was do­ing it for about two years be­cause no one watches it – it’s only a cer­tain de­mo­graphic that watch.

It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause 25 to 30 years ago you would be judged very harshly if you were do­ing it, you’d never be able to do Home and Away and a show at Belvoir St Theatre (he starred in Hedda Gabler there in 2014) – they wouldn’t have al­lowed it. Whereas now they seem to have come to terms with com­mer­cial­ism a bit more, so there doesn’t seem so many blocks in the way.

I’m en­joy­ing that kind of free­dom. I did feel the judg­men­tal weight of do­ing soap op­eras in my 20s – the weight that comes from be­ing some sort of heart­throb but want­ing to do theatre is mas­sive, no one wants to let you be both those things. So get­ting older is good [laughs].

I’m en­joy­ing it more and I’m get­ting more out of it.

I’ve known [ Jack Ir­ish star] Guy [Pearce] for a long, long time. He has had the most in­cred­i­ble ca­reer. The other day we did a scene, four-and-a-half min­utes long, just sit­ting across the desk from each other talk­ing, a re­ally in­tense, hard, big scene and quite the­atri­cal in a way. And we were both say­ing: ‘This is the first time we’ve worked to­gether – it only took 25 years’.

I’m do­ing an­other show called Se­cret City (for Fox­tel in March). I’m play­ing a journo. We were shoot­ing in Can­berra in Tony Ab­bott’s court­yard about 10 days be­fore the coup.

That was amaz­ing just to be on the ground in that en­vi­ron­ment with those dudes walk­ing around.

Did I find sym­pa­thy for jour­nal­ists do­ing the role? Sure, ev­ery­one’s just do­ing their jobs. Jour­nal­ists get a bad rap – you’ve got to blame some­one.

It was also fan­tas­tic to play the vil­lain in last year’s ABC drama Hid­ing. The writer said to me: ‘I’ve got to ad­mit I just pulled all my favourite ideas about gang­sters in there, there’s not re­ally a per­son there. Your job is to just find a guy that’s real in there.’ Writ­ers would never nor­mally tell you that. I was thank­ful he was so blaz­ingly hon­est about that. It was great to work on.”

JACK IR­ISH

ABC, THURS­DAY, 8.30PM

With An­drew Fen­ton

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