COLIN VICK­ERY

Re­becca Gib­ney may be on the run in Wanted, but now she sets the rules, she tells

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

WHEN Re­becca Gib­ney cre­ated Wanted’s mum-onthe-run Lola Buck­ley she didn’t have to look very far for in­spi­ra­tion.

The 52-year-old star sim­ply had to gaze in the mir­ror and chan­nel her trou­bled teenage years to cre­ate a char­ac­ter who is fiercely in­de­pen­dent but has a se­cret past.

Like Gib­ney, Buck­ley has been hurt by men, with the lat­ter find­ing so­lace in her friend­ship with ac­coun­tant Chelsea Bab­bage (Geral­dine Hakewill) as they are chased by crooked busi­ness­man Kel Mor­ri­son (An­thony Phe­lan).

Gib­ney grew up in an abu­sive house­hold, with her fa­ther Austin an al­co­holic who reg­u­larly beat her mother Shirley. The tur­moil forced Gib­ney to drop out of school at 15.

At 17, Gib­ney nursed her fa­ther, who had lost a leg to poly­cythemia (a blood cancer), un­til his death.

“Lola is me when I was a 14-year-old,” Gib­ney says.

“I was a rebel. I was the girl who never wore makeup. I was the tom­boy. I was al­ways get­ting around in baggy jumpers. I hated hav­ing breasts. I didn’t want to be­come a woman. I was very much a sporty kind of mas­cu­line girl.”

The Gold Lo­gie win­ner be­lieves she acted this way “be­cause when I was born I knew that my dad wanted an­other boy. He al­ready had three girls and two boys and I was meant to be a boy … so I think I was a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment to him. [So] I tried to be a boy,” she says.

“It was my mum, who when I was about 15 said, ‘You re­ally need to get some mod­el­ling lessons or some­thing’.”

From that tom­boy came Lola, Gib­ney says, adding “I still have her in me.”

The first sea­son of Wanted saw Lola and Chelsea be­ing chased by crooked cop Ray Stan­ton (Ni­cholas Bell) and crime boss Mor­ri­son af­ter the pair wit­nessed a mur­der.

Mor­ri­son wants a key tag the women un­wit­tingly pos­sess and now he has kid­napped Lola’s son David (Charles Cot­tier) in Thai­land to force Lola to give it back.

De­tec­tive Charles Levine (Stephen Pea­cocke) is also on the hunt for the women but his in­stincts tell him Lola and Chelsea are in­no­cents caught in a bad sit­u­a­tion.

“David’s kid­nap­ping brings out Lola’s fierce side,” Gib­ney says. “Sea­son one was about get­ting away from the bad guys. Sea­son two is about bring­ing it to them be­cause they [vil­lains] do some­thing that is un­for­giv­able.

“Lola de­cides, ‘I’m not go­ing to let them get away with that’ and de­cides to hunt them down. She be­comes a driv­ing force.

“Don’t mess with her. That is also a bit like me. No one re­ally knows that side of me and Lola is bring­ing it out.

“I think there is an in­ner Lola in most women. That is why so many women [view­ers] have re­lated to her.

“Just like they re­lated to mum Julie Rafter (her char­ac­ter on Packed­tothe Rafters) they re­late to Lola – to her se­cre­tive side and her abil­ity to just go out there and do it.

“I’ve had so many peo­ple come up to me and say, ‘If I was in that car with you two girls on that ad­ven­ture it would be so awe­some’.

“They [fe­male view­ers] know they are in dan­ger and on the run but they love the fact it is an ad­ven­ture and that it is two women who aren’t look­ing for boyfriends or hus­bands.

“These two strong women are in con­trol of their des­tiny and have never felt more alive even though they are in trou­ble.

“It is a love af­fair be­tween two women in a way, with­out be­ing sex­ual at all. It is a friend­ship but it is a love af­fair. That is what has been so won­der­ful about this whole show.”

Gib­ney says creat­ing Wanted with her hus­band Richard Bell has been a lifechang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We work well to­gether,” Gib­ney re­flects. “If any­one from the out­side comes in and tries to get in the mid­dle of us we’re both like lions. We have each other’s back fully.

“I’ve also learnt I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was. I’m a lot more re­silient than I was a few years ago. Cre­atively, I have a lot to of­fer and I’m will­ing to back my­self on that. I think that is what I have learnt the most.” YAEL Stone pre­dicts the new sea­son of Orange Is The New Black will be a “car­ni­val of terror”. And that’s a great thing for the tal­ented cast who have only grown in con­fi­dence as the show’s plot­lines have pow­ered from one un­pre­dictable twist to an­other.

Stone, who plays Lorna Morello in the Net­flix and Fox­tel prison drama, ad­mits “with some shiny, notable ex­cep­tions, we all came into this show as no­bod­ies,” but have held tight to­gether through ev­ery ground­break­ing scene.

The death of in­mate Poussey Washington (played by Samira Wi­ley) at the end of sea­son four came as a shock to fans and the en­sem­ble, forced to farewell one of their own.

“I read the [script] and screamed when I got to that line,” Stone says. “Say­ing good­bye to our friend, to lose Samira was re­ally, re­ally hard … it was like los­ing a sis­ter.”

Sea­son five picks up the ac­tion al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the killing, with the pro­duc­tion set in ‘real time’ – with all the ac­tion this sea­son to take place over the course of just three days.

“I guess the only com­par­i­son I can think of is 24,” Stone ex­plains. “It’ll be re­ally in­ter­est­ing.”

Com­par­isons with Fox­tel’s Went­worth have been in­evitable, with the Aussie ac­tor weigh­ing in on the de­bate: which cast of feisty fe­males would win a fight?

“We might have the mind games over them, or we all might just make out,” Stone jokes. “It would be su­per hot.”

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