Lucy Durack, singer, actor, dancer, 34
Is it a terrible cliché to call you a triple threat? My husband [dancer, choreographer and teacher Christopher Horsey] is an amazing dancer, so I feel like I’m a 2½ threat – I can dance enough, I’m a singer-actor-mover.
You were in the musical Wicked for four and a half years, including a national tour. Did you ever get sick of the tunes? I know it sounds crazy but I never did. I grew up loving The Wizard of Oz, and playing Glinda the good witch in Wicked was my dream, a major life goal. So I never lost a sense of how lucky I was. I only finished up when I was five months’ pregnant with my daughter Polly, who’s now two.
And now you’ve joined The Wizard of Oz in the same role, right? Yes – and revisiting the Glinda character in a very different, more minimalist way is very special to me.
You won a Helpmann and a Sydney Theatre Award for your performance as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Is comedy your preferred medium or are you just a natural? Thank you! I don’t think I’m that good at it but I’m a huge fan. I’m currently working with comedian Joel Creasey and I’m in awe of people like that who are so naturally gifted. There’s so much great comedy in Australia at the moment.
What’s the silliest thing that’s happened to you during a production? I once walked three Melbourne blocks with the Tin Man’s chin stuck to my bottom.
Did you always want to be on stage? Growing up in Perth, I was in school musicals and choirs, and in the WA Opera’s children’s choir for Carmen when I was 11. But I didn’t know anyone who did it for a living; I never thought of it as a career until in Year 12 a teacher told me I could make a go of it.
You’ve been racking up a lot of screen credits, most recently in The Letdown for ABC and Netflix, and Sisters for Ten. What are your roles in those two series? In The Letdown I play Sophie, a highly strung helicopter mother. In Sisters I play a children’s entertainer with an addiction to painkillers – and I’m one of 100 children fathered by Barry Otto as an IVF doctor. It’s a beautiful, quirky, quite dark show.
Do you prefer stage or screen? I like variety. It’s been my perfect year: I’ve done some concert work, some recording [with a self-titled jazz album], some stage work and a healthy dose of screen – and trying to see my family amongst it all.
Having a child clearly hasn’t slowed you down at all. Just when I thought things might wind down they did the opposite! I’m lucky to have a really supportive husband and mother.
You’re from a famous family of West Australian pioneers and pastoralists. What was that like growing up? I’ve always been very proud of being a Durack. It was a family full of strong men and very strong women. I was lucky enough to meet Dame Mary and Elizabeth Durack when I was eight or nine. Mary wrote our family story [ Kings in Grass Castles], about coming across the top of Australia and settling in the Kimberley. They took several hundred cattle and three years to get there. Whenever I’m having a tough time I think, “If they could do that, you can do this…”