ES­THER HAN­NAFORD

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - CALENDAR - Book your pack­age to the Broad­way sen­sa­tion at www.vir­gin­aus­tralia.com/beau­ti­ful.

The Aus­tralian ac­tress stars as Ca­role King in Beau­ti­ful: The Ca­role King Mu­si­cal, which opens 17 Septem­ber at the Syd­ney Lyric the­atre.

Is it daunt­ing to play such a leg­end? It’s a chal­lenge, but I’m ex­cited. I feel the pres­sure. I feel that peo­ple are re­ally in­vested in the songs and Ca­role’s life and I don’t take that lightly, but I will do my best — that’s all I can do. How do you get into char­ac­ter? I’ve read A Nat­u­ral Wo­man [King’s mem­oir] and now I’m lis­ten­ing to her read­ing the au­dio book. There’s a lot of footage on YouTube, and I’ve been lis­ten­ing to her songs, live record­ings and the ban­ter be­tween her songs, and how she in­ter­acted with an au­di­ence. You’re an award-win­ning per­former — do you see any par­al­lels be­tween your­self and Ca­role? Even if you’re do­ing well, some­times you don’t feel com­pletely au­then­tic or that it’s your own voice. I re­late to that, es­pe­cially the older I get, when I start to feel like what I’m do­ing is my own ver­sion of my­self. She went through that af­ter her breakup with Gerry Gof­fin — singing those songs, writ­ing lyrics again, coming into her­self as a wo­man and be­ing em­pow­ered. What’s some­thing about her that au­di­ences may not know? The re­la­tion­ship be­tween her and Gerry is re­ally in­ter­est­ing, and the fact that she had two kids by 19 and still did all that she did. Ru­mour has it that Ca­role will be here for the Syd­ney pre­miere? Yes, pos­si­bly. In Lon­don and New York she sur­prised the cast by coming on other nights, rather than on open­ing nights. What’s your favourite Ca­role King song? It’s Too Late. She al­ways seems to rise above in a very evolved, pos­i­tive way.

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