POL­LARD’S PAS­SION FOR EN­VI­RON­MENT

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

DUNS­BOR­OUGH ac­tor Myles Pol­lard’s pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment was im­me­di­ately stirred on read­ing Help­mann Award-win­ning play­wright Han­nie Rayson’s latest play,

Ex­tinc­tion.

“I think the en­vi­ron­men­tal side of it was what re­ally trig­gered me,” Pol­lard said.

“I haven’t re­ally talked about it much but that’s why I live down south; I surf and spend all my spare time out­side, so it in­fu­ri­ates me to see it de­stroyed.

“Han­nie has writ­ten some­thing around a sub­ject mat­ter she loves but in a very even-handed way.”

Pre­sented by Black Swan State Theatre Com­pany, Ex­tinc­tion be­gins with the death of an en­dan­gered tiger quoll but also ques­tions the al­lo­ca­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search fund­ing.

Pol­lard plays vet Andy Dixon, who is fac­ing his own mor­tal­ity.

The ac­tor loved his char­ac­ter’s many con­tra­dic­tions.

“On one hand, he wants to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment but on the other hand, he un­der­stands there’s a tip­ping point where when a pop­u­la­tion of an­i­mals gets to less than 5000, you can’t save them,” Pol­lard said.

“He can ap­pear cold and cal­cu­lated and de­tached, but he’s driven around sav­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

“The play is not hit­ting you over the head with a big po­lit­i­cal mes­sage; it’s not di­dac­tic and there are two ar­gu­ments, which are both as elo­quent and sig­nif­i­cant as each other.”

With both par­ents work­ing as teach­ers, Pol­lard grew up in the North-West be­fore mov­ing to Perth for Year 10 and stud­ied teach­ing at Edith Cowan Univer­sity “be­cause it was in my DNA and my dad said get some­thing be­hind you”.

He al­ways knew he wanted to be an ac­tor but it was not un­til af­ter grad­u­a­tion and while work­ing on a Kal­go­or­lie mine site that Pol­lard de­cided to go for it.

He spent the next year pre­par­ing for WAAPA and NIDA, au­di­tioned, was ac­cepted to both and chose NIDA.

“I was at the point in my life where I needed to go on an ad­ven­ture and just get away from home,” Pol­lard said.

“It was a bit of a ‘find my­self’ ex­er­cise.”

He has since starred on tele­vi­sion shows in­clud­ing McLeod’s Daugh­ters and in fea­ture films Drift and X-Men Ori­gins: Wolver­ine, while also run­ning act­ing classes and work­shops.

Pol­lard re­turns af­ter a hia­tus from Black Swan Theatre Com­pany last year, where in­stead he ap­peared in Bell Shake­speare’s The Win­ter’s Tale at Syd­ney Opera House.

“I try to do a play with Black Swan ev­ery year be­cause I en­joy it and find it a valu­able process for me as an ac­tor,” he said.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d442593

Ac­tor Myles Pol­lard with a tiger quoll at Caversham Wildlife Park.

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