isa Mccune considers herself a storyteller, not a celebrity. As such, she would prefer to remain a closed book. “I haven’t got a lot to say about myself – but so much to say on everything else,” she tells Stellar with a laugh.
“Over the last couple of years I made a decision that while my kids are teenagers – and I feel really strongly about this – my story affects their stories,” she says of the three children she shares with former husband Tim Disney. “So until they get to a point where they are living their own lives, I have decided to be very quiet about mine.”
Yet the four-time Gold Logie winner admits it can be a challenge to stay silent – such as when she was photographed kissing her South Pacific co-star Teddy Tahu Rhodes in 2012, setting off the rumour mill in earnest. “The people in this industry whose careers I admire, I really don’t know that much about their private lives,” she says. “I think it helps with people watching you. They’re not thinking about an article they might have read. Sometimes they can know a bit much.”
Mccune, 47, is bemused when she recalls once being pursued by the paparazzi as she left the shops with a haul of toilet paper. “I see the Kardashians looking glamorous and there’s me coming out of Coles with my bog roll,” she quips. “You’ve got to have a sense of humour about these things or they’ll eat you alive. I think we like to see people fall and then see them rise from the ashes and then see them fall again. I just decided that the drama I wanted to have in my life is onscreen. So I will happily talk for days about my marriage to Peter Helliar.”
It’s a marital union that has come from Mccune teaming up with The Project co-host to play a wedded couple in Network Ten’s new sitcom How To Stay Married, reprising characters they first played in Helliar’s 2013 ensemble series It’s A Date. “I am batting well above my average in real life and now onscreen as well,” Helliar tells Stellar of his co-star. “Lisa could have come on to set and put on airs and graces because, hey, she’s Lisa Mccune. But she is quite simply the nicest person – and utterly professional.”
Mccune is equally enamoured with Helliar, marvelling at his ability to simultaneously write, direct, produce and perform. But she is no slouch in
the juggling department, either, heading straight from the How To Stay Married set every day to appear onstage in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Gloria.
As for her three children – sons Archer, 17, Oliver 14, and daughter Remy, 13 – she tells Stellar they remain resolutely unimpressed by her status as one of Australian television’s literal golden girls. “I think they all sat around laughing once watching an old episode of Blue Heelers that they found somewhere,” Mccune says.
“I don’t really talk about my work with them much because it’s their time. I don’t want what I do, which can be public, to overshadow anything they’re doing. The person who is in their lives is not who I am onscreen. They see me in the kitchen every morning, making breakfast and putting lunches together. I’m the one at home with them at night. Or in the garden… just being my daggy self.”