CONRAD COLEBY GETS PERSONAL FOR THE FINAL SEASON OF A PLACE TO CALL HOME
Southeast Queensland is the place that Conrad Coleby calls home. For his character Matthew on Foxtel period drama series A Place To Call Home, it’s a fictional rural country town in New South Wales called Inverness.
While Conrad is always welcome at his parents’ Tallebudgera Valley house, not far from his childhood city of Brisbane, it’s a different, disturbing story on screen.
With season six premiering last Sunday, this chapter delves into life after the death of one of the main characters, Douglas Goddard, and his estranged, only surviving son (played by Conrad) appearing in the troubled country town.
Playing the role of son Matthew Goddard was made even more real by the fact it was his real-life dad Robert Coleby playing Douglas.
“We learned there’s been a disagreement with my character and my father’s character,” Conrad says.
“In a moment of anger, he said that he thought the wrong son died, and Matt takes it to heart, and they never speak again.
“It made it quite easy to act some of those moments where I’d lost my father – it’s not hard to imagine how awful that would be.
“(But) it’s completely different to our relationship in real life. I absolutely love my father to death.
“It definitely made me think about that as a concept (my father dying). I didn’t want to wade into that too deeply.”
A Place To Call Home is set in post-war Australia of the 1950s, where domestic violence, alcoholism, religious intolerance and homosexual bashings were commonplace.
When Conrad’s character Matthew arrives, his authenticity is almost a breath of fresh air in a community of manipulators and broken souls.
“He’s got a very strong moral code,” Conrad says.
“You have to take responsibility for your mistakes and my character looks down very strongly on people who don’t.
“We see a lot of that come out in season six and we saw more about his backstory about why he is that way.”
As it’s the final season, Conrad says some characters finally face their demons, while others receive some longawaited relief.
“All of the characters, their chickens come home to roost for them,” he says. “Things that have been in play in their storylines, we see closure, and the negative things come back to haunt them.”
Conrad says it was a joy to work on set with Noni Hazlehurst, who plays the wife of the late Douglas.
“She’s fabulous. She’s like Australia’s earth mother,” he says.
“Noni is so across stories, she can even get one-ups on the writers sometimes. She’s an absolute master of story and character.
“She gives so much, I can instantly find a reality in those moments straight away.”
While he only had a short stint on A Place To Call Home – season six and half of season five – Conrad says he’s happy with his time on the show, and knows all good things must come to an end.
“I’m definitely wishing it could continue,” he says.
“I’m more so sad for the show as a whole coming to an end. Especially seeing this first episode of the sixth season – it’s a great piece of Australian drama.”
Besides, when you have family in the Gold Coast hinterland, do you need any other place to call home?
“My parents still live here, so I come up here whenever it suits for a production,” Conrad says. “I just love coming back. “As soon as you get up here, you feel the warmth and people say good morning to each other.”
A Place To Call Home airs every Sunday at 8.30pm on Foxtel’s Showcase
I’M MORE SO SAD FOR THE SHOW AS A WHOLE COMING TO AN END.
Conrad Coleby stars in the final season of Foxtel period drama series A Place to Call Home.