Tonkin harbours high hopes for debate
AUSSIE actor Phoebe Tonkin never wants to see a jelly bean again. The 28-year-old, who has been in the US since 2012 filming The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off The Originals, came home to film SBS’s new drama Safe Harbour early last year, which required 10 days on a rocky boat.
“We were all really worried about getting seasick, but we didn't get that sick,” Tonkin (left, in a scene with co-star Joel Jackson) told Confidential. “All we did was eat jelly beans and ginger chews. I don't think I can see one of those gelatine jelly beans ever again because we lived on sugar for two weeks.”
Safe Harbour follows five Aussies on a sailing holiday who encounter a boat of asylum seekers looking for help to get to Australia.
Tonkin hopes the psychological thriller opens up a national conversation and puts a human lens on an issue typically only discussed in news and current affairs programs.
“I definitely think people are blissfully ignorant and naive,” she said. “It’s so easy to think these people are just coming for a better life, but they’re not, they’re actually seeking refuge and safety, and escaping from really horrific and dangerous situations back home.“
Safe Harbour, which also stars Ewen Leslie, Leeanna Walsman and Jacqueline McKenzie, begins on SBS on Wednesday, at 8.30pm.