1. Is having a cult following -- for Wentworth and Rush -- the greatest trophy an actor can have?

It's pretty cool, I gotta say. I feel I've always been in that category of being in niche shows that garner a bit of a cult following. I still have people approach me about Rush and say how much they enjoyed it. It didn't rate in terms of large numbers but it pulled in a very loyal crowd. In a lot of ways I feel like that is my home and audience. Wentworth has achieved that in a whole other way. In a global way.

2. Can you safely say you feel like you've "arrived"?

I'm not sure you ever feel like you've arrived as an actor. There's always such a huge level of uncertainty about the next job ... I'm not sure if I'll ever feel that sense of having arrived. I think that keeps you hungry and motivated to stretch yourself and push yourself. You have to just hope there's something around the corner -- and it could be nothing.


3. What would you do if that point arrived?

If all else fails I'd learn a trade, like being a carpenter.

4. Carpentry - can you elaborate?

I remember as a kid wanting to build with Lego. When I was in LA I did quite a bit of carpentry, and worked on set building.

5. You describe Doctor Doctor as naughtier and sexier than anything else on Australian TV. Do you mean raunch-o-rama or mildly saucy?

In terms of the context -- a wayward doctor goes back to the countryside. It could be another medical drama but the characters are much quirkier and the world itself is much kookier than I've personally seen on free-to-air TV. It's my guilty pleasure that I get to go to work and have that much fun and have it well received.

6. What TV influenced you as a child?

I grew up on things like The Goodies and Monkey Magic. But I was a huge fan of the film Labyrinth -- with David Bowie. As a 10-year-old I watched that film so many times I knew the whole script off by heart. I could recite it to you. It had a female protagonist -- that was an immediate "in" for me. Jim Henson built this beautifully dark, truthful, out-there world.


7. What would you like to see more of on screen?

More diversity -- age, gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs. The real world needs to be reflected on screen.

8. Do you come from a family of thespos?

I am the black sheep of the family in wanting to explore a career in the arts. I come from a family of blue-collar workers; there was very little artistic strain running through the family.

9. We have lost one of our greats, the satirist John Clarke. What impression did he make on you?

I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person but I did grow up with his political duologues on TV -- there was something really wonderful about the truth he brought to the inane politicking that goes on around the globe. I was so very sad to hear about his passing. He was amazing, one of a kind.

10. What do you find exciting about TV now?

I just finished watching Girls. I was following with bated breath from week to week, each episode. I wanted to see how they wrapped it all up. Recently I have become obsessed with The Fall with Gillian Anderson. She is fascinating to watch and I love seeing a non-warm non-traditional female character on TV. The other one I'm completely consumed by is Unreal. It's such good viewing. It's made by the producer who used to make The Bachelor and it's an insight into how bizarre and manipulative they are. The other one is Survivor -- I've been a long time Survivor fan. Sarah Daniell


Doctor Doctor starts on May 3, 8.30pm on TVNZ 1.

Wentworth season 5 returns this year on TVNZ 2.