Spotlight On Noni Hazlehurst
Noni Hazlehurst AM is an Australian actress, director, writer, presenter and broadcaster who has appeared on television and radio, in dramas, mini-series and made for television films. Noni was presented this year Logies 2016 Hall of Fame and gave one of the best acceptance speeches in relation to the industry and her passion at heart. She is one A lister in ever way is highly respected and says it as it is and gives you more than a 100% in whatever she does. Here role in the hit series of Place to Call Home is now running on Foxtel and she is back in her stunning role as Elizabeth Bligh.
Your leading role is Elizabeth Bligh what’s it like playing her character and did you expect the show to be as big a success as it is?
As to the show I felt that potentially it had but I didn’t think it would be knocked over by Channel 7, but now it’s on Foxtel and it’s on over 130 countries around the world and we just finished our fourth season. As to my character, I just love playing her as to her upbringing and her times. The politics and her sex it’s a real archetype and she is also very complicated as to having lots of secrets, the vulnerability that she hidden very well and I really enjoy playing her.
How many hours would you be on set for in a normal type of week with the show?
It can vary depending on how much your character is needed but it’s the crew that put in every day all day, the unit people would start at 5 AM, and they usually out of there by 7 PM or around there.
The relationship that you would build around you with a show like this that has gone for so long with cast members and the crew are there any special moments that you could share that has been memorable for you?
Over the time it has built to be like a family we have a lot of key members of the crew the comeback each season, and it’s really appreciated as to the actors specially the younger ones as they like to know the people that are around them. I think there is a lot of genuine affection for the characters and the audience, and for the people that create the show with each other. In terms of a special moment onset I think it was when the show got cancelled we will all so shocked, but then the fans started to create a fuss and we were just as a family blown away by the demand of the show coming back and they would not give up. That begins to become a story of its own, and that’s why Foxtel was interested in looking at it again due to fan base. I think for us as a cast it really cemented us to have fans that really cared about the show and to take action and that was wonderful.
Quality drama like “A Place To Call Home”, is refreshing to have this on the screen rather than lot of other shows you may see on commercial stations?
Absolutely this is a show that is not cheap at all to make plus to get the best people to make a show like this is where some of money comes into play, but then again that’s on the screen and I think that it is one of the reasons why it’s been so well received overseas because it just looks amazing.
It must be a real buzz for everyone involved and a great reward to have the fact of it being sold to so many countries overseas?
Yes it is wonderful to have this happen and also for the fact that where telling a human story, it maybe set in Australia but it’s recognisable anywhere.
You have always played strong women is there anything that you like to do that you have not one yet.
Nothing specific I don’t care what the medium is whether it’s theatre, film stage or television, I just like to tell stories that make people think and feel and work with people I respect and keep mixing it up really.
Are you interested in getting into children’s programs at all again?
I think I can do more as an advocate and feel I am better off that way, I think Play school fits into that function very well but certainly there are things that I would like to incorporate for children in the work I do.
How do you balance your life?
I don’t really think I claim to balance my life I think it’s a constant daily juggle there’s always commitments and demands and I’m luckier than most people, as I don’t work all the time, due to the fact the work is not there all the time …but then again it means there is time when I don’t have to front up every single day. One thing is that I get annoyed when actors complain about how hard they work, and sure we do work hard, but so does everybody. There are lifters and leaners in every profession. My kids have grown up now and left home and I don’t have that to juggle any more their, but my hat goes off particularly to women that are still traditionally doing the majority of the work in the home and traditionally not being paid equally. Women should get louder to stand for what they’re entitled to and where in a time where it’s slowly and surely sort of getting there.
What’s your advice to actors coming into the industry
For actors work work work as much as you can do not whinge and create and go and see as much theatre as you can… I don’t think that film and television is going to give you an education and how to do it as it won’t.
Meryl Streep did 40 plays before she got into film! And for people who want to get into the industry just be versatile, it’s no good at being good at one thing.
If you could change three things in the world right now what would that be?
First I put women in charge and then put all the boys who want to fight in one big room and argue and they can kill each other. And then I would make sure that resources would be shared equally in terms of race and age and it wasn’t just dumb luck that you happen to be not starving again not under a hail of bullets.
Who would you love to work with being on stage or film?
Judy Dench… Andrew Garcia…. Dawn French.
A PLACE TO CALL HOME, SEASON 4, EPISODE 1, premiering exclusively on Foxtel’s showcase channel, on September 11 at 8.30pm and will have 12 episodes.
Interview Caroline Russo
Photo credits Hush Hush biz Caroline Russo/ Lucus Lindgren
Foxtel Photo credit for Place to call home.