You asked… Nadine Garner (TV Week)
City Homicide‘s Nadine Garner answers your questions on how she prepared for her role and her life as a child star
Over your entire career, is there one particular project that stands out?
What stands out for me is a musical I did called Cabaret. I was part of an amazing line-up of performers who I felt privileged to work with. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done as it was eight shows a week, for 12 months! It was a real stretch for me, and so was playing the character – a German prostitute from the 1930s,. I loved working vocally and physically – as well as playing a piano accordion!
Are you interested in playing comedy roles? And do you sing?
I’ve done a bit of comedy. I was lucky enough to play opposite Joanna Lumley in a British TV series called Class Act. She’s a fantastic comedian and that was wonderful. I’ve also done another comedy series that was an Australian-English co-production called Boys From the Bush. I’d love to do more comedy. I started singing when I was 11 or 12 and have done it on and off throughout my career.
It must be quite a contrast working on kids’ show Blue Water High and then City Homicide! Is it difficult to get your head around such different roles?
You go into each project knowing what it entails and what the genre is. Obviously, a show like City Homicide is much more demanding and much more gratifying as an actor. When you play an adult in a kids’ series, you’re only there to facilitate the kids’ journey – you’re not really a three-dimensional character.
What’s it like acting with the gorgeous Daniel MacPherson? Is there any chemistry between the two of you?
I think Daniel has chemistry with every woman he meets! He’s very fit, shall we say – he’s a triathlete, so he’s always preparing for an event. He’s got a real energy about him~
How much has TV changed since The Henderson Kids era?
That’s interesting. I was talking to someone the other day about The Henderson Kids and how brave it was, in that the storylines delved into interesting issues. We had the Aboriginal component on the land that the kids owned and there was a whole lot of topical things. I think kids’ TV has headed off more into fantasy and sci-fi.
Growing up in the Australian acting industry, did you ever want to go to Hollywood?
I think every actor would love to go to the place where there is the most work and the most challenges. I didn’t have the resources to go there when I could have and, as an older actress, it’s more complicated to do that, particularly with a family. It’s not just about your career, it’s about making sure your child and partner are happy as well. I think my priorities are different now.
Are you related to Amanda Garner from Dancing With The Stars? You look very similar…
No, I’m not. I’m not related to the writer, Helen Garner, either.
Have you kept in touch with Kylie Minogue since your time together in The Henderson Kids in the ’80s?
No, I haven’t, unfortunately.
Which question are you most commonly asked about your career?
Probably, “What was it like to be a child actor?”
What were the best and worst aspects of being on TV at 13 years of age?
The best aspects were that I got to mix with really incredible people who helped me develop quite quickly, but also in a really terrific way. I was exposed to a lot of stuff, but by really fine people who treated me with great respect and looked after me beautifully. The hardest thing was being recognised by my peers at that age. It’s not always that pleasant, but it gets easier when you get older. People know how to behave when they’re older. Kids can sometimes be a little bit cruel or in your face or rude. I found that quite frightening sometimes.
What are your passions in life besides acting?
I’m passionate about trying to live a really simple life and not letting it get too complicated. I try to avoid doing things that create too much drama. I try to get to yoga and just be really normal. I’m just passionate about living a healthy, balanced life that doesn’t have too many complications.
I love watching City Homicide, you’re all fabulous actors! How did you prepare for the role?
We prepared by speaking to homicide detectives. They’re quite amazing people and I never grow tired of hearing their stories about how hard they work and what they’ve sacrificed. A lot of them have sacrificed their family and personal life. The job is so consuming and so difficult to share with other people because they’re dealing with death and violence all the time. Their stories are extraordinary, and that’s why a show like City Homicide is so intriguing.
If another season of Blue Water High runs, will you be in it?
I don’t think so. I think I did my bit there, and to be honest, I don’t think there’s a lot left for that character to do. It’s difficult with those roles because they don’t have an in-built journey, if you know what I mean.