Interview with Paula Forrest
Wednesday 6 February 2002, 11:35am-12:10pm
1. S: What was your first role on television?
P: My first role on television- was I did a kids' show called Spellbinder, GP,
Police Rescue- that was probably my first real television role about 10 years
I actually went to arts high school when I was 14. I did drama and ballet.
After graduating I went to a theatre company in Perth in WA. Then I went to
Then I came to Sydney. There have been very lean times. I've done usually
waitressing to pay rent. From job to job, normal actors life.
What I love about acting is working with people, is the combination of working
with them and to make a scene work with the director and other actors. I really
like that collaborative feeling.
With Home and Away because we have a very large cast, which I like-----.
That's what I like about this show, its very collaborative.
P: I really do enjoy playing Shelley because she keeps it quite grounded.
I think she is a lot more grounded because she's a social worker.
The similarities between us are she feels passionately about her family
as I do and she has this conflict that's on going as all working mothers do
between her work and her family life. Because I have two little boys and I
feel very much and that's a similarity I definitely share with Shelley. She
feels that she is always awaiting her children too much which is what I feel
and yet at the same time she has a great need to do her social work.
3. S: Would you like to be her?
P: No not really. I get to play her, which is just enough. I can be Shelley
at work and that's lovely, explore her life and go back to reality.
4. S: Pippa Question
P: I never thought I'd be playing the role of Pippa. The roles I had before
Shelley, they were basically very much coordinated- Doctors, Lawyers, people
that I played were very much career driven women. Coming to this job was lovely
because to get to play a warm earthly loving mother which is lovely for me
because I'm a mother. It's lovely to explore that side of myself.
I'm not trying to fit into Pippa's shoes, I just have to create Shelley's
shoes. Shelley is different to Pippa.
5. S: Do you have any embarrassing moments?
P: I have many embarrassing moments all the time. I forget lines. If I'm tired
I tend to trip over my words a lot. That can be embarrassing, have to retake.
I'm just a normal person, just embarrass myself like normal people do. I can't
think of anything at the moment.
6. S: Contract question
P: The contract is up in a year I think and do I have any idea? Em no.
S: Would you like to stay on?
P: I may want to stay on. I may not. I rather not talk about that. I won't
talk about that.
7. S: Travel question.
P: I haven't done a lot of travelling. I've done the usual trips we do in
Australia. I've been to Bali, Fiji. I've only been overseas to Vienna and
Scilily. I haven't been to Ireland, I want to go. I'd love to go to Ireland
really. I haven't been to London, New York, Paris, I have a lot of travelling
to do but I'd love to get to London and Ireland. I'd love to do a trip through
England all the way up and across to Ireland and spend a long time doing it.
8. S: Would you like to go to Hollywood?
P: No, I'm not that interested really.
9. S: Pantomine question
P: No I haven't. Yes I would love to experience doing a panto one day.
S: A lot of Home and Away actors go over?
P: Yes I know Kate just came back and Lyn McDon (?) just came back. Anyway
we'll see maybe I'll get lucky and I try and get to do one.
10. S: Children question
P: Yes I have two little boys. I come from a family of three girls. They are
gorgeous characters. They are all very individualist, intelligent. Sometimes
they speak to me or express themselves in a way and I think maybe I wouldn't
let them get away with that if they were my kids. But then maybe I would,
I've not had any teenagers yet so I'll have to wait and see. I'm sure having
teenagers is a whole different kettle of fish to that- a whole new experience
that awaits me in the future because my little boys are only 3 ½ and
2 ½. So I've a long way to go.
11. S: Perfect Day question?
P: It would be probably be with my family my boys and my husband. Just a whole
day together and beautiful weather and spending all day together. I think
that would be lovely, no pressure, no home work to do.
S: Anyone from a movie?
P: I wouldn't mind spending the day with George Clooney. He is very famous
and very sexy. But also before George Clooney I'd like to spend the day with
Gerard Capetu (?) (Steve I think hes a french actor, I'm sure someone will
I just think he is gorgeous and funny and he probably be the top of my list.
There are lots of people I'd like to spend the day with- Judi Dench, Helen
Mirren, Emma Thompson- I'd just love to talk to her about acting. She also
won an award for her screenplay of 'Sense and Sensibility' I just find people
like her inspiring.
There are also lots of Australian people I'd like to spend the day with
as well. I'm just trying to spend the day with- Kat and Nick Dobson (?). They
are two Aboriginal leaders in Australia. Lots of people who could teach me
lots of things.
12 S: embarrassing moment question again.
P: Well I can't remember peoples names- that's my main embarrassing moment-
forgetting peoples name. I do it when I've got too many things going on in
my head. Forgetting peoples names and calling them the wrong name.
S: What about characters names?
P: I do it with Cristy and Kirsty all the time. It drives us all mad and I
wish they'd change. You do a scene and you call her Kirsty and you think to
yourself, did I call her Cristy. Another thing I've done- I've said 'good
morning them' instead of 'us'.
12. S: Were you filming today?
P: We were filming at the drop-in centre today. Shelley came to Summer Bay
and she is running the drop in centre.
S: Are you still working today?
P: Yes I'm here till the end of the day and then I've a day off tomorrow.
Then I've 14 scenes on Friday.
Interviewer: Stephen Gilligan
Recording: Stephen Gilligan
Interview transcriber: David Walker
Photos: Stephen Gilligan, Victoria Supple
Questions: Stephen Gilligan, Eileen
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