HOW THE PANDEMIC THREW A SPANNER IN THE WORKS FOR TEN’S NEW THRILLER

The dreaded pandemic pounds may have added more than just extra centimetres on actors’ waistlines, they possibly caused quite the continuity problems on Ten’s new thriller Lie With Me.

Filming on the four-episode drama had just started when Covid shut down the world. Production halted for months before cast and crew returned to resume work on the Melbourne sets.

Rising star Phoebe Roberts, who plays live-in nanny Becky, tells Mid Week Binge she’s sure she can notice the before and after.

“There’s this one shot where I’m walking into the room – the shot from before I walk into the room and then the shot when I walk out of the room is actually 10 months apart,” she candidly confesses.

“It looks like one shot but I reckon I was a bit fatter than when I entered the room.”

A BIT SHIRTY

Co-star Brett Tucker, who plays husband of the house Jake, thinks he might have got away with his pandemic pounds. Just.

The 49-year-old, who was first seen on Aussie TV as Daniel Fitzgerald on Neighbours and then Dave Brewer on McLeod’s Daughters before heading to the US and appearing on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Spartacus, The Americans and Station 19, jokes he can’t believe that all these years later people still want him to take his shirt off.

“When I was young, coming from the country I’d say yes to anything,” Tucker laughs.

“So I’m shocked, still shocked that I’m this age and people still want me to take my shirt off.

“I keep thinking surely, some day soon, someone’s going to go ‘put it back on now Brett’.”

Lie With Me, which has already debuted in Britain, tells the story of British woman Anna (former EastEnders star Charlie Brooks) and her Australian husband, Jake (Tucker), who move back to Melbourne with their two small children. With Anna resuming her career, they hire a young live-in nanny to help. But local girl Becky (Roberts) is anything but the innocent stranger she pretends to be.

Jake is described as handsome, charming and narcissistic. Tucker bursts into laughter when I ask how does that relate to him in real life – is he happy to take the former two, not the latter?

“Ha! Actually the other way around,” he says, tongue in cheek. “But I tell you what – my dad was a very charming fellow. I feel as far as charming goes I can genuinely get along with most people, which can broadly be interpreted as charming.

“But as for the narcissistic thing – well, you don’t really know if you are, do you? So I could be, couldn’t I? I hope I’m not.”

BREAKING BAD

Tucker had an absolute ball playing the twisty character, confessing he is someone who constantly questions and secondguesses himself.

“He’s a guy that never for a second doubts himself and that is fun to play,” he says.

“And generally speaking, I don’t

get cast in roles like that. It was the best thing about when I started in drama school in St Kilda, the variety of characters I could play and being able to mix it up. Anyone doing theatre will tell you that’s where lots of the enjoyment comes from – in mixing it up. Once you get in TV land it becomes more difficult to create a monster of a certain type.”

MASTERCLASS

Roberts says it was an acting masterclass alongside Tucker and Brooks. The 27-year-old – who has had minor roles in Utopia, Glitch, Nowhere Boys and Ja’mie: Private School Girl and was just announced as Freya Wozniak on Neighbours – said she felt so lucky to be working with the pair in the small ensemble cast of three.

“Obviously they’ve done a million things and are wonderful actors – but they are also really beautiful people,” she shares.

“Brett and I had a lot of really intense scenes and it was an absolute treat to be working opposite him. He’s a beautiful person inside and out.”

MATURE MATES

Tucker has always had hopes of working between the US and Australia and loved coming back home to collaborate with great mate Scott Major on Lie With Me.

“Actually, now I’m a bit longer in the tooth I loved seeing my mates like Scott and the Curry brothers (Bernie and Steve) having this longevity in the industry now and producing and directing,” he says. “Actual proper adults.”

Tucker would also love to follow in his mates’ footsteps and direct. He pictures himself doing that in his home country, telling personal Australian stories. But first he will be heard, along with Hailee Steinfeld, in new Netflix animated series, Arcane (based on League of Legends video game) dropping on Friday. He’s voicing “a wild, mad scientist called Singed”. Lie With Me, Wednesday, 8.30pm, Channel 10

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