All Saints: articles

Josh Quong Tart

Piercing role

JOSH Quong Tart was supposed to be a temporary addition to All Saints's ward 17.

He was supposed to spend just 10 weeks in the show's hallowed hospital before his character, Matt Horner, departed.

Fortunately, Quong Tart's run as a ward clerk has continued to "exceed expectations".

"I just thought I'd see how I went and how they felt about me and I've been there since August last year now," he says.

Quong Tart got the job after Belinda Emmett (who Quong Tart knew before his All Saints gig) decided to leave.

"They were going for a very specific look—a young male bloke who was capable of being a bit offbeat," he says. "There were a few offbeat actors with those capabilities (at the audition), but they were looking for a bit of a gothic-slash-rockstar character so I think my eyebrow ring helped me secure the role."

His rapport with Emmett obviously helped during his audition as the pair improvised lines as brother and sister. Yet Quong Tart had a lot of catching up to do once he secured the role.

He admits he does not watch much television "so my knowledge of the show wasn't extensive by any stretch".

Quong Tart also had to adjust to performing before two million viewers, instead of a theatre audience of about 150 people.

This transition was made easier by the show's cast and crew, he says, who proved both funny and humble.

"Everyone's so different yet there's a great sense of equality on set," he says. "Georgie (Parker) is just so down to earth and a real larrikin. She's the first one in line for a laugh and that sort of gives no one anywhere else to go."

Quong Tart and Parker were quick to establish a playful repartee between their characters.

"(Parker's character) Terri loves my character Matt and he's doing a good job but he takes the jokes a bit too far sometimes and Georgie and I are really enjoying that interplay," he says.

The NIDA graduate's character is the main source of fun in the show, but there may be more in store for Matt Horner.

"I think they have all these obscure ideas for him," he says. "He's a bit of a dark horse and I quite like that about him."

Whatever wacky things writers have planned for Quong Tart's character, many will be happy to discover that he has a lot more filing to get through.

Jennifer Dudley
May 23, 2002
The Courier Mail