All Saints: articles

Kip Gamblin and Ella Scott Lynch

All Saints recover from loss of cast-member Mark Priestley

ELLA Scott Lynch is finding her feet with the cast of All Saints, but she explains how everyone is still shaken up by the loss of their castmate and friend.

The All Saints cast and crew were rattled, overcome with grief. They'd just heard much-loved Mark Priestley, who played nurse Dan Goldman on the medical drama, had taken his life.

There's usually an upbeat atmosphere on set, but there was deep and prolonged sadness following Priestley's death.

Ella Scott Lynch had begun working alongside her friend Priestley, 32, just weeks before his death in August.

Former Home and Away star Scott Lynch, who had stepped into the Hayley Smith role following Bec Hewitt's departure in 2005, says the cast found it difficult to return to normal filming.

"Mark was a NIDA graduate as well, and I was a friend of his but had never worked with him," 26-year-old Scott Lynch says.

"My boyfriend and I both leapt for joy when I first heard I had the job because he (my boyfriend) knows him (Priestley) too and I couldn't wait to work with him.

"He was a brilliant actor and a real comic. It was devastating to have something like this happen. It's been really hard for everyone, but we have all banded together to get through it and that support has helped us all," she says.

As Priestley's final scenes play out on the popular Australian hospital drama, Scott Lynch says that after two months aboard the well-oiled machine of All Saints, she's beginning to find her feet playing nurse Clare Anderson.

"Clare has recently moved back to Sydney, leaving behind a dysfunctional relationship. She is brought in on what she thinks is a temporary gig," Scott Lynch says.

"But she does have secrets and she is living a double life. While she's impressing with her nursing, she's keeping her private life under wraps.

"She's a great character to play, but I remember talking with the producers at the start and them saying she was a really good nurse. That's when I found it a bit daunting because the hardest thing to get a hold of is the medical terminology and making it look plausible. I was very nervous on my first day, having drips and syringes in my hands and talking the medical language."

While dealing with nerves, Scott Lynch was pleased to find out her former Home and Away co-star Kip Gamblin was also joining the cast.

"I hadn't seen much of Kip since we had birthed our child on Home and Away because he'd gone to London," Scott Lynch says.

"It was a lovely reunion for us and he was actually in my audition, so it was great to walk in there and know the other person you were reading against."

Gamblin, who is a trained ballet dancer and was the sole male dancer during Barbra Streisand's last tour of Australia, feels blessed that he stepped straight into the role of All Saints' Dr Adam Rossi after returning home from Britain.

Gamblin had spent two years honing his craft on British medical series Casualty.

"Home and Away was great, but I felt that Casualty pushed me up even higher. And being the only Aussie on the show, I had to prove myself," Gamblin says.

"Home and Away is what it is, but on Casualty it was an hour drama. There is a lot more artistry in that, which is extremely invaluable.

"It's almost like I am doing medicine after working two years on Casualty and now this. You can't help but take the stuff in," he says.

Anyone with personal problems can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Victorian Statewide Suicide Helpline on 1300 651 251.

By Erin McWhirter
October 29, 2008
Herald Sun