H2O - Just Add Water: articles

Heine, Tonkin and Holt

DEEP water . . . Cariba Heine, Phoebe Tonkin and Claire Holt in H20, a new kids show on Channel 10 shot on the Gold Coast. Picture: Jasin Boland.

Young talent tales

CLAIRE Holt, Cariba Heine and Phoebe Tonkin the three teens who are playing part-time mermaids in Channel 10's new kids show H2O found a clever way to keep their eyes open during long sessions of filming underwater.

The trio, with the assistance of the set nurse, discovered that a few drops of full-cream milk in their eyes meant that the chlorine in the water tank at Sea World wouldn't burn as much.

"The chlorine starts to sting when you have to keep your eyes open underwater for a while and we tried a lot of things, but the milk in our eyes worked a treat," Holt says.

"It was a trick I used in water polo but I never thought of it for H2O and the nurse was researching on the internet and she suggested we try a few drops of milk, but it had to be full-cream milk."

Holt, from Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane, plays Emma Gilbert, one of three friends who take a swim in a volcanic pond and become mermaids with magical powers every time they touch water.

Tonkin, who is from Mosman in Sydney, and Canberra local Heine round out the core cast while Angus McLaren from Leongatha in Victoria is the token boy who plays the trio's protective male mate.

"H2O is about three girls who stumble on each other and friendship first, and then on to the volcanic island, and then the next time they touch water they turn into mermaids," Heine says.

"The show is about their adventures trying to keep away from other people while they have their tails, and coming to terms with their magical powers.

"I think there will be a wide range of kids who will watch it and it won't matter if they don't get the storyline because they will have the visual stuff.

"The young girls will go nuts over the mermaid stuff, because the way it was shot looks spectacular, and then there's the drama and the older girls will watch because of that side.

"I think there will be a lot of older brothers and sisters who will become closet watchers."

H2O was shot on the Gold Coast earlier this year with the inside scenes done at the Warner Studios and the water segments filmed in the giant tank at Sea World.

Holt, who graduated from Stuartholme School in Toowong last year, says that the $10 million spent creating H2O was worth every cent because children's television was such a big market.

"It's really important that kids have an escape and can get involved in the magic. I think it's really important for children to have that stimulus and be able to develop their imagination," she says.

"There are so many shows on television now with fighting and violence and guns, so H2O is really great because there is no swearing, there's nothing that can harm them. It's a really positive show for kids to be able to watch."

H2O, Ten, Friday 4pm

By Sarah Nicholson
July 02, 2006
The Courier Mail