MDA: articles

In love with lust

A FIVE-YEAR stretch on Blue Heelers will go down as one of the most fulfilling experiences of Jane Allsop’s acting career.

A year after walking away from the Channel 7 drama, however, Allsop couldn’t be happier about her decision to quit the role of impulsive cop Jo Parrish.

For starters, she is enjoying a break from pre-dawn starts and 60-hour working weeks.

“I loved Heelers and everybody who worked on it, but I left simply because it was time to take a chance and look for new challenges,” Allsop says. Advertisement:

“To stay with the show, to try to hold onto that forever, would have been like being in pause mode.

“I saved my pennies from Heelers so that I wouldn’t have to go straight back to working behind a bar and, as it’s turned out, I’ve had some wonderful acting jobs to keep me busy.”

Allsop has spent a month working on the ABC medical drama MDA, describing her role as relentlessly intense.

Co-starring with Shane Bourne and Vince Colosimo, Allsop plays a character, Lucy, who endures trauma while on the IVF program.

She has also filmed episodes of Seven’s new drama series Last Man Standing, playing a character, Suzie, who is a radical departure from the Heelers role of Parrish.

While Parrish’s romantic pursuits almost always ended in despair, Last Man Standing’s Suzie is a woman who cares little for romance, but a whole lot about sex.

It’s refreshing, Allsop says, to read a script where a woman is sexually confident, but has no interest in emotional attachment.

“It was so lovely to see this character on the page - a woman who says, ‘I want sex . . . for God’s sake don’t get all emotional with me’.

“After three years of crying over PJ (the Blue Heelers character played by Martin Sacks), it was a change to explore a character who is about lust, not love.”

Actor Harvey Keitel, renowned for undressing in a long list of movies, insists “it takes a lot more courage to bare your soul on screen than you’re a ***”

Allsop agrees. “Yes, I gave the norks a bit of a dust off . . . it’s been a while since I’ve done a nude scene, and I thought TV was just about ready for them again,” she says with a laugh.

“It takes a certain amount of brain power to do the nude stuff without feeling worried about it.

“I was quite specific about not wanting to do full nudity.

“But the role needed some nudity because of the character Suzie is.

“If you were on set getting all self-conscious about having your clothes off, then you wouldn’t have been doing the role justice, because Suzie is certainly not uncomfortable in that situation.”

By Darren Devlyn
June 08, 2005
The Herald Sun