23rd May 1998
Alison Whyte is best known to Australian TV audiences for playing the bossy producer, Emma, in Frontline, and Stella in Good Guys Bad Guys.
TV WEEK: There are several shows on Australian television with women in lead roles. Does this make you feel optimistic about your future in the industry?
ALISON: It’s fantastic to see shows spearheaded by female characters, but when you look at cast lists the female-to-male ratio is still poor.
TVW: What do you hope to be doing when you’re 65?
ALISON: I hope to be working as an actor in film, television and on stage. Maybe I’ll have a grandkid or two by then as well.
TVW: Are you and your husband (actor Fred Whitlock) hoping to start a family in the near future?
ALISON: It’s hard to say because it depends on what job you’re doing at the time. I feel you can’t sacrifice everything for your career and I definitely want to have children at some point.
TVW: Some actors refuse to indulge in relationships with other actors because work commitments would so often keep them apart. You obviously disagree with this philosophy?
ALISON: I think it’s much easier all around to be married to an actor rather than someone not involved in the industry. Who else, but another actor, would put up with the turmoil and the paranoia you go through?
TVW: How do you deal with days when you’re working long hours and feeling flat?
ALISON: Basically, I’ve been fine apart from the odd hangover. If I know I have to be up at five in the morning for work then there’s no way I’ll drink the night before. You just can’t afford to get sick when you’re working on a show such as Good Guys Bad Guys. Also, it’s best to let people know if you’re having a bad day. We don’t go around throwing tantrums, we’re too busy to carry on like that.
TVW: Are you an actor who would rather not work than accept a role that you weren’t fully committed to playing?
ALISON: I said to my husband that I was going to take a month off after completing shooting on this series of Good Guys, Bad Guys and he just looked at me and said, “Yeah, sure”. I do love working and there have been times when I’ve done stuff purely out of fear of not being in work. If the work is crap and you’re not loving a role then it can be very hard.
TVW: You and Fred run a pub, The Terminus, in Richmond, Victoria. How’s business?
ALISON: It’s good. The pub’s going well and we’re about to open another place in the city (Melbourne). It’s called the Chinn Chinn Club, it was first licensed in 1852 and last licensed in 1912. It’s an incredible place. We think it might have been a front for a brothel at one point because of the bedrooms in the loft.
TVW: There must have been considerable financial risk in backing these pub ventures.
ALISON: It was a very scary venture. It took a lot of convincing the banks, but it’s paid off for us and we don’t have to worry about banks any more.
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