25th June 1994
… but the Blue Heelers team is a force to be reckoned with.
DESPITE the success of the show and the popularity of her’charac- ter, Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune still worries about her performance.
“It’s been a year since we made the pilot, but every Monday morning I still get nervous,” she says. “I get to work and think, ‘Can I really do this?’”
A friendly, supportive crew and cast helps, she says. So does the fact that there are no romances between cast members.
“When we started the show, we all realised no-one was interested in anyone else in the cast. There was no-go with any of us,” Lisa says. “We’re a non-sexual cast!”
Long hours on the set and hefty storylines involving her character, Maggie Doyle, mean Lisa doesn’t have much time for a night life. So she and boyfriend Jamie Osborne, a musician, hardly see each other during the week, even though they live together.
She starts work on the Seven Network drama at 7am many days, so going to gigs to see Jamie play in Sixties cover band Woodstock or originals band Choice is out of the question during the week.
“If you go out late and turn up on set with bags under your eyes, it doesn’t look very good,” she says. “You have to take your work seriously.
“I don’t mind not going to see Jamie play all the time anyway, because I don’t want to be a band moll. I couldn’t bear to have people saying to him, ‘Your girlfriend’s so paranoid you’re going to meet other women that she has to turn up every night’.
“One night, a girl in the audience threw her underpants at him! Imagine that!”
Music is also a big interest for Lisa, who has worked as a singer. She prefers classical singing, but has dabbled in popular music, including a stint as a backing vocalist for Flares, the Seventies and Eighties retro band of her friend George Kapiniaris.
“One night I went to see George in his band after going to his play (The Last Proxy, in Melbourne). One of the girls was sick, and I ended up on stage doing the gig!”
But a career in popular music doesn’t interest her. “I wouldn’t want to be a rock star – not at all,” she says. “I’m very classically orientated, and I love my arias.” Jamie has never heard her sing classically. “It’s embarrassing, but I’m really scared he’ll say, ‘Oh, she’s a warbler’, and he’ll think I’m a dork and drop me!”
Her life now revolves around her work, but Lisa says that won’t always be the case. Her biggest ambition is to be a matriarchal figure, presiding over a large family on a country property.
“I’d love to have a huge house on a farm with children and grandchildren,” she says. “I consider myself to be a very homely person and I admire other actors who can say they have a normal life, because most of us don’t.”
Her ideal family would also include lots of pets, particularly dogs. “I grew up with dogs at home – we had a corgi and a Scottish terrier,” she says.
“The house I live in is too small for a dog, so I make do with my cat, Spencer. But when I get a bit older and settle down, I’d love to have a dog. After the TV WEEK shoot today, I think I’d like a blue heeler!”
Lisa says that, although her parents divorced two years ago, she grew up in a warm family atmosphere. Her brother, Brett, 19, an Aussie rules footballer, and parents live in Perth.
“Family is really important to me. One day I’ll have my own, although that definitely won’t be soon, since I’m only 23. And I’d like to be a working mum. I don’t think I could ever give up this work (acting), but there will come a time when it isn’t my major priority,” she says.
Story: Caron James
Original content copyright TV Week.