TV Week
August 22nd 1998

Jay Laga’aia (aka Sen-Constable Tommy Tavita)

Question: What would be the highs and lows of acting?

Jay: Highs and lows would be doing the nude scene in the recent episode of Rats. Itís not easy pulling your pants down in front of forty crew members.

Question: What is it like working on Water Rats and occasionally Xena: Warrior Princess?

Jay: What I like about working on both these series is that on one show you get to play the straight good guy, there to lend a helping hand and the other you’re the bad guy ready to chop off a helping hand.

Question: What is your birth-date and star sign?

Jay: September 10, 1963. I’m a virgo and I like my star sign.

Question: Where would you like to see your character head in Water Rats?

Jay: I would like to take him a little more off the water and work on land. Not so much with the leads-co-stars Colin Friels and Catherine McClements – but with McCall (Scott Burgess) and Blakemore (Toni Scalan).

Question: How did you get picked for Water Rats?

Jay: I was working in New Zealand when a call came from Southern Star with a request to see me on tape. I taped an interview and got a call back saying pack your bags you’re flying to Australia. And the rest is history.

Toni Scanlan (aka Sgt Helen Blakemore)

Question: Apart from working on Water Rats, what do you do in your spare time?

Toni: Cook for friends, which makes me nervous, but I like the challenge.

Question: What would be the highs and lows of acting, especially on Water Rats?

Toni: Highs-working on an island in the middle of the harbour! Lows-working on an island in the middle of the harbour!

Question: What is your birthdate and star sign?

Toni: I’m an Aries and I was born on April 2, 1956.

Question: If you could be anybody in the world, who would you be? And why?

Toni: Maxine McKew. She’s a fantastic journalist, great interview and not bad looking either. Seriously, I’d like to have her brains and the ease with which she deals with all kinds of people.

Question: What other work have you done other than acting? And what was your first job?

Toni: My first job was selling jeans in Jeans West. I’ve been involved in retail clothing and secretarial work.

Question: Have you ever made a stuff-up when filming Water Rats?

Toni: Often, but one time working with Colin Friels (Det. Frank Holloway) I could not get my lines out. I finally squeezed them out and when I saw it later it was shocking!

Question: What are your favourite foods?

Toni: Moroccan food with all its fruits and perfumes combined with lamb and cous cous, and a bottle of pinot noir. Yum!

Question: “Do you get quizzed about the show? Does this annoy you?

Toni: People are generally polite. They’ll say, ‘Hi’, or tell you they enjoy the show, but I’ve never been quizzed. Most folk know the difference between real life and fiction. So, when they meet you, they’re responding to you the actor, not the character and that is far from annoying.

 

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