Hearts at stake over Heartbreak
THE END OF AN ERA: CALLAN MULVEY AND LARA COX SPEAK CANDIDLY ABOUT THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF HARTLEY HIGH
Since the last bell rang on Heartbreak High, stars Lara Cox and Callan Mulvey have been forced to spread their wings and step out of their comfort zones.
"It was really sad to leave everyone after three years," Lara says of one of the longest-running Australian Dramas for young people. "And then branching out in the unknown was upsetting." Lara recalls the sense of achievement felt when they did good scenes. "When you'd catch an episode, you'd feel so proud of the actors. I'd feel proud to think, 'yeah, that's what I'm part of.'" Now picked up for re-runs by Foxtel since it's demise on the ABC, Cal and Lara are pleased that further generations of viewers will be able to enjoy the critically-acclaimed show.
But how did they get involved in the first place? Callan (Drazic) had been a semi-proffesional rollerblader when his agent pressed him to try out for the show. He didn't even want to be an actor, but his role as Drazic had a huge impact on his life in finding direction. Acting soon became a passion. "I hate real jobs," he jokes. "I don't want to have to get one!" Finishing school in 1995, Lara auditioned and won the part of Anita, thereby going back to school for the next three years!
Coy when it comes to personal maters, Lara sais, "I had a very protected childhood. It was loving and supporting, but, you know, my Dad was quite strict. When I was 17 I moved to Sydney for Heartbreak. I learned so many things and met so many people. It was probably the best experience of my life."
So was HbH a realistic portrayal of school for these two? Lara quickly says, "No! I went to a private school girls' high school. If you did the wrong thing they would just kick you out. But I don't think the classroom scenes on Heartbreak were ment to be realistic, they just wanted high-energy and everybody yelling out. It was fun." Callan's experince of school was more reflective of the Heartbreak action, which he thinks was quite close to the real thing "as much as possible in the time span and the six o'clock time slot". Cal's first memory oh high school was on day one, when he saw a guy being rammed head-first into a fibro wall. "I was freaking out, going from the top of the pack, to the bottom."
As for the changes fame has brought, Lara claims she has never had a negative response from fans. Cal still finds it emberassing to come across a fan who is rendered speechless by his very presence. "But what can you do?" he laughs.
Lara's advice to would-be actors is to not be
swayed from your goals.
"Acting is so difficult - if you take the set-backs personally you'll get so depressed. Just keep trying!" Cal has experienced some of that rejection, having tried out for a few roles since HbH production finished last December. "With auditions," he says, "It just comes to whether you'll fit the part or not. You can have the wrong sort of eyes, or you're not tall enough... It really does come down to things as fickle as that.
You've got to keep your head up."