ASTRA Awards 2014: Random Acts of Carpetness

The stars hit the Red Carpet on Thursday night, and here's a snapshot of what they had to say.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThursday night’s ASTRA Awards at Carriageworks saw the stars hit the red carpet again and here is a snapshot of some the things they had to say.

PAUL MURRAY on focussing on television over radio in 2014:
“This year I made the call and it’s telly. I hope it’s future, fingers crossed.

“It seems to have gone well. I was nervous we weren’t going to have the same ratings as last year. At the start of the year we fell off a bit after the election, but we’re back in the Top 20 and that’s where I want to be.

“Just because the government changed didn’t mean news stopped. So there is always plenty to talk about. But the thing for me is I wanted to spend more time making the show, editing things and getting my hands dirty.

“I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to be one of those people who say they got up at 5am. I got up at 10:00 and then I stay up until 4 the next morning.”



SIMON BURKE on how The Devil’s Playground sequel came about.
“The film was made in 76 and I was 13. We’ve been doing some research to see if there is anybody who played a role at a relatively young age, completely left it along then came back to it all those years later. Maybe in soaps people have grown up in their role, but I’m not sure if it’s ever been done in film and television.

“It will be very challenging and dark because it’s a thriller as well. So it kind of ticks all the boxes. There’s a political story, a family story with my character, a thriller where people are missing …. to be there in the room when we had the idea and see it turn into something…

“Brian Walsh started talking about Devil’s Playground and what a great film it was over a pizza. We both kind of hit on this idea of a sequel about what would have happened to the little boy who was 13.

“I said it would make a great series and he said ‘Pitch it back to me.’ I was going back to London but within about a week I’d gone to Matchbox Pictures and Fred Schepisi, Matchbox and I got a one pager to send back to Foxtel and on the basis of that they decided to put some development money into it.”



ANDREA MOSS on whether Real Housewives of Melbourne has been a positive or negative experience:
“It’s not what I expected. There’s a lot more attention on us. It’s a whole lot bigger than I ever thought (it would be).

“I’m happy that the show has done so well, but disappointed with the level of profanity in the show. From one in particular. I’m glad that we got her to talk on camera the way that she talks off camera.”

But isn’t all the vitriol we are reading in the press just part of the confected spin for the show?

“No, it’s really real.

“It was a great challenge. I enjoyed it. But would I do it again? I will let you know after the reunion show. I know it will be revealing a lot of stuff that was happening off camera that we weren’t allowed to talk about.

“But it’s just extraordinary, you get 6 women together and where it ends up…

“(Matchbox) is honest. They tell it how it is. I think they did an incredible job for their first attempt at Reality television. We did a bit too much shooting that ended up on the cutting room floor.”



RYAN FITZGERALD on hosting upcoming AFL reality series, The Recruit.
“With Television I was waiting for the right opportunity, and I’m very passionate about this, obviously being in the AFL before and coming from a very similar background to these kids who are going to be a part of the show.

“It was a no brainer for me. The talent we’ve got on the show is really good.

“We’ve had trials already. But it’s more than just footballers. There are some amazing stories of Aboriginal boys coming from communities, leaving their family, guys who have been injured or issues in the past and have had a chance to play AFL but for some reason destiny has steered them on another course. Now they’re back with a second chance.”

Is there any other ethnic diversity in the show?

“We’ve got quite a few. I don’t want to give too much away but we have so many athletes from all around the world who will be integrated into the show somehow.

“It would be great to see basketballers, Gaelic footballers, grid iron players that could be involved.”



ANDREW WINTER on a new project to add to his Selling Homes Australia success:
“If we go again it will be Series 7. But you never know, there could be something in between, that’s top secret.

“I can say no more. Foxtel would have me shot.

“But put it this way, I don’t stray far from the property market.”

Why does SHA do so well when Free to Air networks have struggled with some property titles?

“Part of that is because Foxtel stick with things. People say ‘Oh Foxtel I can’t afford it’ but apart from the fact it’s pretty reasonably priced now, it’s the thousands of people employed by the Pay TV industry. It’s a big part of Australia and it’s important we support it.

“There are so many local productions now. When I started there were hardly any. Now there’s loads, so it’s doing a good thing.

“If the ratings dip with one or two shows on Free to Air they say ‘Get rid of it!’ I’m from the UK and they wouldn’t pull a show just on a couple of weak eps. They’d see it through to the end of the season and say ‘Ok, hang on, a lot of seasons have good and bad times, and sometimes you’re only one season away from the big one.’ Selling Houses has grown over time.

“I might be a bit mean to some people but the end result is actually helping. We only ever take on people who really need help.”



JENNIFER HAWKINS on when we will see another Australia’s Next Top Model and whether she inputs into the content:
“It’s pushed back a little bit for obvious reasons.

“Sarah (Murdoch) was EP (previously) but I host it and I love that side of things and I’m happy with that.

“It’s about sitting down and having a production meeting and we will go through ideas, in a think tank. It would be nice for everyone to have some input.”

What is her view on Charlotte Dawson’s concerns over young girls entering the modelling industry?

“Everyone has their opinion on that, it just depends on the person, the family and parents.

“But I never really modelled. I did Miss Universe and then went into businesses and TV.”



KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY on the differences working for STV from FTA television:
“Foxtel is a beautiful culture. They are very warm but I still do some work for Channel TEN with The Project, and I still work for Seven.

“But the people at Foxtel, unbelievably, don’t take themselves so seriously.

“In terms of being a Presenter there’s no difference for me, I still get up and do what I’ve got to do.”

“(Behind Mansion Walls) was apparently received really well which is why they start this Friday night repeating it.

Will there be a second season?

“I don’t know that yet. I’d like to do another series but there’s a couple of other ideas I might have as well.

“It would be nice to do another series, because they were great stories.

“I like Crime. I’m a Crime Fiction fan, that’s the sort of book I read on holiday.”



SHAREENA CLANTON on the dangers of being killed off in Wentworth.

“This show is so unpredictable that not everyone is safe. Those who you think are quite (secure) you just don’t know.

“But who knows what they will do at the end of the season? We don’t get scripts released until 2 weeks before we start filming.

DANIELLE CARTER on moving beyond Prisoner and the generosity of the original cast:

“It was at the point where they were very generous in passing the baton to us, and to receive it there was great acknowledgement and respect, with the way that they paved for us.

“But we’re on our own track now. It is its own beast. There were some lovely nods to Prisoner but now we have to say ‘Thank you so much. Bye bye!’ It’s 2014 not 1979 anymore.”



DAVID SPEERS on 2013’s big year in politics:

“The last year politically, I can’t recall one like it. We’ve had 3 prime ministers in the last 12 months and the election was big time for us. It’s always a challenge for programming new ideas, but what we did with People’s Forums bringing the two leaders together and engaging them with voters and viewers was a real success for us. It was really driving Free to Air as much as the media in covering the election.”

And on Parliament House’s division over SKY/ABC in the gym?

“I hear they have arrived at a decision for alternate days which is a bit of a copout as far as I’m concerned. They should have done a King Solomon and tore the TV in half!”



KRISTIAN ALFONSO on hearing that Days of our Lives had been dropped in Australia:

“I found out about it through Australian viewers tweeting me.

“Thank god they are ferocious and passionate about the show. They made it happen, and Foxtel and Arena –God bless them- have picked it up and we’re here to stay.

“It went to Crackle but people were not happy. Even for myself I love to sit down and watch television, or get in bed and watch television.”

That’s a wrap!

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