Genevieve Hegney and Tim Minchin lock lips in ‘Upright’


Genevieve Hegney and Tim Minchin in ‘Upright’ (Photo credit: Foxtel).

Playing strangers who meet half way across the Nullarbor and have a brief but passionate encounter in Foxtel’s upcoming series Upright was a lot of fun for Tim Minchin and Genevieve Hegney.

Friends since they attended the University of Western Australia and its dramatic society UDS, they had not been on stage or screen together before, although she did direct him in a UDS production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, in which he played The Player.

In Upright Hegney’s character Frankie is travelling from Perth while Minchin’s Flynn is coming from Sydney with teenage runaway Meg (Milly Alcock) as they lug a piano across the country.

“We were both good sports about the love scene,” she tells IF. “After 20 years in the business we were being very technical, like ‘you put your hand there and I’ll take my top off. Does that look good?’”

The Lingo Pictures-produced series created by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor was her first chance to work with the director Matt Saville. Her episode was written by her mate Kate Mulvany.

After that she had a guest role in Seven Studios’ upcoming narrative comedy Fam Time created by Michael Horrocks and directed by Hayden Guppy. Michala Banas stars as the family matriarch Belinda Box, who runs a blog which chronicles her daily adventures as a modern mum with a busy blended family in the digital age.

Duncan Fellows is her second husband John, aka ‘Handy Andy,’ who prefers tinkering to Tweeting. Benson Jack Anthony is her son Rylan, who spends a lot of time in his room looking for romance on a new dating app.

She played the mean host of a TV reality dating show in which Rylan agrees to participate thinking it will be cool. Too late, he realises it’s called Australia’s Saddest Virgin. “It was really fun and it’s got a great tone,” she says. “Benson is so excellent.”

In one of her most memorable roles, she played Julie, who orders an Uber after getting some bad news from a doctor’s surgery in an episode of RevLover Films/the ABC’s Diary of an Uber Driver.

It was just the second time she had worked with her husband Matthew Moore, the series director. On the first occasion he directed Amber Ambulet, her 2013 short film adapted from WA author Craig Silvey’s book. Ed Oxenbould played a 10-year-old masked avenger who comes to the rescue of Hegney’s Joan.

All3Media International, which is distributing Diary of an Uber Driver, and the ABC are funding the development with RevLover’s Martha Coleman of PR, a comedy scripted by Ainslie Clouston, Sarah Bishop and Claire Phillips (co-script producer and writer of 10’s Playing for Keeps).

That trio shot a highly amusing, raunchy 2 minute 45 second teaser trailer, with Hegney as the Veep-style head of a public relations firm and Clouston and Bishop as her co-workers.

Genevieve Hegney in ‘Doctor Doctor’ (Photo credit: John Platt).

Playing ‘Hurricane’ Harriet, the former wife of Rodger Corser’s reprobate Dr Hugh Knight in the first three seasons of the Nine Network’s Doctor Doctor gave the NIDA graduate a a lot of currency.

Tony McNamara, who co-created the series with Ian Collie, Claudia Karvan and Alan Harris, was a contemporary of hers at university and they had work shopped a lot of plays together.

As fans of the show know, Harriet disappeared at the end of season three, literally leaving their baby in Hugh’s hands. “Rodger keeps hinting ‘she’s only in rehab in Sydney’ so you never know,” she says.

During her career she has played American characters three times: a vet in the ABC children’s series Out There; a former pro-surfer in Rhiannon Banenberg’s movie Rip Tide after Radha Mitchell dropped out; and Sheila, the libidinous best friend of Rachel Griffiths’ character in the NBC series Camp.

When she first auditioned for Camp her character had only one scene in one episode. After the reading she was offered all 10 episodes.

Currently she and Catherine Moore are co-writing the sequel to their play Unqualified, which will premiere at Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre next year. The comedy follows the duo as women who meet at Centrelink and decide to start an employment agency, for which they are entirely unqualified.

Hegney and Moore intend to shop the project as a TV series once they have honed the scripts.