All Saints: articles

Georgie's out

GEORGIE Parker has had enough of Terri Sullivan and a great relationship, which saw two opposites attract, has started fading away.

It was an outstanding pairing—Parker, the actor, and Sullivan, a one-time nun and full-time nurse dedicated to patients in her fictional Sydney hospital.

The latter, of course, was Parker’s character in hospital drama All Saints but after seven years and two Gold Logies the real woman is exiting that particular stage.

There’s no push or shove involved—a year ago Parker felt an itch, scratched it, and late last year came to a decision to move on.

“Terri is more different to me than any other character I’ve played, which is cool,” the 40-year-old said.

“She’s practical, logical and calm in a Zen-like way whereas I’m far more emotional—so her being so different to me meant she’s been easy to play.

“I get a break from me whenever I come and play Terri.”

No longer. It’s time for Parker to re-establish herself as the multi-dimensional performer she is when she leaves All Saints in May.

“It was a mix of lot of things,” she said. “I stayed in the job for three reasons: I loved the character; I had a great work place; and thirdly, I had a child and I wanted a steady place to work and it was a really steady secure job for an actor.

“It was very satisfying, but everything has come to a natural end.”

Last year All Saints faced sliding ratings and was overhauled.

New central characters came with the new style and Sister Terri was treated harshly on screen—her new boss Frank (John Howard) even insulted her with the F-word.

All vital stuff for the show, maintains Parker but not creatively good for her.

“Me choosing to leave coincided with Terri being an exhausted character,” she said of Terri, who started as a nun, then married only to have her husband die.

“There’s not much left to do with Terri without it becoming a parody or a melodrama.

“From an actor’s point of view I didn’t have enough to sink my teeth into. I’m quite impatient and really need something to challenge myself with.

“On the other hand, I wanted to spend more time with my family [husband Steve and daughter Holly] so I was working less and that gave more time to be a mum.

“But at the same time the worker in me needed a challenge and I wasn’t getting enough of that. And turning 40 made me think ‘I’ve spent seven years in this show, it’s time to stretch my wings’.”

Parker returns to All Saints for two episodes from tomorrow night, goes off screen for a month before returning for her still-secret departure in May.

The gap was due to Parker performing in the Sydney Theatre Company’s Scenes From A Separation in November.

By Marcus Casey
February 07, 2005
The Herald Sun