All Saints: articles

Parker Resumes Sister Act

THE news is all good for Georgie Parker fans.

After taking time off to have a baby, Parker returns to Seven's revitalised and increasingly popular medico drama series All Saints (Tuesday, 8.30pm) this week.

"There will be plenty of drama when I come back, let me tell you," Parker says with a laugh.

Parker's character, Sister Terri Sullivan, returns to her old job as nursing unit manager of ward 17 and is amused to discover that friend (and estranged former lover) Mitch (Erik Thomson) is taking orders from former intern Malcolm Pussle (Brett Climo), who once had a huge crush on Terri. "Well, he (Malcolm) does ask me out and we do eventually start dating," she says.

Does that mean Mitch will become jealous again, despite being married with a child?

"No, the relationship between them is much more plausible when I come back," she says.

Parker admits the writers wimped out on Terri and Mitch's relationship prior to her departure, but quickly adds: "They (the writers) couldn't really go where they wanted to go with Terri and Mitch because I was so pregnant and it limited what they could shoot (without showing her tummy)."

"This time it will be much more satisfying," she says. "I have shorter hair and Terri will have much more energy, because she's much more relaxed about everything. She's still religious, but she won't have that heaviness of catholicism (that went with being a nun)."

Fans will remember before Parker took the four-month break to have baby Holly, Terri was in a real pickle with Mitch and his wife, Rose (Joy Smithers).

Then, suddenly, Terri took long-service leave and went to Queensland to grieve with her mum. This paved the way for Sonia Todd to step in as replacement nursing unit manager Kate Larsen. But Kate's drinking problem eventually resurfaced and Sonia has left to have her own baby.

So, how is Parker's new mother-in-real-life role going?

"When I get into my car to go to work, that's my time off," she says. "This is the most exhausting time of my life."

Although Georgie says she did not really have any expectations about motherhood, the reality of her daily life (and husband Steve Worland's) is now far different.

"It's quite extraordinary, the reality of being a working mother," she says. "It's a nightmare and a dream at the same time—like stepping into someone else's nightmare and not having anyone to yell 'cut'. "

Returning to work was never in doubt.

"I was always coming back (she is contracted to the series for another 15 months)," she says. "It was exciting coming back because I felt the show was really starting to hit its stride (this is the fourth year). I wanted to be part of it."

Meanwhile, Holly's time is shared between dad, other family members and a nanny, plus obligatory visits to the All Saints set.

And is Holly a young actor in the making?

"All she can really do at the moment is choke on her own spit, although she does play with her feet a lot," Parker says.

"Someone said she might be an Opal (Australian female basketballer)."

April 22, 2001
Sunday Herald Sun