Water Rats: articles

brooke satchwell

Actor lands a role to cry for

BROOKE Satchwell had not yet left Neighbours when industry pundits began touting her as one of Australia's brightest young acting prospects.

Regular appearances on The Panel and God News Week furthered the impression that she was far from a two dimensional soapie star.

When she left in 1999 after three years on the long-running soap, Satchwell took a sharp left turn and signed up for a role in the Caribbean Tempest, opposite Alex Dimitriades.

After appearing as a guest star on the Nine Network's police drama Water Rats last year, Satchwell is making a more regular return as Sophie Ferguson, the daughter of Steve Bisley's Jack Christey.

It was a part she never thought she would land.

"I was supposed to cry, and I cried before and after the audition but not during," she laughed. "I thought my agent was joking when she told me I'd got the part."

Satchwell, 20, is juggling her filming commitments with a run of auditions for major film and theatre projects, including Alex Proyas' new film.

While she is loving the hectic pace—most actors aspire to being this busy—there's not too much quality time with her partner and fellow actor Matt Newton, who is currently filming the World War II prisoner of war mini-series Changi.

"We both get up at 5am, drag ourselves into our cars, go to work, come home at 8pm and toss a coin as to who is ordering takeaway," she said.

"Rehearsing at home, I've been a prisoner of war and he's been a Water Rats detective, which has been pretty funny.

"We come from such totally different ends of the acting spectrum and we're doing it in totally different ways but we do understand each other."

While acting originally appealed to Satchwell as a more preferable option to her $4-an-hour milkbar job to earn pocket money, landing the Neighbours role changed everything.

"Neighbours gave me such a great knowledge about the technical side of things and it was great to cut my teeth on," she said. "I was absolutely terrified about doing The Tempest but it was such a whimsical lifestyle—working at night, living in Sydney for the first time by myself—it was great fun.

"Landing the part in Water Rats has shown me what's out there, what the opportunities are and what I can work towards."

By Kathy McCabe
The Daily Telegraph