Waters gets steamy. BY HELEN CROMPTON, The West Australian May 11, 2011
Relationships: the battle of the sexes; the complications of family; the confusion of identity. Offspring is all of the above. John Waters is speaking from his Leichhardt home in Sydney's inner west, pondering what lies at the heart of the collision between men and women - something that is central to the Ten ensemble drama about to start its second season.
It's the old Mars and Venus conundrum and Waters, who plays Peter Pan patriarch Darcy Proudman, says his fictional family must highlight all the modern challenges going - especially erotic.
Yes, the actor admits, his TV brood sees more action in the romantic department than discretion might dictate. "The Proudmans have a lot of sex," Waters states flatly. "Jimmy (Richard Davies) has natural charm in his DNA and manages to get more sex than anyone I know. Darcy is susceptible to the same things. He can't resist women who are attracted to him, so he's an opportunist in that regard. "But I would hate for Darcy to be decried as an old roue. He's just more naive than a man of his age should be. He's not aware of his age and . . . well, I'm a bit like that," says the 62-year-old actor/musician and thrice-married Waters.
Indeed, the TV and stage veteran is a father of five - two from his first marriage (Bec, 40, and Ivan, 37) and three from his third and current marriage to Zoe Burton (eight-year-old Archie and four-year-old twins Gloria and Rusty), so he's well-qualified for his role. It is, he says, uncomfortable being absent from his young children during filming in Melbourne but adds that he's hands-on when at home. "It's not a lack of commitment on my part. You know people say 'I'm not defined by my job', and that's really true for most people. But me - and people like me - we are defined by our job."
Asher Keddie's work in season one as Darcy's obstetrician daughter Nina earned her a Silver Logie for most popular actress earlier this month.
Season two, Waters says with tantalising promise, "is full of odd things and hook-ups you don't expect. There's some wild s… going down." It seems the writers have pulled the drama choke all the way with a script that's reality with a heightened squint.
"And it has ended up being rather funny," Waters says as if that weren't the original objective. "Offspring was never written strictly for comedy. It was and is written as real slices of life."
Speaking of which . . . Darcy has a big slice of life on his plate from the opening scene of the first episode. First off, he's confronted with death - never a comfortable situation. It occurs to him there's no time to lose in terms of love and so he proposes (again) to Geraldine (Linda Cropper).
Question: which woman in charge of her wits allows an incurable man-child romantic to mess with her life for the second time around from his hospital bed in a state of post-operative euphoria? It's a two-word answer; the first is Geraldine. "The thing with Darcy is he has confronted his mortality and recovers so well he thinks he's bulletproof. He can't stop his old ways."
Waters has managed to keep the duality of his acting and music balanced. His ambition after touring a second part of his one-man show Looking Through a Glass Onion is to visit South America and immerse himself in the music of tango singers. "My Spanish is a little faded," he says, "but I want to get into that stirring, very passionate culture. That's a travel ambition."
Meanwhile back in the thick of confused relationships, Nina ("Asher is just wonderful and of course we see events happen through her eyes") returns home after working for six months in Baltimore, only to be confronted by the reality of her lost relationship with Chris (Don Hany). But wait, there's a new hunk on the paediatric ward who happens . . .well, let's just say Nina has a way of grieving a past relationship by creating a few more. Watch this space.