Podcast with Lisa Jane

Star of Health Life Lisa Jane, 36, talks about her passion for drama and family.

Health Life is made in far north Queensland. I’m lucky because my children come, too.
When I first spoke to the producers about the show, I told them, “I can’t do it without my children” and they understood. I think I’m better for having my kids [Archer, six, Oliver, three, and Remy, two] around, and they know I work hard. They came up with me and had a wonderful time. For the next series, I’ll be away for three months. My mum helped last time, but this time I think my husband (Tim Disney) will. He’s really a terrific dad and I think it’s great for him to be involved in the nitty gritty stuff.

I’m a better mother when I’m working.
I don’t do classes or go to the gym. My ‘me’ time is my work and I find it invigorating. I come home refreshed. There’s no perfect scenario when you have children. I’m always asking other people for advice, and they give good advice but everybody’s situation is so different. I’m always thinking, how do I make this work and what’s good for the children, and what’s good for me.

I’ve set myself a goal to try different things.
Since Blue Heelers I have found people to be very helpful in my wish to be seen differently. It’s hard because there’s such little work. But I find it refreshing when I get asked to do something that’s nothing like I’ve done before. I want to morph and change. I’m waiting for a part playing someone with black hair!

Doing live theatre is great.
It’s hard when you have children because you’re out at night, but it really is an important skill to have. You know the work but, physically, it’s very demanding because you are using your whole body and you’re before an audience, so you have to keep it going. TV is tiring because you are learning a lot of dialogue all the time, so it’s mentally draining. I like TV as it keeps you on your toes you’re often filming bits of different episodes in one day.

It’s exciting to be part of Health Life.
I have such a big love of drama. I love creating characters and I love watching drama it’s such a wonderful escape. We make good TV drama in Australia and we have great stories to tell. We need to pat ourselves on the back more. Sea Patrol is not hugely intellectual but we’re not trying to do something edgy or different. It is simply a wonderful TV drama based on true stories.

Working with the navy out at sea every day really helped to ground us in reality.
A fully functioning patrol ship was with the television crew the whole time and the captain had the final call on whatever we were doing. He led us very well and with a great sense of humour. When we first started shooting, we had absolutely no idea about how the other worked but, over time, we learned about each other’s lives. I now have a deep respect for their line of command. I used to think it was bossy and military, but it’s there for safety.

I would love to work overseas.
It would be great to be involved in something somewhere else and bring it back here. Cate Blanchett is bringing her incredible experience back to the Sydney Theatre Company, and I think that kind of export-import thing is terrific. Whether an opportunity like that will come up, I don’t know. In this industry, you can’t have a five-year plan. I have the kids now, so it would have to be worthwhile.

If someone asked me what makes me happy, I’d say it’s my family.
I know it sounds corny I really love hanging out with my kids at home, in the sandpit or at the beach. It can be the hardest thing, but it’s the most rewarding. The most relaxing part of my day, though, is when I get the kids to bed and turn off the light, and look at them asleep. I make myself a cup of tea and eat chocolate. I do this every night. Then, I sit up in bed and read. I also love the movies, but I don’t get out as much as I like. However, I’m sniffing freedom. I can see a time when Grandma can stay with the kids while we go out.

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