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Hero image for Ginette McDonald: Fires, nymphomaniacs and Lynn of Tawa...

Ginette McDonald: Fires, nymphomaniacs and Lynn of Tawa...

Interview – 2010

When people think of Ginette McDonald, they often think of one of New Zealand’s most defiant and famed purveyers of Godzone English, Lynn of Tawa. But for McDonald, Lynn is only one part among many. Alongside an acting career which began when she was still a teenager, McDonald has also worked as a producer, director and presenter.

In this ScreenTalk, McDonald talks about:

  • First growing fascinated with television, while watching geese flying across a TV screen in a Wellington store
  • Making her screen debut as a runaway teen in drama series Pukemanu, alongside Bruno Lawrence
  • Acting in London
  • The fun of playing "a 38-year-old nymphomaniac housewife from Te Puke" in Kiwi soap Close to Home
  • How the infamous Lynn of Tawa was born backstage at a theatre when McDonald was a teen — with help from playwrights Bruce Mason and Roger Hall — and how Lynn found success on television
  • Moving into producing and directing, and having a joint brainwave with director Peter Sharp, while casting kidult hit The Fire-Raiser
  • The shock of watching offbeat 60s show Peppermint Twist go down like a lead balloon
  • Her work on TV series Pioneer Women  — playing Hera Ngoungou, a Pākehā brought up Māori, and directing a Pioneer Women episode chronicling sexual health campaigner Ettie Rout
  • How she won a Feltex Award for playing drama, even though comedy is so much harder
This video was first uploaded on 18 February 2010, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview - Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing - Alex Backhouse
I just thought it was heavenly. I think that something clicked then — I thought I'd love to get behind these cameras.
– Ginette Macdonald on discovering a passion for working behind the scenes in television, while visiting the BBC's studios in White City, London