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

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

Interviews - 2010

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When people think of Ginette McDonald, they often think of one of New Zealand’s most defiant and famed purveyers of Godzone English, Lyn of Tawa. But for McDonald, Lyn 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:

  • How her fascination with television first began, while watching wild geese flying across a TV screen in a Wellington radio store
  • Making her screen debut as a runaway teenager 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 Lyn of Tawa was born backstage at a theatre when McDonald was only 16, with help from famed playwrights Bruce Mason and Roger Hall; and how Lyn 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 off-beat 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 also directing another 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