The Blue Heelers video (1997) : Lisa McCune and Martin Sacks
Interviewer: Lisa, how would you describe Maggie?
Lisa: Umm ... ohh ... pure. No, not pure actually, she's not pure. She's just, she's just essentially, *good*, you know, like she's so, such a well-rounded golden girl you know, she's good at everything, apart from ... you know, picking boyfriends. Umm ... she's just, she's such a policewoman, you know, she has really found her niche in life. She's feisty and she's um, she's spontaneous, she's.... And she's a bit naughty sometimes too you know, like I really like to play a little element of naughtiness in her sometimes, you know, especially with this character and, and Tom, um ... but essentially she's, she's good. I think that her, her core is good ... you know.
I: Is there room for love in her life?
Lisa: (pause) Yeah I wonder sometimes, you know, maybe that's why she doesn't have successful relationships and maybe that's why she can't allow this to work because really, is there room with her career and, her family are cops, so she's got a lot, not to prove, but to *be*, you know. She really has to *be* this ... that's what she's about. So maybe not.
I: Will she get her promotion?
Lisa: Well she's passed her exams, she's now a Senior Constable, she's just waiting on the, (pats her shoulder) the stripes. She's not, she doesn't fail a lot, you know. Which is good to play a character like that because I'm hopeless. (Laughs) It's so great, 'cos she's just so, good, you know.
I: And Martin, how would you describe PJ?
Martin: Capable. Oh, you know, he thinks he's capable. I mean, far more capable than I am. (Laughs) Because I can be pretty inept. (He and Lisa laugh) Umm ... yeah he's alright, he's pretty good, I mean he has his moments, umm ... ahh. He gets a bit, sort of hardlined at times, and you know he's, an analytical side of him that's sort of a bit, ahh, roils him at times, which, you know ... I sometimes read a script and I go, "Oh no, no, no, I don't want to..." you know, you sort of deal with that. He's probably ahh ... he's a little bit outside of centre, and a bit sort of, got this, likes to think that he's a bit, you know got this sort of roguish thing going on but ... ahhh ... essentially he's a city guy that never really quite fit in.
I: So what does um, "Cops with heart" mean to both of you?
Lisa: I think it essentially, is umm, was the phrase they used at the start of the production on this, because they wanted, they didn't want to do anything groundbreaking as Marty said, they just wanted to do something that, was a good show, that showed strength and character and quality, and you know a bit of morality and the whole thing, and I think it just, as an overall umbrella describes what the show is, and these characters that they come up with is like the (Enid Blyton's) Famous Five, they're really, good people and so they're cops with heart. They're not umm ... and cops do have heart, you know. I'll put my hand up and say that because they do.
I: That cover it for you Martin?
Martin: Yeah, I think that um ... that the fact is that a lot of them are umm, you know I mean as you said, you don't really see the other side to police, and I think that, you know, that is a side that you can explore in a show, as we're going to start to see you know, coppers dealing with crime and day-to-day things, but also you can see that how they deal with it, and how difficult it is, you know. (Sees John Wood in the background behind the camera, and waves.) Hey Boss. (He and Lisa laugh)
I: He's back.
(John's voice can be heard in the background.)
Martin: ... it's John Wood here.
I: So in terms of er, I mean we talked about the show, and what works within it. In terms of your personal lives outside the show, has it affected you being, you know, involved with such a high-rating show?
Martin: (with a straight face) Oh you gotta wear disguises a lot. It's ridic... (laughs) No.
Lisa: You disguise yourself? I don't believe that! (Laughs)
Martin: No, it doesn't change anything, it doesn't change your life at all, really. I mean, the only thing is —
Lisa: Yeah, people don't go near, I mean I, people don't, people look at me like, "Ohh, ahh, you look like my auntie" or cousin or something.
Martin: We don't encounter the same problems, because if people have any comments about the show they'll say, they'll say, "I enjoy the show" or you know, they'll come up, you know in an adult fashion and you don't get chased and you don't go through all the drama, you know.
I: If Maggie and PJ actually got it together, what do you think the effect would be, on the...
Lisa: Are you talking about bonding, marriage ... (raises her eyebrows and laughs)
I: Well, you know, whatever.
Martin: Well, it's been a long time, I think it'd be pretty explosive.
I: What would happen to the rest of the people at the Mt Thomas police station?
Lisa: Oh they would know about it for sure I think, I think it's one of those ... (She and Martin look at each other) Even I'd like to watch it, I must say I would like to see, I've got my ideas how I'd like to see them get together.
I: Okay, come on.
Lisa: Oh, no, 'cos they might use them, I'd give it away. But it'd er, it'd just have to be like a, (claps her hands together) you know, like an atom bomb.
I: A brief encounter?
(Martin and Lisa look at each other)
Martin: I don't know, they'd get bagged a lot I think if they're found out, you know I think that er ... you know, they get so close, and then, then they back off, and they get close, and they back off...
Lisa: It's just really nice to play too, it's dynamic, you know you get a really wonderful sense of dynamic, and Marty and I are both quite insistent that comes out of our police stories, we feel that that's the main focus and, these two characters, they're both incredibly professional. And that actually is nice when you get hints, you know, *teasing* is so good, and they tease and it's, you do, you come out of a scene that's just titillating. It's so exciting.
John Wood (off camera): I got kindergarten children who handle their love lives better.
(Lisa and Martin burst out laughing.)
Lisa: You can't talk.
Martin: (hands on hips) Well we try to be grown-up.
Lisa: But that's what's so wonderful about it.
Martin: He's the one knocking on the door and going, "Have I interrupted anything?"
Lisa: He interrupts all the time.
Martin: "No Boss, we're just about to er, fall in love all over again."
Lisa: It's like, oh damn, we were just about to have a kiss, and then he walks in the door.
Martin: "Sorry Boss, I'll get onto that crime right away."
I: So Lisa, if *Maggie* met *Martin*, not PJ but Martin, what would, how would she respond to him?
Lisa: Maggie, if Maggie met Martin, she would probably ... oh, she'd like him. I think if Lisa met PJ, she'd be like, "See ya later". (Laughs) Umm ... but I think as far as um, Maggie meeting PJ, I think that she'd, I mean, Maggie meeting Martin...
Martin: (laughs) Yes.
Lisa: Oh, he's wonderful. He's a very ... he's a gentleman. And I can see why millions of Australian women fall in love with him.
Martin: (mumbling, looking embarrassed) Next question... (Lisa laughs)
I: Okay Martin, what about if Martin met Maggie?
Lisa: It's very confusing.
Martin: *Martin* met ...
Lisa: *Martin* ...
Martin: (mumbling) Martin met Maggie and Maggie and Martin ... okay, just let me — (He pulls his hand over his face like he's ripping off a mask) Ahhh ... (laughs) oh God. Can you make that a little simpler? (Lisa laughs) Ahhh ... I don't know, I think that, I mean the thing is, I relate, Lisa and I relate because I mean there's a certain sort of ... stupidity, that we sort of, in terms of humour that we appreciate and a certain silliness, that you know, Maggie and PJ have this sort sort of, you know, a cop-like, grown-up attitude. I mean, I would much prefer to meet Lisa, you know because that sort of person appeals to me more. I think Maggie's very er, good at her job and she's very officious and all the rest of it but I think that er, you know, the sense of humour isn't, isn't there with Maggie as it is with Lisa, I mean Lisa's just er...
Lisa: Same ... don't have a sense of humour...
Martin: You know there's a certain sort of ... no I didn't mean that... (laughs)
Lisa: (laughs) Don't you start!
I: Do you ever think about the characters that you play, PJ and Maggie, as role models?
Martin: I don't think of PJ as a role model, I think Maggie is, as a role model. And probably you know, Tom is a role model.
Lisa: I think you'd be surprised though.
Martin: I think that er ... no, I don't see him as a, as a role model, as such. Probably Maggie is. You know, sort of like...
Lisa: You know, I think, I mean as far as the character goes, she has her flaws, but she's really umm ... because she's so professional and ambitious. Yeah, I mean, you know, kids just love Maggie you know, because she's really, she's essentially, *good*, you know, the core of her is good, but not in a really, "lovely lovely" way, she's actually quite, I mean she doesn't, some episodes I'll sit and watch and go, "My God I didn't smile once". And um, the, yeah, yeah ... which is a good thing, you know I think they all are in their own way.
I: PJ strikes me ... an audience ... as a city bloke, as a kind of like, real city guy. Why is he, why is he out in Mt Thomas? What's his attraction to it?
Martin: Oh he's hiding from a dark past. Apparently.
I: Dud past?
Martin: (laughing) Dark past. Could be a dud past, I don't know.
John (off-camera): I assume so. (Martin and Lisa laugh)
Martin: Think he's trying to transfer me.