Eloise Oxer on The Cut

Beautiful rising actress Eloise Oxer has one one of the key roles in the ABC’s entertaining comedy drama series The Cut. She has recently been in Paris working with the legendary Theatre Du Soleil company but we were lucky enough to catch up with her to talk about the show.

The Cut stars John Wood as sports promoter and agent Wild Bill Telford. After being injured in a bomb explosion Bill is forced to take something of a back seat whilst his son Andrew (Matt Passmore) returns from the UK to take over the reigns of the business only to find he gets more much than he bargained for. Eloise plays Andrews former girlfriend Naomi and although both are now with different partners it is clear the spark is still there.

You have quite a strong presence in the series; do you see this as something of a breakthrough role for you?
Yes sure, prior to The Cut, I’d not had a lot of experience at all with film and TV. The script was a delight, and the team really allowed me to dive right in and ride the waves as they arose. I owe enormous thanks to Tom Blacket, Mandy Smith and the team at ABC for taking such a leap of a faith. It was a really wonderful poject to cut my teeth on.

What has been your most high profile role before this?
My highest profile role? I guess you could say my very first theatre gig after graduation. I had the honour of filling the skin of a character I’d long had a deep affinity with – Laura Wingfield, the young sister to Marcus Graham’s Tom in the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2002 production of The Glass Menagerie. I fell madly in love with Laura, and often think that I could have toured with that production for years.

Your character Naomi is a sports doctor, did you have to do any research to play her?
I’m mad about research, it’s one of my favourite parts of the job – humans in all their variations fascinate me and the opportunity to savour worlds and ways I would never have the opportunity to savour otherwise gives me a real buzz. I had lots of fun filling in the doctorly details with Naomi. I attended various training sessions with a couple of professional teams, spent a great deal of time glued to the telly on game night – very, very new for me I have to tell you – and was fortunate enough to get in touch with a few really generous practitioners who babysat me through multiple Q and A’s.

The general world of sports was somewhat familiar to me though, the smell of goanna oil and chlorine, the changing rooms and all that flesh…my dad was a swimmer and as a kid I spent a fair amount of time by the pool while he trained and taught.

She’s also pretty feisty, do you identify with her in any way?
Ha! My dearest and nearest would have something to say about that I’m sure…I am a redhead after all.

The cast gel together really well in the series, was it a fun production to be involved with?
It was an absolute joy. We kept saying to each other how lucky we were to have such a wonderful team.

You’ve worked in theatre, film and TV, which is your favourite medium to work in?
Oh that’s a bit like asking who do you love most – your mum or your dad? I’ve always had a really soft spot for the living beast that is live theatre, and given that I’m presently spending time with one of my favourites here in Paris, it’s probably foremost on my mind. I feel that there’s an almost sacred, ritual like quality to the process of theatre making, and although as yet I’ve not had much experience with acting for camera, Cinema too is one of my great loves.

I’ve often thought of television in terms of its wondrous potential given it’s far reaching nature, and certainly after my recent experience on The Cut, I’ve really nourished a deep respect and keen drive for the exacting craft of acting on screen – there’s so much to learn and I’m sure my appreciation will only increase.

There’s been something of a resurgence of Australian drama over the last year, do you think that people are finally tiring of reality shows?
We can only hope.

What have you got lined up next?
After a couple of months of Parisian inspiration and a few weeks in the company of the wonderful Theatre du Soleil, I’m feeling all fired up to get back to a number of independent projects I’ve been stalling, and generally looking forward to fresh faced meetings with any other opportunities that spring up when I return.

The Cut is on ABC1 on Mondays @ 9.30pm and is well worth seeking out.