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Sun-Herald

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Date: 09/05/2010
Words: 478
Source: SHD
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Television
Page: 3
Wandin Valley sweetheart Josephine Mitchell is back on the small screen, writes Scott Ellis.

HOME and Away has a new face from this week but it's one that will already be familiar to fans of Australian soaps.

Josephine Mitchell is making her return to series television more than two decades after she played Jo Loveday on A Country Practice, one of the best-known and best-loved characters on our screens.

And while her regular role as the latest arrival in Summer Bay, Jill Carpenter, is definitely a change of pace for Mitchell, it's something she has found surprisingly comfortable despite so many years away from television.

"I absolutely love it," Mitchell says. "I've worked in film and theatre and enjoy each medium for their different processes but I think that because I predominantly trained as an actor in television, I find the pace of this work particularly stimulating.

"I got a bit nervous when I first came to the studios on my first day and found I had about a dozen scenes to do but I fell back into it quite quickly and now I'm like a pig in mud, quite frankly."

Since leaving A Country Practice, Mitchell, 44, has concentrated mainly on raising her two children, taking only occasional screen and stage roles (including an early, brief stint on Home and Away, where she played a policewoman).

"I really enjoyed being a full-time mum," Mitchell says. "And that was the predominant reason I haven't been doing much acting.

"But my children are older now [her two daughters are aged 11 and 13] and I feel like I can start to look at working a lot more.

"And it's wonderful to be back in the whole swing of things. I have missed it."

In her new role, Mitchell will play the mother of series heart-throb Romeo Smith (played by Logie winner Luke Mitchell).

Mitchell says her character is a functioning alcoholic who arrives in Summer Bay to visit her son and soon causes problems.

"I hope people don't think she's Jo Loveday grown up; that would be awful," Mitchell laughs. "Jill is very different to Jo, that's for sure.

"The biggest difference, of course, is her drinking and because of that, she starts to impact on the others very quickly."

She's also - for the start at least - a single mother who notices the Bay's single men, including long-standing character Alf Stewart (Gold Logie winner Ray Meagher).

"I've got to say Alf is someone Jill flirts outrageously with," Mitchell says. "But there are other men in the Bay as well, so who knows? I've got to say it's been a very great pleasure working with [fellow A Country Practice star] Shane Withington again.

"The last time I worked with him I was playing a schoolgirl and he was playing a recently bereaved widower when Molly [Anne Tenney] died, so things are very different for both of us this time."

Home and Away, weeknights, 7pm, Seven.

 
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