Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kat Stewart

The other day I was going to do a post about Kat Stewart. Then I got sidetracked.

I think now I shall get back to her.

What do I know about Kat Stewart?

She's on Offspring. Or she WAS on Offspring.  I'm not sure there'll be a sixth season.

She's on a murder mystery show. I'm not sure if it's still on; if they're still making episodes; or if it's over.

She was on an episode or two of that shitty yet sort of mesmerizing American show, Camp. She played a gambling-addicted mother of one of the Dance Academy students. Although now the kid wasn't an Australian dancer. He was suddenly an American camp counselor.  

I'm going to go look at IMDb

Kat Stewart is younger than me. She was born sometime in 1973. I was born in 1972.  I was born towards the end of the year. So if she was born in the beginning, we might be only a few months apart.

Her first screen credit on IMDb is a 1999 thing called Huntsman 5.1. Is it a spider thing? 

No, it looks like it wasn't.

It was actually a sequel to a 1993 movie called The Huntsman

Oh! Wait. It was a short film. Or at least the first one was. I'm not sure about the sequel.

I'm going to move up a few years to 2001. Stewart guest-starred on The Secret Life of Us. It was a very small part but a speaking role nonetheless. I imagine she was excited about getting it. 

Right now, one of the books I'm reading is Someday Someday Maybe. It's about a struggling, aspiring actress. And it's written by a successful actress. Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls. But she too was probably struggling at some point.

The thing is, though, when we see these people who have very brief scenes on our TV shows...well, I don't usually give their parts much attention. But for them, it's probably a huge thing in their lives. And I imagine they're wondering, is this the beginning of something wonderful? Or is it the best that's ever going to happen to me in my career?

I watch The Secret Life of Us, and this woman with this very small role is now a TV star. But other people making minor appearances...well, they're not going to go any further.  

I guess that's life.

Back to Kat Stewart....

She did six episodes of Blue Heelers. That was the same year as The Secret Life of Us. So, that's really good. She didn't have to sit around wondering if her career would end before it even started.

In 2003 and 2004, she did an appearance here and there. 

Then in 2005, she did seven episodes of a show called Last Man Standing. I don't think I heard of it before.

A reviewer on IMDb says it's like Sex in the City, but instead of the characters being female, they're male. Instead of being in their 40's, they're in their 20's; and instead of being American, they're Australian.  I liked the way he describes the show.

Lord Wiki just pointed out to me that there was also an American show with the same title. But I don't think the shows are related.

Also in 2005, Kat Stewart was on twelve episodes of a show called Supernova. I imagined it would be science fiction, but IMDb lists it as a comedy. It's about a British astronomer who goes to live in Australia. It was a BBC and Australia mixture, and it was filmed in Broken Hill. 

According to Lord Wiki, Kat Stewart's character was the object of attraction for the British astronomer. But she was engaged to an astronaut. I wonder if she stayed engaged. Or did she get together with the British astronomer in the end?

In 2007, Stewart was on a TV Show called Kick. It was a romantic-comedy thing. 

Zoe Ventoura is also in that. She looked familiar to me, though I wasn't sure who she was. But then I checked. She was on Packed to the Rafters

Kick looks fairly unique in that it features characters from a variety of ethnic groups. The main characters are Greek, Indian, and Lebanese. Plus, I see some Asians in the cast list.  I think most shows these days have mostly anglo-characters with a few other ethnicities sprinkled here and there. 

Back to the filmography.

Kat Stewart did six episodes of City Homicide in 2007. Then in 2008, she was on Underbelly. I actually knew that already, but I forgot that I knew that.  

On top of all that, Stewart also did 33 episodes of a show called Newstopia. It looks like it's some type of variety show? Or a game? Stewart playing multiple characters. And the show had a host. 

I'm consulting Lord Wiki now. It was a fake news show type thing. Well, I guess I could have gotten that from the title...if I had been thinking hard enough.

Here's a clip from a news report about whaling. It seems more political to me than comedic. It's almost like a creative public service announcement. 

Here's a promo for Newstopia. And Kat Stewart sings! 

While I have YouTube opened, here's a scene with an angry Kat Stewart on Underbelly.  

You know what. Kat Stewart has done a lot of work. I feel like this is the neverending filmography.  

In 2009, she was on a show called :30 Seconds. 

Lord Wiki says it's a show that satires the advertising industry. It ran for six episodes and had some famous guest stars, including Bridie Carter, Guy Pearce, and Claudia Karvan. Though I don't see those actors listed in the IMDb credits. Maybe their work on the program was uncredited? Or did Lord Wiki make a mistake?

Wow. Now Kat Stewart gets all confusing. It's like she's doing ten things at once, so her filmography is in crazy order.

I'm going to try to figure this out.  

From 2009-2012 she was on Tangle. That's the one with Justine Clarke from Home and Away.

From 2010-2014, she was on Offspring. Though there was a time Billie was stuck somewhere because of a volcano, and we only saw her through video chat. So maybe Stewart was working on another TV show then.

But there wasn't just Tangle and Offspring. 

In 2006, she did something called The Bazura Project.

In 2013, she did Mr and Mrs Murder with Shaun Micallef who also starred with her on Newstopia

Mr and Mrs Murder had one season. I'm not sure if there's going to be a second.  

Lord Wiki is telling me about The Bazura Project now. It sounds really interesting. It was actually on community television, and the opening sequences paid homage to scenes from famous movies. Well, the show itself was about cinema.

Have any of you seen it?

I think I'm going to quit the filmography soon. The last thing on it is a comedy movie called Sucker. Laurence Leung is one of the writers. He was on Offspring. And I once wrote about the guy...somewhere, sometime in the past.

Timothy Spall is in that. The name sounded familiar, but I couldn't place him...probably because I was thinking of Australia. But no. He's British—Wormtail from Harry Potter. 

Another person in the movie is Lily Sullivan from Mental. And like Kat Stewart, she was also in Camp. Though she had a much bigger role than Stewart. If I remember correctly, she was one of the main stars. 

Oh! Shaun Micallef is in this one too. I wonder if he and Kat Stewart are good friends. 

Maybe they're married? I'll have to look at the personal stuff soon.

According to this guy's Tumblr account, he (the Tumblr site person) is the star of Sucker.  He's a YouTube star, and now he's going to be a film star. 

Here's an article about the film. They say it's based on Laurence Leung's stage show, and the star is John Luc, who has two million subscribers on YouTube. That's super impressive. I wonder if I watched any of Luc's videos in the past. I vaguely remember watching an Asian-Australian guy's comedy videos. But I'm sure there's more than one Asian-Australian male doing comedy videos.  

Now I'm consulting Lord Wiki about Kat Stewart. He disagrees with IMDb about Stewart's birth year. He says she was born in 1972—eight days after me.  

She was born in Bairnsdale, Victoria.

I'm looking at Google Maps. Bairnsdale is about 3.5 hours east of Melbourne. 

Lord Wiki is extremely impressed with Stewart's work in Underbelly. He says she was awarded for it.  
Earlier this (Australian) winter, Stewart was at the Melbourne Theatre Company doing a play called The Speechmaker

Oh! And guess who else was in it. Another Offspring star—Lachy Hulme!

Lord Wiki says that when Kat Stewart was eight, her family traveled around Europe. That's really cool.

Stewart is not married to Shaun Micallef. She's married to a guy named David Whitely. This blog has a picture of the two of them together. 

Whitely is a founding member of a theater group called Red Stitch. Kat Stewart was part of it as well. Maybe that's how they met.  

I think I'll see what's on YouTube now.

Here's Kat Stewart winning an AACTA Award for Offspring. I don't know if I've ever heard of that award.  

Okay. I get it now. It's the new name for the AFI awards.  

The entry closing date was just a few days ago. August 8. Well, for me August 8 is just one day ago, but in Australia's world, it's two days ago.

It costs $1350 to enter your show in the award thing.  

Anyway, I better get back to the video. 

I think she did a good job thanking people. She seemed nervous at the end, which makes her seem very...human? Relatable? 

Here's a pretty recent radio interview. It seems they're going to talk about whether Offspring is going to return or not. 

They're talking about Thomas now....

She says they're waiting to hear about season 6, and Kat Stewart DOES want it to continue.  

Again, here she sounds a bit nervous at some point. Like her voice gets a bit shaky. 

Not shaky. I don't know what the word for it is. But it's when you're talking and you...well, you just sound nervous. It happens to me. It happens to a lot of people, probably. I was about to say "everyone", but I don't think that's true.

And in Kat Stewart's case, it might not even be nerves. Maybe her voice does it for different reasons. Although I think being on a radio interview or accepting an award is definitely the type of situation that would make a person nervous.

This acting/entertainment website has a 2008 interview with Stewart. The interviewer posted it though in 2013. I'm doubting it's the first time she posted it. She probably published it back when Stewart wasn't as famous yet. And now that she's more famous, she's reposting it. 

She talks about playing Roberta Williams on Underbelly.  Roberta Williams is a real person. I didn't know that. Stewart and the interviewer are talking about playing a real-life character without impersonating them. 

Stewart says, I think the key thing for me is that I wasn’t able to meet the real Roberta Williams. I had to make the decision, through necessity more than anything else, that it wasn’t going to be an impersonation because I didn’t have the resources to do that properly. There was some interview footage but that was about it. She’s quite visible now, she’s had a lot of coverage since the show aired. But at the time there was not a lot to go on.

I wonder, without purposely impersonating her, if she still managed to resemble Roberta Williams.

Here's an interview with the real Roberta Williams. I'm not going to watch the whole thing.

Now I want to re-watch Kat Stewart as Roberta Williams.

I think she does a good job of representing the character. But I'm not sure my opinion has much weight. I don't know much about Roberta Williams, and I've seen only one tiny clip from Underbelly.

In the acting interview, Stewart is asked if she has trepidation about playing a bad character. Stewart says, In terms of playing someone “bad”, no because I don’t think anyone is bad. Everyone has elements of good and bad. People who are complicated are much more interesting to play. I’m drawn to characters that aren’t cut and dry.

I like that. I think people have different ratios of good and bad. And if they have a lot more bad than good, we're going to see them as bad people. But for an actor, it's probably better for them to approach the character as being a mixture of badness and goodness. Otherwise, you're going to get more of a cartoony villain.

It's like Thomas on Offspring. Did he approach the role thinking, I'm an asshole. Probably not. He probably had sympathy and understanding for the character. Or maybe he didn't even know his dark side until he got that particular script. I think there was something with Locke on Lost.  I mean the actor. What's his name again?

Terry O'Quinn.  Thanks, Google.

I vaguely remember reading that he didn't know he was playing a different character. He thought he was still Locke. I think what they did was stupid, because it really threw me off. I had this whole theory that Locke somehow truly became the Man in Black. Like not possessed by him, but somehow...somewhere...some kind of weird time travel look thing. Why did I think that? Because the Man in Black's personality reminded me of Locke's personality. But all this was just because the actor didn't realize he wasn't playing Locke anymore.

I should go try to find the story...make sure I didn't dream all this up.

Well, nope. I didn't dream it. It's talked about in this interview. Though it doesn't say how long they went before telling O'Quinn that he wasn't Locke anymore.

Back to Kat Stewart.....

She talks about the interview process. She says it took a long time to get the call-back, and then another long wait to actually get the part. I wonder how long.

It reminds me of waiting for medical tests. I never really knew you had to wait for those things...until recently.  I thought you took the test, and a few minutes later the doctor comes in and gives you the diagnosis.

This is strange. There's something like people in Melbourne couldn't see Underbelly. I guess it wasn't broadcast there? Maybe for legal reasons, since it's about criminals in Melbourne.

Now they're talking about Stewart is asked if she takes things personally. Stewart says, Yes, definitely. Everything is personal. It’s so personal. You just try to be sane about it.

That makes a lot of sense to me. It's kind of silly when someone criticizes your work and you're told not to take it personally. How can you not? If it's not about you personally, who is it about?

Well, I guess some criticism of Stewart's work might be more about her character than herself. Let's say someone's annoyed with Billie's behavior in season four. It might be a bit mental for her to take that personally.

Then again...she could. If Stewart found herself relating to Billie in season four, maybe she might have been insulted by proxy.

If someone insults a character in my book, I probably won't be personally insulted. But if what they're criticizing about the character is based on myself, I'm likely to take it personally.

Anyway, Stewart also says, You’ve got to be really careful with how you deal with feedback.

It doesn't matter if you take something personal or matter if your feelings are rational or irrational. What matters is your behavior as a result of those emotions. Do you jump off a balcony? Write an angry letter? Cry privately? Drown yourself with TV binge-watching? Play a video game? There's lots of choices...some more healthy than others.

Kat Stewart's favorite movies are Tootsie and Husbands and Wives.  She says she'd love to do work with Woody Allen and Peter Weir.

That was an interesting interview. I highly recommend reading it in it's entirety if you're interested in Kat Stewart and/or acting.

I'm consulting Lord Wiki now about the UnderBelly NOT in Melbourne thing.

Okay. Yeah. I was right. Well, it's a court thing. They felt it might make upcoming trials unfair. So the whole state of Victoria was not able to view the program. Wow.

A few months later, though, Victoria was able to see an edited version. Then after that, they were able to see the full version.

Here we go. For $70.71 we can take an Underbelly tour in Melbourne. You see various aspects of the dark side of Melbourne. I wonder if Andrew Street is included in that.

Well, I think I'm going to quit here.

If you're a fan of Kat Stewart, please share your thoughts with me. I'd love to hear them!


  1. I see you mention Shaun Micallef in this posting. In my view, he's an unheralded comic genius.

  2. Mr Micallef is also a published author. I've met him at a couple of his book signings.

  3. Ross,

    Did you like his books?

    I just want to mention that my own blog is making me do all these multiple verification exercises to comment. I don't get it. ????