Angela Punch McGregor, an AFI nominee for her role as Margie in Terra Nova,
‘blames’ it all on the director, Paul Middleditch: "I have to say it’s
his passion for actors . . . he almost paints the character on you. From my point of view,
he has phenomenal potential, with that element of all good directors: he falls in love
with his actors. It’s very flattering – so you expose yourself more than you
"I hide in quirky characterisations…."
But Punch McGregor also recognises that she has "a proclivity for those
rough-house woman [like Margie]." When it is suggested that she and Margie seem so
vastly different, Punch McGregor is surprised. "Well, you see, I don’t see that.
I don’t see how she’s different to me. Some actors who are comfortable as people
with themselves often give a more personality performance…something closer to them.
There are fine actors who can be themselves. But I hide in quirky
One of the things she found particularly well done in Terra Nova was the domestic
violence. "It was a very difficult thing to do and I think what paul and Steve did is
achieve a great deal. I also liked doing the bed scene, which deals very well with its
subject matter of a guy not being able to get it up…"
In her mid 40s, Punch McGregor has been acting all her life – or at least since
she was 15, appearing in her first film in 1978 (credited as Angela Punch) in The Chant of
Jimmy Blacksmith, as Gilda, and a year later in Newsfront – thus working with two of
Australia’s soon-to-be most respected directors, Fred Schepisi and Phil Noyce one
after the other.
In later years she starred in We of the Never Never and more recently she had a guest
starring role in the tv series, halifax f.p.
But after all these years, Terra Nova is partly responsible for a new course in her
life: Punch McGregor is on the verge of a major career change after the end of 1999 when
she graduates with a diploma in naturopathy. "I was quite ill while making Terra
Nova; I though I had cancer. But a whizz bang naturopath fixed me and I became a convert.
I became fascinated by it so I took a diploma course."
"I never thought I’d re-invent myself."
At the time of our interview in June 1999, Punch McGregor is still a tad nervous.
"I never thought I’d re-invent myself. It’s very humbling to be a beginner