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PUNCH MCGREGOR, ANGELA: Terra Nova

After her award nominated role as Margie in Terra Nova, Angela Punch McGregor is taking a dramatic turn in her life, as she tells ANDREW L. URBAN

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 would otherwise."

"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 characterisations…."

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 again."

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Angela Punch McGregor


...in Dead Heart


...in Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith

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