We know her best as straight-talking Australian doctor
Lexy Price on lesbian drama Lip Service, but with a CV which
includes roles as diverse as a spoof news reporter, a 60-year-old
gay man, and a corseted aristocrat, talented actress Anna Skellern
seems in little danger of being typecast. She spoke to DIVA about
the development of Lexy's character, the sexiness of being on stage
and her thoughts about Lip Service's most intimate sex
Born in Sydney, Australia in 1985, Anna Skellern had an
outdoorsy childhood. "I've got two brothers, one older, one
younger," she says. "So I have quite a few scars, from climbing
trees and running down hills too fast and things." There was a lot
of traveling too, as her father's job as a professor of electronics
meant the family travelled between America, Australia and the UK.
"I thought that was awesome," she remembers. "But I'd always get in
trouble because I'd mimic everyone's accent."
As a child, Anna was well known for her "lounge room
performances", she says, often acting in plays she put on with
other kids in her neighbourhood. "I think from the time I could
stand up I would get up on the coffee table and perform," she
recalls. "My parents were very kind, very patient with me. I was
always singing, and I played the violin. I'd dress up in these
dress up clothes with my violin and then," she breaks off,
laughing, "What a pain in the arse! But you know I've always really
loved performing and making people laugh. It sounds like such a
wanky thing to say, doesn't it: 'I just really want to make people
laugh'," she smiles.
Moving on from those formative coffee table performances,
Skellern's taken on a wide variety of acting work in recent years,
including appearing on Australian TV as a news reporter in
satirical sketch show CNNNN, in films including thriller The
Descent 2, and on stage in plays such as Holding the Man in
London's West End in 2010.
"Oh my god, that was so much fun!" she recalls excitedly when I
mention I'd seen the play, an adaptation of Timothy Conigrave's
memoir about his long-term relationship with lover John, both of
whom are diagnosed with HIV. "I got to wank on stage as an
18-year-old boy and I got to play a really letchy 60-year-old gay
man. It was brilliant! In one scene we were wanking in sleeping
bags," she laughs. "And it was all boys and me and this amazing
Australian comedian called Jane Turner and [in rehearsal] we're all
wanking and the director is like, 'Anna, I don't know how else to
say this note, but, um, wank higher.' And I was like 'I'm being
realistic!' It was so funny. It was great to be in the show. I love
playing really different kinds of characters."
To read the rest of this interview and see the amazing
photos by Lezli+Rose, get your hands on a copy of the August issue
of DIVA, on sale 5 July.
Where to find DIVA near you
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