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Bryan Brown Admits a Second Installment Could’ve ‘Easily Blown’ the Magic

It’s the last day on set of Stan original series Bloom season two and everyone is in a good mood.

There will be a seafood buffet for lunch (special treat) and the costume department is selling off pieces for $5 each. Some of those items are never-before-worn shoes (pretty good value) while others are vintage bits bought from Vinnies for $4 (less good value), the tags still attached.

There are shouts of goodbyes as cast and crew wrap up, a sense of accomplishment and wistfulness swirling through the cool air of the old railyards where the production is shooting in Melbourne that day.

“It’s exciting, but it’s a bit sad,” actor Phoebe Tonkin tells news.com.au. “It’s a very strange thing to be with a group of people for however many hours a day and then have to say goodbye at the end. It’s like saying goodbye to family.”

Maybe that sounds trite, but there is an atmosphere of camaraderie on movie and TV sets, when a bunch of people are thrown together for these intense short bursts of time.

For all of Bloom’s focus on the possibilities of the magical berry, the strength of the first season is the relationship between the two lead characters, Ray and Gwen, played in their older guises by Brown and Weaver while Tonkin portrays the younger Gwen.

What the ending of the first season really brought home is that Bloom is, above all, a love story.

“This season, Gwen’s main focus is more on her husband and the longevity of her relationship with her husband, as opposed to the first season where was very driven by the idea of being given a second chance to have a child,” Tonkin says.

“The big theme for this season for Gwen is the meaning of true, everlasting love and the things that you would do for that type of love. That’s really beautiful and it’s what grounds a show like this, which can be quite heightened and surreal.”

Tonkin plays a character that is mentally 70-something though physically a 30-year-old, and admits she has to remember to not be “too slouchy” because Gwen grew up at an earlier time.

“I am a particularly tomboyish, slouchy 30-year-old. I don’t think Jacki Weaver was at that age, I think she was probably more poised and proper than I am!”

Tonkin is based in New York, though she was heading to Los Angeles for several weeks the day after Bloom wrapped. She relocated to the US early in her career and booked regular gigs on American TV shows including The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off The Originals.

But she loves working at home, having also recently made SBS series Safe Harbour with McKenzie.

“I really love working here because you get great opportunities. I think the calibre of writing and directing in film and TV in Australia is just so amazing.”

She doesn’t regret movie to the US though. “I think a lot of the opportunities I’ve had here have been because of work I’ve done in the states. You have to go there and come back, but I hope to just keep working between the two countries.”

Published April 10, 2020
by Wenlei Ma