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Belinda Giblin will never - ever - step into another actress's shoes.

And, although she enjoys the role of Alison Carr in Channel Seven's soapie Sons and Daughters, she is through with donning 'second-hand dresses'.

That's how she feels every time she walks in front of the camera to play the role Rowena Wallace made famous.

She explains: "It doesn't matter how good an actress you are, there is always the shadow of the former player hanging over you.

"I don't think I could ever take the role of another actress again.

"It's limiting in so far as the character was created by someone else."

Belinda took over the devious 'Pat the Rat' character more than a year ago. But she says she still feels like a 'guest' in the Sons and Daughters house.

"I came into the show four years after it had started, and that takes the edge off it," she said.

After a year of initial hesitation to whether she should take the role, Belinda finally accepted when she thought there had been a big enough lapse since Rowena had last been seen in the part.

"I hesitated to do it for a long time," she said.

But Belinda doesn't want to be misunderstood.

She loves working with the Sons and Daughters cast and crew and has nothing but praise for their professional attitude.

"I enjoy doing the show. The crew and production team are wonderful.

"Sons and Daughters is rating well and I've just signed up for another six months."

Apologising for her contradictory attitude towards the show, Belinda explains she is a 'creator' and she loves to be able to work a character the way she thinks it should be.

"Next time I'd like to be able to mold the character myself instead of having someone else do it for me.

"I'm really not whingeing because I like the role. People have now accepted the character for the way I have modelled her.

"She is no longer Pat the Rat - instead she's Alison Carr, and I really like that."

Belinda takes the role of soapie bitch very seriously.

"I love playing the bitch because the lines are better.

"But I totally disapprove of every value Alison has - for one she hates children and I love them."

Ideally Belinda would like to have another child but she has to find time to fit one in between her busy schedule.

She says she is still young enough to have another child, although she won't give away her real age.

"It's funny, there is a real stigma attached to age.

"Someone once told me not to tell anyone how old I am because any director who was interested would be immediately turned off if he thought I was too old or too young to play a particular part," she said.

Belinda already has a five-year-old daughter, Romy, whom she named after Romy Schneider - her favourite actress.

"When Sons and Daughters is on Romy sits in front of the television transfixed for an hour.

"At the end she says very quietly - because she doesn't want to hurt my feelings - 'Mummy, I don't like you in that'."

Unlike other actresses Belinda adores television work, preferring it to any other medium.

"I like the fact television is not repetitive and I enjoy working with the camera and the subtlety it can afford.

"I relish playing with cameras and experimenting and I really enjoy the magic you can create in front of a lens."

But, she says, an actress can get slack always working with television.

"Theatre is good for every actor - my voice improves 20 times.

"With television you tend to get lazy and your breathing goes out the window.

"You spend a lot of time on television and film holding back," she said.

Belinda believes Sons and Daughters will go 'on and on' but she thinks maybe there are too many bitches in the show now.

"Rather than there being one or two evil protagonists there are now half a dozen, and I think that tends to take the edge off the villainy generally."


By: Leigh Reinhold
Source: 'The Green Guide', Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Date: 28 July 1986


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