TV

EXCLUSIVE: Why Australia can't get enough of Rebecca Gibney

There's little wonder why the nation's gem is so wanted!

By Chloe Lal
Rebecca Gibney

For over three decades Rebecca Gibney has been gracing our screens with her bubbly presence.

A few years back, the 52-year-old was everyone's favourite mama bear as the iconic Julie Rafter on Packed to the Rafters.

But now she has packed up and sent that role to the rafters, trading it in for the best bad-arse check-out chick Lola Buckley in the Channel Seven hit show Wanted.

The second season is officially out on DVD, and fans are already needing a hit of the action-packed drama.

Now To Love exclusively caught up with the iconic actress about the county's new obsession...

And it turns out, you have Rebecca to thank as the brains behind the show...

Rebecca Gibney as Lola Buckley and Geraldine Hakewill plays Chelsea Babbage.
Rebecca Gibney as Lola Buckley and Geraldine Hakewill plays Chelsea Babbage.

"Lola's been bubbling around inside me for a while… I like to think she’s the tomboy I was when I was 12 or 13 – grown up with a much tougher life," she explained to us.

With her contagious laugh, she added, "I guess I came up with her so that kinda helps."

The mum-of-one spoke of Lola and Wanted's origin story.

Recalling it she began, "I was talking to Channel Seven's head of drama, Julie McGauran, who I worked with on Packed to the Rafters.

"I had finished doing Winter where I play a detective and we were just discussing all the roles I’ve played."

"She said ‘You’ve kinda have done everything. You know what you haven’t done, you haven’t played someone with a bit of edge!’"

"I had been thinking about Lola, she’d been in my head," she quipped.

Rebecca created the action-packed show.
Rebecca created the action-packed show.

"I hung up the phone and literally started writing about two women at a bus stop – one called Lola and one called Chelsea. One’s an accountant and one is check-out chick. They’re complete polar opposites. And something terrible happens to them at the bus stop and they’re forced to be on the run together."

"My husband [Richard Bell] compared them to The Odd Couple. Together we work-shopped it for about a year, and then we were pitching it and the rest is history!"

For those who've watched Rebecca on-screen, she embodies the characters she portrays. As an audience, we stop seeing Rebecca and instead are watching someone else's story unfold.

The starlet clearly adores Lola, gushing she told us rather frankly, "I love her with a passion."

And the feeling is mutual.

The country has clearly fallen for Australian television's most intriguing characters, all topped with some killer action.

At the age of 52 Rebecca is a powerhouse performing, the majority of her stunts on the high-surge show.

"Season One was mainly in cars – and I’m a fast car driver, I just loved it," she said.

"But when we were plotting Season Two , we had Lola running around and I kept forgetting that I'm Lola and I would have to do all these stunts!"

She compares Lola and Chelsea to *The Odd Couple*.
She compares Lola and Chelsea to The Odd Couple.

Laughing, she explained how vigorous the shoots were.

"I'd have to wear lifts in my hiking boots so I don’t seem too short next to [co-star] Geraldine [Hakewill]."

"Running around in lifts, alongside Geraldine who is a runner is hard work. Thankfully I did have a stunt double at times."

"But generally I did all my own stunts."

Chuckling she admitted, "I did realise I am terribly unfit. And if we get a Season Three I’m going to get a trainer and get ripped!"

While Season Three hasn't officially been confirmed, Rebecca is very hopeful.

Stephen Peacocke has spoken out about returning to the show, telling TV Week, “I’ll definitely do it –unless they get Harrison Ford to step in for me."

We're guessing with the show's reception, the next installment is just around the corner.

And that's definitely thanks to the cast.

Rebecca with her co-star Stephen.
Rebecca with her co-star Stephen.

Rebecca credits a mix of familiar and new faces that have fans so attached to the show.

Speaking from the production side, the actress mused, "We wanted to see new faces."

"Of course myself and Stephen Peacocke have a profile but other than that, the show has really talented and fairly unknown actors."

Explaining, "I think it is really important to have your famous faces, but then you want unknown actors so you can get lost in the drama and the story."

If you want to get lost in the drama all over again, get yourself a copy of Wanted Season Two, out on DVD now!