Rebecca Gibney’s son, Zac Bell is following in his mum’s footsteps as he lands his first professional acting role right alongside her in new TV show Winter.
Zac, 10, has always had a fondness for performing, Rebecca says.
“Ever since he was little, even when we lived in Tasmania, he absolutely idolised Steve Irwin. He would go out on his own and go ‘right, we’re in the Tasmanian wilderness and looking for the wild wombats’ or whatever it was he was pretending to stalk. Seriously, he’s always been like that and wanted to have his own nature show,” Rebecca told News Corp ahead of his small screen debut.
Rebecca, 50, had other ideas though, saying she “tried everything,“ to talk her son out of a showbiz career. That didn’t deter young Zac though, who had been begging his Gold-Logie winning mum and his set-designer dad Richard Bell for a job since the pair founded their own production company last year.
In the end though it was Zac’s natural talent that won the Winter producers over. Rebecca exempted herself from the casting process, saying, “I said to him, ‘okay, darling you have to do this by yourself, I’m leaving...and they cast him. The director said ‘he’s a natural.’”
Rebecca Gibney with husband Richard, Zac, giving the thumbs up and a family friend on the red carpet at the Lego movie.
So does the ten-year-old have any acting tips from his mum? “Don’t act,” Zac told News Corp. “She said it needs to be real. In that moment it’s reality so nothing else matters.”
Zac will make his first on-screen appearance this Wednesday on Seven’s Winter, in which Rebecca plays the title role of Detective Sergeant Eve Winter as well as acting as producer of the show. The youngster will have a different on-screen mum though, in the form of actress Kate Mulvany – and Rebecca reports the on-screen mother and son became quite inseparable!
Rebecca in Winter with co-stars Peter O'Brien and Matt Nable
“He absolutely fell in love with Kate...in fact, I think she’s the first grown-up crush he’s ever had. When we said goodbye at the end of filming, in the car he started to cry. I said to him ‘are you alright?’ and he said ‘I don’t know...I have this funny feeling, I’m going to miss her so much.’”
Zac might have been lucky to have the industry connections through his mum, but that doesn’t mean he got an easy ride on set!
Rebecca says: “There were a couple of days where they were long hours and I could see him getting tired. Then he came up to me and said ‘can we go home soon?’ and I said, ‘are you talking to me as mum, or as a producer, because the producer says you’re not going home until you’ve done the job. He’d say, ‘well can I have another donut?’ and I’d say, as a mum, ‘no you can’t.”
Sounds like Rebecca can be one tough taskmaster! We’ll look forward to see mother and son on air together.
Watch Winter on Wednesdays, 9pm on Seven.