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A look into the past: the cast of Gallipoli celebrate ANZAC Day

The Weekly takes a look at the casts of Gallipoli and Deadline: Gallipoli and how they felt stepping into the shoes of legends.
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For many of us, the horrors of fighting and serving in the Gallipoli Campaign is beyond our reach. Even though some of us might have heard tales and stories from great-grandfathers and grandmothers who served as soldiers and nurses and pilots, the true experience is something we will never understand.

It was with this thought in mind that both Gallipoli and Deadline: Gallipoli were created. Both miniseries followed the characters who were embroiled in the war, and how they made their way through the perils of Gallipoli.

We take another look back at the cast who breathed life into a legend.

“ANZAC Day has become a day for flag-waving and patriotism, which is great, but I think we sometimes forget that for soldiers on the front line, it was not at all a glorious time, but a horrific time,” says Harry Greenwood who plays Bevan Johnson, “I hope what we have managed to straddle with this show is the fine line between paying respect and illuminating the Gallipoli landings as the failed military campaign they were.”

“Reading diaries and researching the landings, the thing that struck me was how young the soldiers were. Some as young at 17,” says Harry, “The war was sold to them as a grand adventure but it turned out to be anything but.”

“The soldiers were really just a bunch of teenagers sent into a situation that was not really well thought out,” says Ewen Leslie, who plays Keith Murdoch in Deadline Gallipoli, “And Keith Murdoch wanted that truth to be known back home.”

“The transformation he underwent, from official correspondent to chief critic of the military operation, was quite staggering,” says Joel Jackson who plays ‘Bean’ in Deadline: Gallipoli, “As he watched men dying around him, he became infuriated by the futility of it. He left Australia a journalist and came home as a crusader for these lost and wounded men.”

“They left Cairo full of bravado and returned shattered,” says Gracie Gilbert who plays nurse Tessa Gordon in Gallipoli, “And the nurses, many of whom were barely adults themselves, were left to pick up the pieces.”

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