Zoe Carides contemplates a temporary life without stage and screen and music
‘Doctor Doctor’ colleagues Zoe Carides and Tina Bursill.
Zoe Carides has been a leading light on stage and screen for 35 years, has had her own Nancy Sinatra tribute band for six years and is often sought after for voice-overs.
All that has come to a screeching halt amid the pandemic crisis. “I really don’t know what I’ll do,” she tells IF. “I’ve been lucky and I’m grateful for my career. Generally anything I do on stage these days is more substantial than what I do on screen.
“There is a possibility I can give a couple of classes via Zoom to a group of young performers in the Southern Highlands.”
Among her recent roles she played the corrupt mayor Nancy Miller in Easy Tiger/Nine Network Doctor Doctor, Doctor Carras in Playmaker Media/Stan’s The Commons and a therapist in Playmaker Media/Sony Pictures Television Networks’ psychological thriller Reckoning, which will screen here on the Seven Network.
After Doctor Doctor wrapped last year she was asked to post-synch her character’s last line: “You too will live to regret this,” which she wonders may be an open invitation for her to come back and wreak havoc.
Her most recent stage gig was in David Williamson’s comedy The Big Time at the Ensemble Theatre last year.
Before that she played the mother of Sarah Gaul’s Loz, a struggling playwright in Sydney’s inner West, in Lucy Coleman’s bawdy comedy Hot Mess.
Zoe and her sister Gia first teamed up in 1986 in the half-hour dramas Strawberry Girl and Sisters in the Bathroom for the ABC series Studio 86, both directed by Peter Fisk.
In the former Zoe played the title character with her sister as her alter ego; in the latter they were sisters who spend all their time gossiping in that room. Their only other on-screen collaboration was in Richard Franklin’s 1996 drama Brilliant Lies.
Her breakthrough role was with Sam Neill and John Clarke in John Ruane’s 1991 black comedy Death in Brunswick
Actually her first movie was director James Bogle’s 1988 low-budget horror movie Kadaicha (also known as Stones of Death), the saga of the murders of a group of teenagers after they unearthed a secret burial ground. She played the lead and the only survivor.
The Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood Experience in Melbourne (Photo credit: Rebekah Kittl).
Zoe signed with legendary talent agent Barbara Leane in 1988 while she was performing in Wily Russell’s stage musical Blood Brothers at the York Theatre in Chippendale.
She stayed with Barbara (who died earlier this month) until shortly after she sold the agency and has since been represented by Sarah Linsten Management, one of Leane’s proteges.
The Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood Experience most often plays at the Camelot Lounge in Marrickville and has toured Melbourne. Asked if she ever tires of singing Sinatra’s signature song These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ she says: “No, because I draw such a lot of energy from the audience.”
All its upcoming gigs have been cancelled. Although she directed several shorts including Gifted in 2005 and Not Even a Mouse in 2011, that’s not a role she is keen to repeat, explaining: “I have a bit of trouble asking people for favours, which is imperative when you are creating short films.
“Everyone is so willing to grant you favours but I kind of ran out of chutzpah and the energy to push those projects through. I actually wrote four drafts of a feature for producer Sunny Grace but I lost the will and energy to keep pushing it.”