Tammy’s Shock Paedophile Drama
11th May 1996 - TV Week
By Shane Sutton
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Former Police Rescue star Tammy MacIntosh is embarking on one of the most disturbing and controversial roles of her acting career.
As the national media spotlight focuses on paedophilia, Tammy’s latest film, Whipping Boy, takes a look inside a fictional, yet no less frightening, paedophile ring.
Also featuring Sigrid Thornton and Once Were Warriors star Temuera Morrison, the film is a disturbing exploration of what has recently become a contentious issue throughout Australia.
“I think it might frighten a few people, but it is not going to bring anyone down,” Tammy says.
“Those who are really involved might find it nowhere near the real thing, but for the general public it will give them a very good awareness of what can, and does, go on.
“Basically, these are kids. They are little kids, and this should not happen.
“It is a really sick mentality because the men who do it actually believe they are doing an emotionally good thing for the kids. They believe they are giving them love. The physical thing is not an abusive thing in their minds. It is a form of love.”
Filmed in and around Sydney’s Kings Cross District. Whipping Boy is based on a book of the same name by Gabrielle Lord.
Currently in production for Network Ten, the film is the story of layer Cass Meredith (Sigrid Thornton) who is appointed head of a state inquiry into a child pornography ring supposedly run by a group of high-profile pederasts. Tammy plays Seal, a police officer turned bodyguard for Sigrid’s character. Temuera Morrison plays John Carrigan, a former vice squad detective with an in-depth knowledge of Sydney’s criminal underworld.
To research her role, Tammy spent a couple of weeks in Kings Cross hoping to get the scene-it-all-before attitude of her slightly jaded character.
“The people look scary, do drugs and may have rings in every orifice, but they seem to be the most gentle people,” she says of some real-life characters she met.
“Working in the Cross is perfect, and they’ve cast an amazing bunch of people. Sometimes when I get to the set I think some of the people around are just those sorts of people who do hang in the Kings Cross. Then you realise they’re following us from one scene to another and they are a part of our cast.”
Tammy is equally excited about another project, the Nine Network telemovie McLeod’s Daughters, to screen on May 12 (May 13 in South Australia).
Also starring Kym Wilson and Jack Thomson, it is the story of two sisters who put aside their differences to save the family property from financial ruin.
While Tammy (who plays country sister Claire) and Kym (city sister Tess) have been friends for years, the tense scenes between the two were treated with professionalism.
“Our characters had things to sort out, so we would make a conscious decision to say good morning, have our coffee and then say that we wouldn’t speak for the rest of the day. It was the best way to preserve the emotions,” she says.
While Tammy has been careful not to fall into another series since Police Rescue – choosing instead a feature film, River Street, with Aden Young as well as episodes of G.P and The Feds – McLeod’s Daughters may have opened the door for another recurring role.
“They’re really keen on making more McLeod’s Daughters,” she says. “Especially if the scripts are as good as this one.”