Taming Tammy | Springing into movies
31st March 1990 - TV Week
By Darren Devlyn
Reality is far exceeding the dreams of Flying Doctors star Tammy MacIntosh. While Tammy, 19, has leapt from children's shows to prime time drama, we might also see her on the big screen if plans come to fruition.
Tammy, who took on the role of nurse Annie Rogers after severing ties with C'Mon Kids mid-last year, is flying to Sydney to discuss a film role before returning to Melbourne for the next Flying Doctors series, scheduled to begin shooting next month.
Two factors are responsible for Tammy seeking work while most of the regular cast enjoy a break. She has a thirst for technical and practical acting knowledge... and she says she's hyperactive. Tammy's incredible energy (she jokes her blood sugar level may be a little abnormal) and confidence have been catalysts in her burgeoning career.
Surprisingly, however, her childhood was at times unsettled, and she lived in the care of several foster families. She now has adoptive parents in Perth, her home town. Her father, a lecturer in drama and theatre, had little to do with her career choice, but Tammy insists her parents' influence has been enormous. "They've shown me how to control all that energy," Tammy says. "When I first started on The Flying Doctors I was on one of the biggest highs ever. I called Mum every second day to bring me back to earth."
Unfortunately, the pace of Tammy's career has resulted in just one trip home to Perth in the past 12 months - last Christmas. She took home copies of her fifth and sixth episodes of The Flying Doctors, neglecting the first four because she was dissatisfied with her early performance. "When I started work on the series I didn't know much at all," Tammy says. "I only had the ability to act honestly with the little knowledge I had. All Dad's friends in the industry are now asking him why he hasn't used me before, and he just says to them, 'I didn't know she could act'. None of my family had any idea I could do this!"
Reluctantly, they've accepted Tammy is not going to be around as much as they'd like.
"Mum says it's so quiet at home now I'm back in Melbourne, but I do call her often."
If the feelings of Nine drama chief Alan Bateman are any guide, the family phone bill will soar for some time. "I really think this is the best Flying Doctors series ever and I'm particularly excited about Tammy," he says. "She brings a real sparkle and energy to the show... she's a beautiful young lady."
Tammy couldn't be happier with her character's development. Initially, Annie is warm and optimistic, but as the Crawfords-produced series progresses, more complex characteristics emerge. "We start to see a very humanitarian side to Annie and learn she has a lot to say... honest opinions about things," Tammy says.
Andrew McFarlane, who plays Dr Tom Callaghan in the series, feels art is imitating life for Tammy. "Annie is effervescent and vivacious... Tammy cart-wheeled onto the set on the first day," he says with a laugh. "She has slotted in so well it feels like she's always been here."