Rebecca Gibney sips a cup of green tea as she reminisces about standing on top of The Remarkables, a mountain range near Queenstown in New Zealand.
She looks up, as though the mountain is right there, in the corner of Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar at Crown Metropol. I imagine the sky above the snow-caps to be the same colour as her eyes – an almost otherworldly blue.
“It’s spectacular – when we got up there, there was just a collective gasp of breath from the crew. It’s stunning,” Rebecca says.
She was in New Zealand shooting the second season of her TV action-drama Wanted, and a few months later she and her family decided to make Queenstown home. Or, as she explains, her son Zac made the decision for them, despite Rebecca’s reminder that most of her work is in Australia.
“He’s like ‘that’s OK – you can go. Mum, I’m 13, I don’t need you as much’,” she says, laughing.
Zac still thinks his mum – or at least her character Lola Buckley in Wanted – is a “bad-ass”, as she recently discovered upon overhearing him showing a friend the promo for the new season.
“His friend goes, ‘wow that’s really cool’, and Zac goes ‘yeah that’s my Mum’.” She breaks into a giddy smile as she refills her tea cup, spilling a little from the pot. She wipes it up with her hand without mention or fuss.
Grace under pressure is a handy skill in Rebecca’s work life. Wanted sees her working on- and off-screen, producing and co-creating the show with her husband Richard Bell. It’s a move to ensure the longevity of her career and, more importantly, to tell stories about women in their 40s and beyond.
“I want to watch women my age kicking butt. I think these days more people are going ‘yeah, why should females over 45 just play housewives? Why can’t they be action heroes?’”
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Rebecca is a champion for women. She has spoken out against domestic violence and recently became the patron of charity Share the Dignity, which provides sanitary products and toiletries for women in need.
“When I found out the impact little things like that have on these women, I just went ‘anything I can do to help, of course I’m going to do it’.”
For Rebecca, taking on new challenges is “the key to life”.
“The minute you stop learning, you may as well hang up everything and go out to pasture. I’m not ready for that – I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.”
Wanted airs on Channel 7 on Mondays at 8.40pm.
BREW HA HA
- Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar
- Crown Metropol
- 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
- 8582 3008
THE VIBE \ Exotically moody, with lush, flowing drapes, warm lights and dark corners in which to get lost in conversation.
THE BREW \ A delicate green tea by Dilmah is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. They also have a great wine list if you’re so inclined!
THE DISH \ There’s a great range of snacks to tide you over until dinner, including bruschetta with honey ricotta and grilled peppers.