In a joint statement, Shine Australia and Seven today announced the cast for PETER ALLEN: NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR.
Joel Jackson, who will make his Australian screen debut in Foxtel’s drama series, Deadline Gallipoli, has landed the role of Peter Allen and will be supported by an iconic cast including Sigrid Thornton (Underbelly, Little Oberon, MDA, SeaChange, Whipping Boy, The Man From Snowy River, 1915, Prisoner, The Lighthorsemen, Boy In The Bush, All The Rivers Run) as Judy Garland, Rebecca Gibney (Winter, Packed to the Rafters, Halifax f.p., All Together Now, The Flying Doctors) as Peter’s mother Marion Woolnough and Henri Szeps (Cruise Control, Cabaret, Mother and Son, Palace of Dreams) as talent agent Dee Anthony.
They will be joined by Sara West (Winter, ANZAC Girls) as Liza Minnelli, Nick Farnell (Charles Bean’s Great War, Killing Time, The Mule) as Peter’s father Dick Woolnough and musical theatre star Rob Mills as Chris Bell, Peter’s partner in ‘The Allen Brothers’.
Joel Jackson said: “To be given the unique responsibility of playing two legendary Australians, in Charles Bean and Peter Allen, back to back all before I'm 24 years old is incredible. The on-set experience I garnered whilst shooting Deadline Gallipoli has given me the confidence to dive straight into the huge task of inhabiting the charisma and flair of Peter Allen.”
Sigrid Thornton said: “Now, in 2015, I think we're perhaps better placed than ever to be able to tell Peter Allen's story with the honesty it deserves. And for me personally, as a lifelong Garland fan, I feel privileged to be bringing her to life with this marvellous team, to a whole new audience.”
Rebecca Gibney said: “I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Peter Allen story. The relationship between Peter and his mother Marion is so important in the story and the scripts are beautifully written. The cast that has been assembled is extraordinary and with director Shawn Seet at the helm I'm sure it's going to be a wonderful experience.”
The two part mini-series will tell the remarkable story of Peter Allen’s rise from country New South Wales to the Hollywood Hills – becoming part of American entertainment royalty along the way. Managed by Judy Garland at 20, married to Liza Minnelli at 23 and the first Australian to win an Oscar (‘Arthur's Theme’) and a Grammy (‘I Honestly Love You’ – Olivia Newton-John), Peter Allen is one of Australia's most adored entertainers and the man behind some of our most iconic songs.
Mark Fennessy, CEO Shine Australia said: “We're absolutely delighted with the composition of our stellar cast. Peter Allen led a remarkable life and with the support of such brilliant acting talent, we'll bring his unique story alive again for all Australians.”
Brad Lyons, Seven’s Director of Network Production said: “As we found with INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, people are enjoying these great Australian stories and this journey of a boy from the bush to international stardom will be no exception. We have an extraordinary cast and a heartfelt script which we know will resonate with our viewers. There was and is no one else like Peter Allen and Seven is really proud to be telling his story.”
Produced by Rory Callaghan and Kerrie Mainwaring, PETER ALLEN: NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR commences production next week. It will be shot in various locations across New South Wales.