Three minutes with Carolyn Bock

Carolyn Bock is playing Mary MacKillop in an upcoming production in Brisbane.
Carolyn Bock is playing Mary MacKillop in an upcoming production in Brisbane.

She has reocurring roles on Neighbours and City Homocide, but actress Carolyn Bock is taking on her most holy role yet as Mary MacKillop.


Q: What's it like taking on the persona of the first Australian to be canonised as a saint?

A: It is a great privilege to be playing the role of Mary MacKillop.

Q: Have you learnt any life lessons from playing her?

It's hard to describe in words what I have learnt, because I feel that I am still learning about her and playing the role. So, to answer the question these are the things that resound for me...her great compassion and understanding for all people, particularly those in need, her generosity of spirit and tolerance in times of immense hardship, adversity and suffering. I like to think that I am learning to practise these qualities through playing Mary.

Q: How does this compare with your previous roles?

A: The role is that of a real person. The first time I have played a character of non-fiction. The world of Neighbours and theatre are quite different.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting aspect of Mary MacKillop's story?

A: Mary MacKillop's story has so many interesting aspects. What is perhaps not so often told, is the story of the hardships of her growing up and the tragedies within her own family and her own ill health that she weathered.

Q: What quality of hers would you like to have yourself?

A: Patience and compassion

Q: What do you think makes a ‘good woman'?

A: Great question! Let's open that one out to everyone! What makes good people?

Q: Apart from Mary MacKillop, what other historical figure would you love to bring to life on the stage and why?

A: In my family tree there is a fascinating story of a great Aunt that dressed as a man and married after conning many out of their fortunes. To my surprise, I found her in a book given to me by my husband entitled Bad Girls, Wicked Women. What a character! Apparently she was quite notorious in New Zealand...that could be fun.

Q: Do have any advice for aspiring actresses?

A: Enjoy the journey! Get into the theatre and see as much as you can. Keep a journal.

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