• • • •   INTERVIEWS

The Mad Minute with Petra Yared

By Kathleen Cuthbertson, MX, 11 November 2002

The 23-year-old star of Aussie schoolies movie Blurred and ABC series MDA can't work out why she keeps getting typecast as a bitch.

Q. Your character Yolanda in Blurred is a far cry from Layla in MDA.

A. I tended to play more feisty little tough-time bitches, so when I was offered Layla, I went, ah, I haven't been type-cast as a bitch, maybe I should do something friendly. It's quite refreshing to see Yolanda surface.

Q. Why are you typecast as the nasty one?

A. I don't know. I think it's just a confidence thing.

Q.W hat did you do for your own schoolies week?

A. I went to Noosa. Virtually my whole school went to Noosa. We wandered around the streets and drank too much and stuff like that and just had a good time.

Q. Did you get up to anything like your antics in Blurred?

A. I gave the theft of limousines a miss I have to say I was mildly more sensible than Yolanda at 17.

Q. What else are you up to and when does MDA start again?

A. I think it will be February. I'm at uni as well. I'm just doing one subject, so I'll be tied to Melbourne until mid-November and then I'll see. If something work-wise came up that would fit before MDA, then I would be excited to do it. At this stage I'm pretty happy to have a holiday, probably jump in the car and do a bit of a road trip. I've got a house at Byron with all my girlfriends for a couple of weeks over New Year's.

Q. There's a difference between having a holiday and being unemployed in acting?

A. Absolutely. I'm having a holiday.

Q. Is acting in the family?

A. My dad is in advertising, so when I was really little my sister occasionally would do an ad. If they had a toy campaign or something my dad would nepotistically stick my sister and me in the ad. You'd get a free toy and get paid whatever and it was fun. I did National theatre drama classes on a Saturday morning. I started doing that when I was nine, just as a hobby really. It was unintentional on my parents' part.

Q. What's the best role you've ever played?

A. I did a really fun, quite challenging but really fun, role on Halifax once. I played a girl who was essentially a psychopath but she had like a narcissistic personality disorder. She was this high-achieving, intelligent girl who occasionally just murdered people who got in her way.

Q. Do you have a worst or a most bizarre role?

A. I can't think of any job that I've hated. I played a 12-year-old when I was 19, which was pretty bizarre, but that was on stage so it's a little bit different. You can get away with more on stage.

Q. What do you do when you're not acting?

A. If I don't have anything lined up for acting I've done a couple of semesters where I've managed to get through full-time. I can hide behind being a student, so I never have the unemployed tag.