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The one thing that changed Lucy Durack's career forever

TV WEEK logo TV WEEK 22/11/2017 Tamara Cullen

Talent, timing and a little luck has made Lucy Durack, star of Sisters and The Letdown, a star. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd lucy durack More than 10 years ago, a twist of fate changed Lucy Durack’s life forever.

In what she describes as a “Sliding Doors moment”, the Perth-born performer was on holiday in London, England. She noticed auditions were being held for a British TV series called How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?.

The reality show was created by renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. It documented the search for a musical-theatre star to play the lead role of Maria in the West End production of The Sound Of Music.

On the advice of a friend, Lucy seized the opportunity to try out. “I got through a bunch of audition rounds,” Lucy tells TV WEEK. “So much so, they flew me back home to Australia to get a visa, because legally I had to have one.

“I got on the next plane out, went straight to Canberra and applied. But, as it turned out, I wasn’t eligible for a visa. I missed out on the role.”

At the time, it was a crushing blow to the rising star. Luckily, fate intervened.

a woman sitting on a bench: Lucy stars as new mum Sophie in ABC series The Letdown © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Lucy stars as new mum Sophie in ABC series The Letdown “Within the next year, I won the lead role of Glinda in Wicked, which has been a huge, defining part of my career,” the 35-year-old explains. 

“I also starred in 42nd Street, which is where I met my husband [Chris Horsey]. So I’m really glad how it all worked out.”

Fast-forward to the present day and Lucy’s star is shining bright. Having conquered musical theatre, the Legally Blonde: The Musical actress turned her focus to television. And the roles came thick and fast.

This year alone, Lucy joined the cast of ABC comedy series The Letdown and nabbed a breakthrough role as Roxy in Network Ten series Sisters.

She also continued her small role of policewoman Tugger in the Nine Network hit Doctor Doctor.

“It’s been a crazy year – I’m pinching myself,” Lucy grins. “I’ve always wanted to work on a television series, but it’s become a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’, because now I have three!”

a woman standing in front of a door: Lucy on the set of Sisters © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Lucy on the set of Sisters As the eldest sibling of three daughters, Lucy felt right at home on the set of Sisters

The series, which is based on three women who find out they’re siblings, allows Lucy to exercise her comedy chops as the wild child of the trio.

In real life, however, the confessed “good girl” admits she’s very different to Roxy.

“I’m the least rebellious of my sisters,” she laughs. “I’ve always been quite by the book and don’t like getting into trouble. I kind of wish I was rebellious, even just a little bit.”

In fact, Lucy’s studious nature and strong work ethic almost saw her give up on acting altogether.

During her early years, Lucy shelved her showbiz dream and studied law at Sydney University. Well, for a little while.

“I did one semester,” she laughs. “I was finding my feet OK, but something just didn’t feel right. My life would be so different had I continued down that path.”

Not only has Lucy flourished professionally, but personally too. Just recently, she and husband Chris, whom she married in 2014, celebrated their 10th anniversary as a couple. The pair are also parents to two-year-old daughter Polly. And, as any parent can attest, Lucy says life on the road isn’t always easy with a child in tow.

“She’s a very active toddler,” the actress says. “So, for a while, Polly was running blindly and I was terrified she would run onto roads. Thankfully, I can outrun her – for now, at least.”

Polly also appears to have a knack for the arts, just like Mum – and Dad, who’s an actor, dancer and choreographer.

“She loves to play and dance,” Lucy says. “She’s been around theatre and film sets a lot, so she’ll have a good approximation of what the industry is all about when she’s older.”

As for the future, Lucy says she and Chris would love to expand their family when the time is right.

“Definitely, one day,” she confirms. “We both have siblings, so we know how great it is. But I was really unwell during my pregnancy with Polly, so I’m putting off going through all that again!”

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