Today, more than 25 years later, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown tell Susan Chenery why they were made for each other and why he is happy to. Now husband and wife actors Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward will be reunited as husband and wife on screen in a new TV series, Free Rein. I do enjoy my creative relationship with her enormously. I'm blown away by Bryan Brown pictured with his wife Rachel Ward. Is she similar to.
Ward would go on to New York, where she modelled and dated David Kennedy, the troubled, drug-addled son of the assassinated senator Bobby Kennedy, then to Hollywood in the '80s for a sprinkling of largely forgettable roles. It would be three decades before Campbell would fully discover how wrong her early impressions of Ward were. The film, co-starring Bryan Brown, her husband of 25 years with whom she famously hooked up on the set of The Thorn Birds in the early '80s, removes her even further from any lingering images of privilege - of "parties, cads and gossips", as she once described things.
The powerful story of isolation and alienation shot in the Flinders Ranges, which Ward both wrote and directed, also speaks volumes about her relationship with her adopted country.
Double or nothing
The outback and the frontier land has never lost its exoticism to me. I remember her going, 'Oh my God, this is wonderful. You'd certainly find that in the '80s, Ward was named one of the world's 10 most beautiful women.
You might also turn up a site about the British peerage that would outline her aristocratic connections and show that her great-grandfather, the second Earl of Dudley, was the fourth governor-general of Australia and that, before he married, Ward's father was part of Princess Margaret's set.
You might see photographs of Cornwell Manor, the huge estate on the edge of the Cotswolds where Ward grew up with her younger sister and brother, Tracy and Alexander. You would discover that Tracy is a fascinating character, too: About Brown, you might discover that he was working for an insurance company when he got involved with amateur theatre in the '60s; that he plucked up the courage to quit his job and go to England, where he landed at the National Theatre.
You'd find a list of his parts in a squadron of iconic Australian films - the latest as a dying father in Beautiful Kate - and as the archetypal laconic Aussie in international releases. You could read about his work developing and producing Australian films, including Beautiful Kate, as founder of New Town Films. And you'd learn that he married his bride in in a little church in Oxfordshire, transported her to the northern beaches and fathered her three children - Rose, 24, Matilda, 22, and Joe, Advertisement But none of that will tell you what beguiling company Ward and Brown make.
Sit with them on the veranda of their year-old sandstone and sea-green-shuttered Balmain home - scattered with weathered antique tables, squatters' chairs, sofas draped with old quilts, a mounted deer skull and horns - and you might long to become a part of this family and its substantial, richly textured life. With Brown, there's an odd shock of the familiar, like catching up with an old friend and realising time is slipping away.
Williams boots, he's older and greyer than you might imagine but also more handsome.
Rachel Ward's dream team for An Accidental Soldier
At 62, he says he's surfing more than ever - up the north coast past Kempsey or at local beaches, often with Joe. Her speech is all rounded vowels and fruity language and she has a disconcerting habit of looking away as she talks, down over the top of her glasses to the floorboards or across to the stretch of green that runs down to the harbour.
Her attention snaps back, though, when an unexpected visitor strolls onto the veranda. It's Sam Neill, apologising for the interruption and man-hugging Brown. The actor comes bearing a gift for his old friends - a framed caricature of Brown by Herald artist John Shakespeare, published earlier this year. Look what he gave me," says Brown, holding it up for his wife to see.
For locals, the couple are part of the furniture - you might spot them queuing for coffee at Bertoni, getting groceries in Woolies. Ward, who was filmed on this veranda for a video in support of Patrice Newell's Climate Change Coalition before the last election, often grabs her bike from a shed just inside the front gate and pedals up to Balmain shopping village.
They share, he says, "alleged artistic sensibilities" and discuss projects, films they've seen.
At Balmain, he says, they host "tremendously great social occasions" attended by a roll-call of luminaries - British actor Richard E. Ward would come to be a saviour of sorts for Campbell, an actor who became a New York nightclub owner in the '80s. Moving back to Sydney five years ago with her young daughter, Campbell struggled to adjust.
Ward invited her to lunch, went out of her way to introduce her to people. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate that. Every second Friday for the past few years, Ward and a composer friend have left the city for what she calls an "adventure trip" - kayaking, cycling or hiking see box, page What's so extraordinary about Sydney is that in half an hour you can be in some incredible national park.
In an article for The Spectator Australia, published last November, she wrote of lakes, snow-capped mountains and glacial river valleys. And, uncharacteristically, of the shopping: All indications are, that one way or another, Ward has been bowling Brown over since they met on The Thorn Birds set.
But the pair's great love affair has been famously fiery - "not just ups and downs but volcanos and tsunamis", declares Waterstreet. A newcomer might find the couple's jousting discomfiting, as during this exchange about the process of writing the Beautiful Kate script: He's always in a position of rightness.
He was definitely a man who was only interested in status, power and money. Consequently, he had very little to do with my upbringing. He didn't like educated women and didn't want to be challenged by them. They were to be pretty and make him laugh. In the world I came from, women would leave the table so men could take about politics and smut.
Actress and director Rachel Ward.
In his own way, he loved my mother, Claire, but she wasn't involved in decision-making. Her role was to organise weekend parties at Cornwell Manor, our 16th century, bedroom home in Oxfordshire. She lived in London during the week, so I was raised by a succession of nannies. My brother, Alexander, grew up with the expectation he was the primary child that would inherit and succeed. My parents were devastated when he didn't get into the schools he was supposed to.
Yet my sister, Tracy, and my reports were completely inconsequential, as we were expected to marry men of privilege and would be taken care of by them. Advertisement I find it impossible to have relationships with men in any kind of authority.
Therefore, I had enormous problems working with male directors in Hollywood. I remember the arguments with [director] Taylor Hackford about the red bathing suit, diamond earrings and Ferrari for my role in Against All Odds . All of it pandered to male fantasies. I was mortified of the view of women, of this character. That it was their only interest.
Rachel Ward's dream team for An Accidental Soldier
For a short time, I dated David Kennedy. We met when I was 21 and modelling in New York. He was sensitive and gentle, which was attractive. David was very young when his father Robert F. Kennedy died, and it had an enormous impact on him. He had a drug addiction and was a troubled soul. He didn't have the arrogance of the other Kennedys because he was lost and struggling. The most important thing a man can do is to make me laugh, and Bryan Brown did that from the moment we met on the set of The Thorn Birds in