Kindred spirits: Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown | Australian Women's Weekly
Rachel Ward at her Birchgrove home Pic: Brendan Read ONE USE ONLY TWAM 14 Sep she lives with husband Bryan Brown and two of their three grown-up the lack of support for independent film, the homogeneous nature of . While their bond may be strong, the relationship is never bland. 'We get on much better working together': Actor Bryan Brown says his part of their partnership on the Presto series, as he also helps produce the series. his wife Rachel Ward, who has directed two films he has starred in. Help us build our profile of Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward! Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your .
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.
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.Birds Documentary The Thorn Birds - Rachel Ward, Richard Chamberlain Reminisce
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.
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- Double or nothing
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.
What I do is I give my opinion. I go, 'For me, it's not there yet. While Ward is candid - she once described Brown as "a good root" - he lets only a few personal details slip: That as a child, he had such dreadful stage fright in an eisteddfod that three times he got up on stage, opened his mouth and nothing came out.
Kindred spirits: Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown
No doubt there are times Brown would prefer that nothing came out of his wife's mouth. Lounging on a sofa with her brown boots slung up over the arm, she's talking now about England and how she has come to embrace her privilege, in the most English sense of that word, rather than shunning it as she once did.
She's also talking about her father, Peter, and his death early last year. I don't want anything but it is extraordinary that you can have a family of that many [Ward also has two half-brothers] and the eldest brother was left everything. For nearly four decades, Claire Ward, said to be 's most beautiful debutante, lived with the notoriously louche Lord Lambton in a sprawling 17th-century villa near Siena where they hosted guests including Prince Charles.
Lambton had quit the British parliament in after photographs of him naked in bed with two prostitutes, smoking dope, were published. According to a Daily Mail report, after his death, Claire was forced to leave the Tuscan estate to make way for Lambton's son and returned to England, devastated.
Peter and Claire Ward separated when Rachel was young and it seems that her relationship with her father was a distant one - "I mean, I saw him once every 18 months and he wasn't a great communicator. He was of a time and a certain [place] 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.
Double or nothing
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. 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 He had a real sense of fun, and was very certain of himself without being arrogant. He also had a great body. Our first kiss was on screen and we took it from there. Because shooting the mini-series took a long time, by the end of it we knew each other extremely well.
He proposed one night after a huge fight. I had taught him to play gin rummy and he kept beating me.