Category Archives: TV

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Colin

March 7, 2018 we entered the world of After Nightfall and above all else, we wanted to know just who killed Troy McLeavey. On October 2nd 2019 that question was answered.
In our final interview for After Nightfall, we hear from the man who brought the world to life, Wayne Tunks. Writer, director, producer, and the actor behind Colin McLeavey.

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After the success of the first season, what were you most hoping to accomplish with season 2?
First and foremost, to answer the question that everyone wanted answered, “Who Killed Troy McLeavey?”. Everything was always going to lead up to that. I was also very excited to delve more into this world. I loved creating these characters and was keen to see them spread their wings more. Plus, there were some new people I was keen to add, people like Zara and Brenda, who I knew would be perfect to escalate the drama.

Was filming easier this time round given the experience of season 1? Or did it bring a whole new set of challenges with a bigger cast and new locations?
The big issue for Season 2 was scheduling. It gave me more than a few grey hairs. In Season 1, part of the casting process involved people’s schedules. But for Season 2 we had our cast and had to use them, and it just seemed that everyone was extra busy when we were shooting. The biggest thing to schedule was the funeral of Troy, we would need two days to shoot it, so organising to get most of the massive cast there was extreme. We only had to take one cast member out of the funeral as he would be interstate, everyone else we somehow got there, including Kristina (Ursula) and Perri (Narelle), who were flying up from Melbourne. It was incredibly satisfying when that shoot was done.
But the world of After Nightfall felt easier to recreate this season. We knew the look, the feel, and we knew these locations, so that made that part a little easier.

How did you manage to keep the continuity consistent, especially considering the time between filming Season 1 and 2?
A year between is a long time, and you will notice some changes. Colin had a beard in Season 1 but not in Season 2. It meant I wouldn’t be able to be in the flashbacks, so it was just lucky that we shot that dream sequence the year before. But I liked how Colin was missing; he was watching visions he had not seen before. Another cast member had dyed their hair, so we had to put it back for the flashbacks. Plus, our ghost was a year older when he was meant to be identical. And if you look at the lovely Bronte, who plays Isobel, she has grown considerably taller between seasons. But you deal with all of that and I think we got away with it all.

Did you always plan to do a second season, or did that come after finishing Season 1?
Always. We never answered the murderer question and I definitely wanted to do that. It was always important to revisit these stories and help them develop. Plus, it really helped that people loved the series and wanted more. It was hard to not write the second season earlier, but I really wanted to see how people responded to the series.
The cast all knew there would be a second season. Alec, who plays cop Brad, had told me he would be moving to the US the following year, so I knew I wanted to kill him in this season and that we would have to shoot that early. 

Did you approach the writing differently this time around, with the hype around Troy’s killer and the other storylines? And how did you decide which new characters to add?
No, I wanted to keep the heart of Season 1. People responded well to that, so I wanted it to stay as pure as possible. I think when you start writing to please other people, that’s when you lose the integrity of the work. The new characters all had to be devices to expand the story of our core characters. Zara started a chain of events which led to Brad’s death, Brenda became great character development for Justine and Colin; Wesley became vital to Kobie’s story and Narelle helped Colin solve the mystery. And I was so happy what these actors brought to their characters.

Be honest, how much did you enjoy watching everyone try to guess who the killer was and pretty much all of us getting it wrong? While we’re on the subject, you’d planned who the killer was going to be from the beginning, correct?
I LOVED seeing everyone trying to guess it, and I would occasionally hear Justine’s name mentioned, but no one seriously gave it as their guess, whereas people were really passionate about guesses like Oscar or Leanne. And I really loved seeing you give your guesses on the blog and say how sorry you were for Justine. I knew people would be shocked, so it was nice to see they were. I would have hated to create a murder mystery where everyone guessed it, that would have been totally deflating.
And yes, I knew from the very start. I thought of the idea, and part of that initial thought was that the mother did it. I have always been a Twin Peaks fan, and I wanted to pay homage to the series, so it made sense that one of the parents had to do it.

How did you go about shooting the murder scene without giving the game away to anyone who couldn’t find out?
For season one, the cast were given the entire season script, for season two, actors were only given scenes they were in and I even went about writing false info on call sheets so actors wouldn’t know we were shooting murder scenes or scenes that gave away the answer. In season one, just Jacinta and I knew the truth, in season two more and more people were finding out. It was nerve wracking knowing that so many people knew, but the crew were sworn to secrecy. They were all great, I think they liked being in the know so were great at keeping quiet. There was only a couple of times I heard conversations going that I quickly changed the topic on. They had thought the other person knew, but didn’t. Most of the cast were in the dark and discovered when the audience did.

Without giving anything away, there’s still a number of storylines that could be wrapped up, and a new mystery was set up in the season finale, involving Colin’s late sister Kate McLeavey. What’s next for the world of After Nightfall, if any? Can we expect to see any returning characters?
To be honest, the chance of a third season is highly unlikely. This past season took a lot out of the team and because of the sheer enormity of the cast, it would be hard to get everyone back together. I will probably end up writing a blog post about what would have happened in the stories. But yes, the planned season 3 was to investigate what happened to Kate, Colin’s sister. She has been dead for 20 years and everyone thought she died in a tragic accident, but her return (because Colin’s ability to see ghosts has been unlocked by the death of Troy) has meant that she is able to let Colin know she was murdered. Because she has been tortured by loneliness for 20 years, she was going to be much harder to deal with than Troy. The focus again would have been the McLeavey’s and we would have seen where they came from and would have introduced Colin’s father, Jock, just out of prison.

Should season 3 happen, do you think Colin might get a break from all the hardship he’s been through, or are you going to make him suffer more? 😛
Colin would be even more tortured. The guilt of what happened to Troy and Justine, a son that wouldn’t speak to him and the knowledge his sister was murdered 20 years before and he did nothing. And now he can see Kate, she would not let him rest. Heroes in noir are flawed and tortured, Colin would have been both.

Is there anything you’d change about Season 1 or 2 now that they’re both complete?I guess I would have wrapped things up more, not left so many cliffhangers. But apart from that, I am happy. Is the series perfect? Of course not. But it is a piece of work created by some amazing actors and brilliant crew. That’s something to be proud of, and I am. 

You’ve been making theatre for 19 years, but now you’re focusing on film. Apart from this web series, you’ve done a couple of music videos and your first feature film is in post production. When can we expect to see According to Otto, and what other projects are in the pipeline that you can share?
According to Otto is coming along nicely, really happy with what we have so far and it will be out sometime next year. I am concentrating on a bit of writing at the moment. I am working on two books at the moment, a novel, as well as a series of plays. Entering into the publishing world is exciting me. Plus more plans for another film, so as always, I won’t be resting for long.

Finally, what are you most proud of with After Nightfall?
Ha ha, I just mentioned I was proud before. Now to expand. People have loved the series, and not just friends. People I don’t know have messaged to say how much they love what we have produced, and that is incredible. To see us competing with other amazing series from around the world and to see us winning awards is so special. When you make something, you hope it will succeed, but when it exceeds your expectations is something wonderful and very humbling.

And now, what’s next?  After Nightfall seems to be at an end. Don’t despair though. If Wayne’s going to keep producing art, I’m going to keep writing about it. If Season 3 happens, then there’ll be more of the McLeaveys. But it seems the next Tunks production I’ll be talking about is According to Otto. In the meantime, there’s plenty more coming on AbStar, so click the subscribe button so you don’t miss anything! Also, I regularly review the Sydney theatre scene on as Abbie Gallagher, and that’s another organisation I love being part of.


Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Justine

Our penultimate Q&A comes from the killer herself, Jacinta Moses as mum-turned-murderer, Justine.

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Congratulations on your performance in the series! I think many viewers (myself included) were completely stunned at the revelation that Justine was the killer. How on earth did you keep the secret so long?
Thanks. It was really hard at first because Wayne and I were the only two who knew during Season 1. It was particularly hard keeping it from my family. But I knew it had to be done and keeping the secret has certainly paid off.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
I have worked with Wayne before, so I already knew it was going to be great. I really love Wayne’s writing, so when he put out the call for actors I quickly put my hand up.

Specifically, how did knowing you were the killer influence your performance?
It underlined everything I did. As an actor I had to look at the motivations for my character and why she might take the actions she did. It was hard for me as a person to justify her actions but as an actor it was a huge challenge. I had to look at why would Justine act like this. Ultimately, she convinced herself that she did it for Colin and she didn’t want to lose her life with him. The irony of it though, is that, by killing Troy she destroyed the life she was trying to keep.

What do you think Justine was thinking throughout Seasons 1 and 2, with her husband trying to solve the case, a major investigation, and the whole town under suspicion, when all along it was her?
I think Justine was delusional as well as frightened. Troy’s death was not premeditated, it came out of a moment of panic. I think she wanted everything to go away but things kept spiralling out of control. Things kept happening – she killed Simon, she needed to work out if Brenda knew anything and then Colin got arrested. She was a complex character in the sense that she really did love her family but totally ruined it in a moment of fear/panic.

Now that Justine’s gone, what do you think will happen to the surviving family members after all this? Do you think there’s any hope they could possibly rebuild their lives?
The family were already struggling because of Troy’s death and the death of Justine will only have exacerbated this. I think Isobel was already on a wayward path and Justine’s death will only push her to do more extreme things. Quintin will be pushed closer to Uncle Dave and his world. I think Colin would struggle and be upset but at the same time I don’t think he would have been able to cope with Justine if she lived. After all she killed his favourite son, Troy.

What do you love most about the role you played?
I loved playing the villain. I never get picked to play them. 

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
As an actor you are always analysing and learning on the job. Working on camera is not something I have done a lot of so I feel like I learnt a great deal from Season 1 to Season 2. It is such a great medium but very different to the theatre work I have done. Also, I really did enjoy the challenge of playing the villain and working out what makes a person like Justine behave the way she did. 

What’s next for you?
I have two films coming out soon.The film Fragmentary is being released on Oct 21st this year and the film According to Otto will be released next year.

And finally, how did your family react when they saw the episode?
My family were shocked. My husband feels like he needs to sleep with one eye open! My twin sister was truly shocked and my daughter saw another side of her mum.

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Troy

As we start to wind up the After Nightfall saga, it’s fitting that the beginning of the end is with none other than Troy McLeavey himself, Nick Sinclair.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and role in the series and how they fit into the story.My characters name is Troy McLeavey. I guess you could say he is the catalyst for the entire show. When my character died it set off a chain reaction that started the show. He is the joining link between all the characters in the multi-stranded narrative set up.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?

I got involved after doing Wayne’s play Bitch at the Depot Theatre. Once we had finished the run, I got an email asking if I would be interested in working on Wayne’s first ever web series. Of course I wasn’t going to let it pass! After reading the first episode I couldn’t wait to be involved.

What made you get into acting?
I started acting when I was about 8 years old and I haven’t really stopped. I love being able to play different people and explore different emotions. It’s the job where you can have a million different jobs and embody a million different lives.

What is your favourite memory on set?
My favourite memory from set was probably the first day. We went out to the back of Blacktown and into a park. But as I was driving there my car broke down on the middle of the motorway. I had to leave it on the side of the road and then go straight into makeup to shoot my first scene, which was my body being discovered in the ditch. It was an awesome shoot but then I spent the next 3 days trying get my car to work, she’s gone to the great scrapyard in the sky.

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
When I first read the script I was surprised but not shocked. I had a weird feeling that it may have been someone in the family so I was pleased that I got that part right. It certainly wasn’t my first choice of murderer, but I had been keeping my eye on them. What I didn’t expect was how Troy would be killed and for what reason. It was a real shock to find out about the love affair.

What do you love most about the role you played?
I really loved standing behind people looking creepy! Haha. I know that’s strange but I just enjoyed being this presence that only one other character could see. It was like we were doing a different scene to everyone else. I also love the flashback episode where I got to be alive and talking, it was really satisfying to interact with all these characters that Troy had a relationship with after almost 2 seasons of being dead.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
I learnt about the importance of community. It’s a real eye opener being on set, because everybody has a job to do and everyone wants to do the best job they can. There are always a million more crew than cast and they work incredibly hard to make us look good. They are the backbone of the entire shoot and I really loved getting to see that side of the process.

What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished a one man show which I am looking at touring to multiple fringe festivals, and I’m just about to start on a new theatre in education project!


Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Ursula

We may have followed Troy’s immediate family for two seasons, but there were other McLeaveys in town. Namely Ursula, played by the lovely Kristina Benton.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and how they fit into the story.
My character is Ursula McLeavey and she is Troy’s tarot reading aunt.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
Wayne Tunks, the creator and director, and I have been friends for about 8 years now and I have acted in quite a few of his productions here in Melbourne. He’s one of my dearest friends and I pretty much would do anything he asks of me. He asked me to be a part of After Nightfall and I jumped at the chance. I was especially keen due to the series’ strong LGBTIQ+ story lines.

What made you get into acting?
I’ve been acting since I was about 7 years old. My mother couldn’t keep me off the stage so enrolled me in acting classes for kids and from there I joined a touring theatre company. I got bitten by the bug early and it’s never left me.

What is your favourite memory from the set?
My favourite memory on set is the funeral scene of season 2. All us McLeaveys hung out for two days and made each other laugh a lot, which is essential when filming such a heavy scene.

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
I did NOT see that coming! I had absolutely no idea and my jaw hit the floor when that I saw that scene. Now, of course, on a rewatch of the first season, all the clues are there.

What do you love most about the role you played?
Ursula has such a lovely heart and she adores her family. She just wants to help however she can.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned is that making your own work is possible in this business and oftentimes better than sitting back and waiting for the work to come. I have the utmost respect for Wayne and the entire crew for their “find a way to do it” attitude. Everyone involved in the project was passionate about it and believed in it, and I think that’s what ensured its success.

What’s next for you?
What’s next for me? The world is my oyster! I’m in a feature film called Apparitions which will premiere next year, but in terms of other gigs, I have nothing planned at the moment. However, I find that opportunities always pop up. I’m very lucky to know some very talented people in this business who seem to like working with me (and I with them), so I’m never without a project for long.

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Nathan

For our next cast Q&A, we have Robert Miniter, the actor behind my favourite character, Nathan.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and how they fit into the story.
Nathan Kelty is the only son of Pat and Ed Kelty and the ex-boyfriend of Troy McLeavey. He lives in the small town Australia struggling with divergent paths that lay ahead of him.
The product of two worlds that battle away internally for control of his identity, his internal truth and an external persona. His parents are religious, overtly conscious of how the community sees them. They maintain the respectable appearance of the class nuclear family (minus the daughter, which I’m sure carries a lot of anxiety). Nathan must fit into this mould. However, he conceals a truth centred around his sexuality. Fearing the shame of his family he hides it away fastidiously.
This world is all threatened to come undone by Troy, who upon falling in love with Nathan wishes to free him by publicly declaring their relationship. Keeping in mind the fear of his parents (rightly so, mind you), Nathan abandons the relationship and hides any evidence from his family. His crafted world intact. That is, until Ed and Pat find the letters that Troy sent Nathan stashed in his room, setting in motion a chain of traumatic events Nathan would endure culminating in a discovery of courage and identity.
Nathan is afraid of the power of his own identity to reshape his reality, truth would mean to relearn everything it is to be himself. What kind of man that would make him? Nathan is on a journey discovering a new way of living, an independence in himself.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
Wayne Tunks came to me with the role. In the past I had performed a thematically similar role at Short + Sweet 2017 (a devised piece lovingly mostly-written by Erin Middleton while I tried to help), when Wayne was the Festival Director, so in a way I guess that was my audition. Working with Wayne is always a pleasure. Immensely hard working and driven to create HIS work. If Wayne comes with a role, you pretend to read it, then say yes.
When Wayne came to me with the part I saw quite a lot of my own anxieties of identity interlaced in Nathan’s story. My formative years were a bit tense between myself and the family at times, and like Nathan a lot of my adolescence was plagued with the struggles of fitting in. I saw a lot of potential to reflect that side of Nathan and was ready to offload my years into his story.

What made you get into acting?
Drama in Year 7.  Like a lot of young theatre kids I found a confidence on the stage that I lacked in my everyday life. Investigating another struggles can tell you a lot about how to address your own. So, the stage really shaped my growth as a young boy, and helped immensely with school.
However, I played a cameo role in a year 7 play and had an awful night on stage, was scarred for two years. Still did Drama at school, but it wasn’t until year 9 when my teacher forced me to take a small bit-part in our biannual school musical (Guys and Dolls) that I got back into it. After that it was as many school productions as I could manage, then HSC Drama and immediately heading to training at Sydney Theatre School after Year 12.

What is your favourite memory on set?
The night where Nathan first kisses Yardley. I’ll be honest, I had never kissed a man before that night. Not only was I nervous about an intimate scene (as you get anyways), but for some reason I had a swell of anxiety about what that would mean for what people I grew up, or people in general.
Of course, immediately after the first take I felt all of that wash away. All of a sudden I realised how silly I was to think it was anything other than two people sharing a loving moment. Honestly I was quite embarrassed at myself for getting so worked up.
That whole night on set was such a great lesson for me personally and professionally. The scene gave a great freedom to Nathan, it was written with such care. As an actor you yearn for those scenes to really flesh out such beautiful moments. Everyone has them, that rush of adrenaline as you kiss someone for the first time when you were younger, beginning to discover love in your life. It’s a wild time, one I remember so fondly. To explore these universal coming-of-age moments reverberates to audiences everywhere.
None of those scenes are possible without having a kind and supportive team there with you. I’m so thankful that Adam Haylock was my Yardley. With Adam there, Wayne and Nic too, the whole shoot was such a pleasure. 

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
I mean, COME ON! How despicable, how deplorable, how inconceivably abhorrent would you have to be to do something like that!
Won’t say who, but my word was I shook. Truly, didn’t see it coming. Had my suspicions firmly placed elsewhere…

What do you love most about the role you played?
 Nathan is the embodiment of what so many of us struggle with in our adolescence. Thought it may not be the same narrative. His journey brings forward those questions of individual identity that we have to answer as we shed off the impressions our upbringing has on us. Discovering who we want to be means departing from what others wish us to be, potentially causing conflict. Having the chance to revise those moments from my adolescence and reflect on them now was a gift that Nathan gave me.

Nathan was by far my favourite character in the series, because he reminds me of a close friend who went through very similar circumstances to him. What was it like, playing a character in such a terrible situation, especially considering this really happens to so many people? Do you think Nathan would ever be able to recover from what happened to him?
Wayne gave him such an authentic arch and I’m so thankful to have been able to walk in his shoes albeit for a brief time. He embodies a terrible struggle that so many experience on a daily basis.
It’s hard to play Nathan, I think. I mean that as; how as an actor are you able to comprehend such an inner war occurring every waking moment within people that cannot be themselves, and must maintain an iron clad persona. Knowing that so many people experience this trauma there is a weight of responsibility to give it your full respect and do it right. For many it is akin to life or death. Such gravity means you must give this story the same deep truth it has given you, you must lay yourself out just as those who experience this do. For me, that meant investigating my formative years. Asking myself tough questions of the person I was pretending to be towards the end of school. How that has impacted my emotional and interpersonal identity as an adult. There is of course more to it, but thats between me and Nathan.
Nathan will recover I think. Nonetheless he won’t ever be the same, nor will he ever be able to shed his trauma. His experiences, like us all, shape his character. Although it is awful to say, from where I stand I see his trauma as a necessary evil to him embracing and finally loving himself. Ultimately, cards Nathan and others were dealt are vile. To regain his power he had to fight back. No one should ever have to experience such trauma. No, it’s truly an injustice that a person would put with such pain. Fighting back gave Nathan, and I think it gives others experiencing this, the necessary power to take back control of their lives. Never hiding the scars, instead finding power in that pain, power they can use against those who deny them justice. To find themselves, at last. 

The scenes where Nathan was tortured was hard to watch. But often on movie sets, the most intense scenes can be the most lighthearted when the cameras aren’t rolling. Was the scene as hard to film as it was for the viewers to sit through?
Those days on set are always a balance of keeping it professional, and a bit relaxed. You don’t want to end up with a joyous atmosphere whilst you attempt to delve into pain, the same said for the inverse. On the day we had a great balance of focus as we shot this distress, balancing it out with light hearted banter to keep us all energised. It’s something you never plan or discuss, just the result of a great understanding team.
I’ve never been tortured, so what would it be like? Wayne and Nic found us a great scary shed, equipment and lighting. Even the battery sparks were real. It was all very authentic. You are aware that everyone else has done their job so well, all you need to do is commit, and avoid taking the piss. Finding authentic pain, without going over the top is key.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
Personally, understanding yourself is crucial to bettering yourself when departing on life’s journey. Being true to an inner truth, disregarding what people want you to be. Professionally, tools and work ethics to better understand and authentically embody a character. Connections to great, hardworking people that I aspire to work with again.

What’s next for you?
At the moment, I’m on exchange in Canada for university until December. After travelling more I come home in February and finish my last year at RMIT. Next year I hope to make my own film, land some roles and properly commit to a career in acting. Perhaps move back to Sydney? I don’t know. But I’m over here in Canada having a hard look at myself, figuring some things out.

Click here to watch After Nightfall

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Leanne

Continuing our Season 2 Q&A with the cast is Chantel Leseberg as Leanne French, another prime suspect.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and role in the series and how they fit into the story.
Leanne is the girlfriend of Dave – local crime boss and Troy McLeavey’s uncle. We see early in season one that Leanne is having a secret affair with Ryan, one of Dave’s most trusted gang members. It’s this secrecy that seems to have led many of our audience members to look to Leanne as one of the main suspects in Troy’s death. Leanne and Ryan get caught out towards the end of season one and Leanne spends season two trying to gain Dave’s trust back. Still, the question remains from our season two finale – who will Leanne choose?

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
At the time Wayne was writing After Nightfall, we were performing together in an early childhood theatre show for Em’s Entertainment. Wayne offered me the role of Leanne and I jumped at it. I’d previously had the privilege of working with Wayne in his play The Girlie Show and I knew from his talent, dedication and wicked sense of humour that After Nightfall was going to be one hell of a ride.

What made you get into acting?
I’ve always enjoyed performing. It’s my happy place. I can be quite introverted at times but I also have a lot of creative energy, and in the words of Jill Morrison from Mean Girls: “I just have a lot of feelings”.  Performing lets me explore all the different parts that make me who I am, and to experience the thoughts and feelings of someone else. It’s a real gift we’re given to be able to share that.

What is your favourite memory on set?
Every moment on set was brilliant. The cast and crew got along so well, and we genuinely just had a lot of fun. Plus – Wayne is an incredible baker so there was always that to look forward to.

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
Yes! Back in season one I recall thinking…”you know…maybe the Mum killed Troy” and immediately dismissing that as an idea. I’d actually prepared myself in the very last episode to find out that Leanne was the culprit. Props to Wayne. There were a few red herrings thrown in particularly in the lead up to the finale so I was genuinely surprised.

What do you love most about the role you played?
I really loved getting to know Leanne. There was a pretty big shift for her from season one to season two and despite her actions she really does love her man. I enjoy seeing the journey characters go on and for Leanne there really is so much more than meets the eye. To be always developing and learning about your character like that is really exciting.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
To turn up on set and just work and have fun with like-minded creatives is a real joy. I think working on After Nightfall was also a valuable reminder that if you find yourself with an idea and you have that creative itch – scratch it! There’s nothing stopping you from getting out there and creating your own work.

What’s next for you?
First things first – get through year one of my uni degree. Then I’m keen to take time to do some writing, get back into my music (shake all that dust off my keyboard first), and just enjoy the sunshine really!

Click here to watch After Nightfall

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Oscar

With Season 2 of After Nightfall done and Troy’s killer revealed, let’s get to know the people behind the characters we loved and hated. First up, we have Jace Pickard who played Oscar, the prime suspect for many viewers.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and how they fit into the story.
I play Oscar, the predatory book shop owner who becomes a major suspect in the Troy McLeavey murder.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
Wayne and I have been friends for years and I believe this role was written with me already in mind. I have worked with Wayne on a number of projects and I absolutely love his writing and the characters he creates. I will always jump on a Wayne Tunks project.

What made you get into acting?
I have always had a passion for film and wanting to play roles that are opposite to my personality. I did drama in year 11 and from there, I knew I wanted to continue this as a career. It became more real when I was accepted into Screenwise, (an acting school) and made the move to Sydney.

What is your favourite memory from the set?
I think it would have to be the Season 1 finale when I push Faye. I was incredibly nervous to do that scene because Emma was actually pregnant, but we were very careful with the blocking. It was just a great scene to work with and I absolutely adore Emma. We play such flawed characters and it was just so much fun to work off one another. It’s also a great memory because after shooting that scene, I left the set to go and have a first date with my now partner and we celebrated our two years last month.

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
I honestly thought it was Leanne for so long but it became clearer as we went along with Season 2 that it HAD to be someone that was not on our radar. I was so impressed with Jacinta and her performance. And the scene with her, Wayne and Nick was just heartbreaking. I loved it! I texted her as soon as I found out and was like Good work on killing Troy.

What do you love most about the role you played?
Oscar was such an interesting character to portray because technically he wasn’t doing anything entirely illegal. He was obsessed with younger men, but he would wait until they turned 18 before he pounced. It’s like he had those rules in place but he was definitely a predator and I’d think he would bend those rules eventually. If I was to love anything about Oscar, it would probably be his confidence. I don’t know why he thought he would never get caught. His demons definitely caught up with him in the end.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
I love this cast and crew. A lot of us have worked together on various projects and if I have taken anything from this experience, it is that this won’t be the last time I’ll work with this group of people. If we could do something American Horror Story style and do different stories,  I would sign on every year. We all get along and I believe we do great work together. We got to keep doing it! I can’t deny or confirm if Oscar is alive but we shall see (if a season 3 is announced) if we have seen the last of the creepy bookshop owner 😉

What’s next for you?
I am about to go on a film tour as I am releasing my feature film Fragmentary this month. We have our Sydney Premiere on the 21st October at Dendy Opera Quays and then we have screenings throughout Australia where I’ll be doing Q&As. And you will find some After Nightfall alumni in the film 😉

Click here to watch After Nightfall

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 8

Sometimes, words are not enough. And this is most definitely one of those times. Because I’m so genuinely shocked at the things that went down in the Season 2 finale, that this is probably the most difficult review I’ve had to write for After Nightfall. In a good way. Because while a lot of questions are answered, many are not and a number of storylines take new directions. There’s a lot to talk about, both what happens in Episode 8 and what could possibly be next for After Nightfall.

Do I even need to warn you about the earth-shattering spoilers that lie beneath? Well, if I do, then you probably deserve to be spoiled. So here we go.

We open exactly where we left off. Colin knows who killed Troy and he’s off to confront them. But the answer isn’t revealed then. Colin only says to Viv “Don’t worry Mum, I’ll get her,” Instantly, we know the killer is female, and the answer is revealed in small increments, like a good murder mystery does. Really, After Nightfall is very similar to Broadchurch in a lot of ways, and I would never say that lightly.

At the police station, Zara is having a serious conversation with an unknown person over the phone. She’s got the McLeavey file out, and all of Colin’s siblings are there. Including Kate, who we know is dead. Zara tells whoever she’s talking to that while she couldn’t charge Colin with murdering Troy, she’s about to “apply some major pressure on the McLeaveys” and says something called Operation Permeate is on.
What do we learn from this scene? One, Zara isn’t working alone. Two, there’s a lot more to the McLeavey family than we’ve seen, although we know the family is full of criminals. Colin’s father is behind bars, and let’s not forget Quintin and Dave. So there’s a major plot point for Season 3, should that happen.

Just for a change, Angela’s wasted and has gone to seduce her ex-husband, who is sympathetic, but he’s also in a new relationship. There’s a lot more to these two. I just know it. Something else that could be explored in Season 3.

The next scene hit me right in the childhood (proudly raised by a single Mum!). Hayden’s come home and Margie’s lost her job. She wasn’t making ends meet as it was. Could this lead Hayden to take desperate measures? Speaking of which, where’s his Dad, anyway?

Meanwhile, Isobel is taking her criminal activities to a whole new level. Now that she can’t steal from Uncle Dave, she’s now selling stolen school tests to fellow students. This girl could give Don Corleone a run for his money. Good grief.

On the other side of town, one of my theories is confirmed, as Kobie shows up to Wesley’s house in the middle of the night. Kobie was indeed the reason for Wesley’s injuries. Apparently after Troy caught them together, Kobie took his temper out on Wes. Now, Kobie wants Wes to escape with him, because he may or may not have killed Oscar. I repeat, if a character doesn’t die on screen, they aren’t really dead, so until Oscar’s death is 100% confirmed, he’s still alive.
Either way Wesley, run away. Run away FROM from Kobie. You can do better!

And now we get some closure for Nathan and Yardley (♥!), at least this part of their story. The boys have made it back to Nathan’s house, and he’s packing up for good. Pat and Ed arrive home, and Nathan says he’s leaving with his boyfriend. Ed wants Nathan to return to the camp, but Pat finally says to let Nathan leave if that’s what he wants. She’s still rejecting him, but there’s a spark of hope in there that she might come around. Or is that just me? Anyway, Nathan and Yardley are free now, although I’d say with a lot of trauma and I don’t know where they’re going from here since Yardley’s parents are presumably just as bad. I hope they come back for another season.

But we’re still only about halfway through. In the parking lot, Ryan’s still holding everyone at gunpoint, wanting Leanne to leave with him. Dave tackles him, leaving Leanne holding the gun. Who will she shoot? Dave or Ryan? (If the producers of that garbage show The Bachelor are looking for ways to up the tension, there’s an idea for free!) Anyway, it looks like she shoots Ryan, but there’s our cliffhanger for this storyline, so we might just have to wait and see.

And now, it’s time for the big reveal. The one we’ve been waiting for since March 7th, 2018. Who killed Troy McLeavey?

As it turns out, none of the main fan suspects (Quintin, Dave, Leanne, Oscar) were the ones who did it. Troy was killed to be silenced over something he witnessed, but it wasn’t because of Oscar’s predatory behaviour, Quintin or Dave’s drug dealing, or Ryan and Leanne’s affair. It wasn’t Kobie, for witnessing his tryst with Wes. It wasn’t Xavier, to keep his infidelity secret. It wasn’t even the Keltys.















Troy arrived home, instead of going to Hayden’s because of their argument. While there, he caught Simon (yes, the sergeant who was killed in Season 1!) having an affair with Justine.

GOOD GOD WHY MUST THERE BE SO MANY CHEATERS IN THIS TOWN?!? Xavier, Ryan, Leanne, and now Justine??? That’s really low.

Sorry. I really hate people who cheat. And I have plenty of reason to, but this is a review, not a diary. Moving on.

Troy took pictures on his iPad, intending to show Colin when he got home. When Justine came upstairs, Troy confronted her and said he was going to tell Colin. Justine tried to make him keep quiet about it, but when Troy said no (as well he should!), Justine strangled Troy to death in a rage. Then, overwhelmed with shock and panic at what she’d done, she tried to unlock the iPad, and when that didn’t work, she ran it under the tap and hid it in the cubby house before dumping Troy’s body. And she killed Simon to cover it up further.

Colin now knows all this, and he arrives home to find a distraught Justine being tormented by Troy. Justine apologises over and over again, before dying from the cocktail of pills and alcohol she’s taken, rather than face the reality of what she’s done i.e 25-to-life for 2 murders, a lifetime of being isolated and hated for the crimes, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, a one-way ticket to divorce court….you get the idea.

I take back all the sympathy I ever had for Justine. She’s destroyed her family beyond repair. Quintin’s probably going to get caught for killing Brad, and even if he doesn’t he’ll never come home because of what Colin said to him. And as for poor Colin, he’s just learned his wife was cheating on him, killed their son, killed her lover, and she’s just killed herself.

But wait, it’s not quite over yet. There’s another ghost on the horizon.

Kate McLeavey.

End of Season 2.

Holy hell. I’m floored by the killer’s reveal. I honestly never saw that coming, and I don’t think anyone else did either. Between the performances and writing, Justine didn’t even really come onto people’s radar of possibility. And now that she’s gone, there’s no chance at justice. In fact, Colin might even get the blame for this too.

So, what now?

Well, I really don’t know what I’m meant to do on Wednesday nights after this, instead of waiting for the link to appear in my inbox. But I do know that Troy’s murder was a truly great mystery with an excellent twist, and there’s still so many possibilities on where the story can go from here.

If it was up to me, and it’s not, I’d say Season 3 almost definitely has to happen now. Troy’s story may have got a satisfying conclusion, but there’s much more to tie up. The drug storyline, Angela and her ex, Zara’s motivations, Quintin’s murder of Brad, Kobie and Wes, Nathan and how he’ll deal with the aftermath of conversion therapy, Hayden and his mother, and how on earth the surviving McLeavey’s are going to move forward, if they even can. Plus, we have a new mystery. Who killed Kate McLeavey?

I’m beyond impressed with this episode, and beyond impressed with After Nightfall. I’ve said it all, really. So keep an eye out for my next blog about what comes next, and if you don’t mind, I need to have another glass of rose on Colin’s behalf.

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 7

Well…I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

Not Troy’s killer. We’re all but guaranteed to find that out next week, but there’s a real twist at the end that genuinely shocked me.  I need hardly remind you that this is going to be loaded with spoilers, but I will try to keep the big reveal of the episode out of sight as long as possible because, as Troy said, it’s just too good and I feel that not giving my readers a chance to watch the episode first would be doing the series a major disservice.

Last week ended with Troy appearing at a seance held by Colin, Ursula, Viv and Narelle, and we saw the montage of a flashback.
In episode 7, we see the whole thing. The last two days of Troy’s life are covered, and with that we actually get to see who Troy was, because up until now he’s been a great big question mark and completely defined by his murder. And through this, we see the events leading up to Troy’s death without actually revealing who the killer is…yet.

We start the day before he’s killed with Troy being woken by his mother, so a very typical teen in that regard. While walking to school, Oscar sees Troy and tries to turn on the “charm”, although I use that term so generously it should be a charitable donation on my tax return. Troy’s having none of it, but Oscar persists until he finally gets the message. It’s clear he’s not used to being rejected. And not only that, Troy accidentally bumps into Faye and she, of course, attacks him with a homophobic slur. Charming woman.

At the park, Troy’s getting a coffee when he suddenly sees Ryan and Leanne getting a little too close for comfort, and they know he’s seen too much. As he leaves, he comes across Nathan, who’s clearly uncomfortable with speaking to him. The conversation is short, but we finally learn a few details about their relationship. It turns out Nathan ended things with Troy because Troy was pressuring him to come out, which Nathan was justifiably scared to do. “What do you actually think would happen if you came out?” asks slightly clueless Troy. Oh Troy, if only you knew.
I’m very glad this scene was added for several reasons. First, while it’s understandable that Troy wanted Nathan to be out and proud, but he’s pretty ignorant of the fact that it’s not always a safe option for people to do so, and certainly not until Nathan is ready. Troy and Hayden are clearly very fortunate that their families are accepting of their sexuality. Nathan is not so lucky. I know if my brother or myself had ever come out, neither our parents or anybody in the family would bat an eye. However, the reality is, many members of the LGBTQ community can’t.  Every one of them has the right to reveal themselves on their own terms, and when the circumstances allow. And I’m very glad both sides of the argument appeared here. Plus, more screen time with Nathan is completely fine by me.

Now we come to the day of the murder. Again, Troy is woken by Justine, and we go through the breakfast scene we saw in the Season 1 finale. While walking to school, Hayden tells Troy he went to the police about Dave’s tip-off. Troy’s very upset, and conveniently Dave drives past with Quintin at that point. Troy storms off and later on we see him venting to Xavier and Grace about it. He says this fight is not a deal-breaker, but he’s giving Hayden the silent treatment to elicit more guilt from him. And after Grace leaves, Troy confronts Xavier for cheating on Grace.
Well, that throws a spanner in the works. Didn’t know that bit of information. The ominous music in the background doesn’t help Xavier’s case either. He’s going back on my list of suspects. Troy gives Xavier an ultimatum: tell Grace the truth tonight, or he will.

And now for the big one. Troy’s walking through bushland when he comes across two guys having, shall we say, an intimate moment. It’s Wesley (yay, I was right!) and….last week I thought it was Xavier. Well, it’s not.




Spoilers coming below.


This is your last chance to turn back….


Are you sure?


Ok then.



It’s Kobie.

Yes, you read that correctly. Kobie and Wesley are having an affair. And Troy catches them in a very compromising position. Not only that, but he takes pictures. Wesley begs him not to tell anyone, while Kobie attempts to chase Troy with his pants around his ankles. LOL.

What happens next is unclear for now, but it appears Troy made it home after that encounter. Or maybe he didn’t, because as he approaches the door, he turns and stares directly into the camera. Unemotional, unflinching.

In the present, Colin snaps back to reality. And he says the final words. “I know who killed Troy,”
Cue the credits and the cliffhanger we all saw coming.

I have to hand it to the creatives and actors here for some very refreshing choices. They didn’t make Troy perfect. This is a trap a lot of murder mysteries fall into, and honestly the ‘perfect victim’ mentality would have been very tempting given time constraints, but they instead chose to make him real. He’s a normal, flawed but still very likeable teen. I can see why we’ve waited til now to see this flashback. It not only makes sense from a story and character point of view, but really to see this this any earlier would have given away some crucial plot points before we had all the information. This is also the best way to build up the last bit of tension before we finally get the answers we’ve been waiting for. If nothing else, we’ve learned why Kobie wanted Troy’s phone. And my mind has a final theory for Season 2. We know Kobie isn’t above blackmail, so it’s very likely he threatened to reveal Xavier’s affair unless he handed over the phone. I still stand by the argument that Xavier is realistically the only person who could have given it to anyone.

Next week, we will find out who the killer is, and Colin will likely be the first to confront them. I can’t imagine he’ll get out of that encounter unscathed. But that’s not all. There’s also the matter of Dave’s drug deal gone wrong, the aftermath of Nathan and Yardley’s escape, Quintin killing Brad, the tension in the McLeavey household, Oscar and Kobie, and setting up for a potential third season. The journey is almost over for Troy. But there’s still one more episode, and I for one don’t intend to miss a moment as the final pieces of the puzzle are revealed. Let’s see where this will ultimately take us. Let’s see who killed Troy.

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 6

After last week’s episode and a stiff drink, Episode 6 is upon us and the drama, in a lot of ways, has come to a head. I’d be lying if I said this was my favourite episode so far, but it definitely has two of my favourite moments of the series!

Episode 6 opens where Episode 5 left off, with Angela attending the crime scene of Brad’s murder. Coroner Wendy is back, and they wonder out loud whether it’s the same killer who got Troy and Simon. It’s could be, but there’s a few key differences. Troy was strangled (although it’s been confirmed by the creators that the same person killed Simon), and Simon was stabbed twice, while Brad unfortunately got more than 20. But Wendy still says it’s possible. And there’s also a chance they might be next.

Is the series hinting that Quintin might not have killed Troy? Did he just go after Brad in an attempt to regain some sort of control after what Colin said to him? He’s not off my suspect list, because there’s a good chance he did it. But the truth might not be so black and white. Also, the McLeavey name is literally all over this. The first place the cops are going to look is that family, because Colin is the real estate agent. There’s no hiding from that fact. Colin could very well be implicated for this murder. In fact, he already is because of the crime scene. Here’s hoping Brad’s time of death proves Colin couldn’t have done it.

Speaking of which, Renee has arrived at the interrogation room to represent Colin against a highly cynical Zara, who despite having no hard evidence, declares her mission to prove Colin’s guilt. Neither Renee nor Colin are taking kindly to these accusations, but least impressed of all is none other than Troy himself. We saw last week he’s now able to physically throw things, and in this case he’s turned his attention to a stack of papers on Zara’s desk. We don’t see what happens next, but Colin talking to Troy like this is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Meanwhile, Hayden’s come round to visit the McLeaveys, and Justine discovers her husband has been keeping more secrets from her (opening the iPad, Troy’s phone, working with Hayden etc). I think Justine’s about reached her breaking point, and justifiably so. Especially now Colin’s been released and hasn’t come home straight away. I really feel for Justine, probably more than almost any other character (except Nathan of course). She’s been through so much and arguably she’s dealing with everything on her own, even more so now she’s found out at least part of what Isobel’s been up to. Someone get that woman a martini.

The episode hasn’t even reached the halfway point. Oscar’s returned to his bookstore to find the place ransacked, and Kobie is waiting for him. Oscar’s pleas fall on deaf ears, and what follows is a brutal beating involving a bike chain. Oscar may be dead now, but the cardinal rule is that if a character doesn’t die on screen, they don’t really die. So until that’s confirmed, I think Oscar is going to stick around for a little bit longer.

Over at the park, Dave is with Quintin and Leanne, waiting for potential new clients. Quintin is restless (!) and Amaia is suspiciously absent.
A trio of university students/drug dealers arrive (Elijah, Sasha and Xander, according to the credits) along with their new head of security….Ryan. I wonder who could have predicted that. Obviously Dave is…less than thrilled and attempts to call the deal off. Sasha and Xander seem genuinely shocked at this, but Elijah appears to know the history already. Oh, and Ryan’s pulled a gun on everyone now. I’m sure this won’t end with any bloodshed whatsoever.


And now we’re at the moment I’ve been chomping at the bit to see. The escape attempt from conversion camp. It…doesn’t go well. It seems the powers that be knew about the plans (I guess the guards did overhear them. Sad face). Most of the kids are dragged back…except Nathan and Yardley. Not going to lie, I almost lost it when they got away. Nothing good is waiting for those who didn’t escape, but at least my boys managed to get out. That’s something, and something big. Thank everything on God’s green earth. Yes, I realise it’s a fictional story. Yes, I realise it’s a web series and they aren’t the main characters. I know all that, and I don’t care. They are out and that’s all that matters to me. Sorry Troy. Still love you.

Finally, we’re at the main event. Colin, Viv, Ursula and Narelle have decided enough’s enough and they’re going to hold a seance. As Colin says, it’s time to find out the truth. What I know about seances could fit on the head of a pin so I can’t comment on the accuracies, but what I do know is this scene is one of absolute beauty. The atmosphere builds perfectly, the ambience is set, and Troy appears. He’s now able to touch his father, and speak to him. What follows is easily the most impressive sequence (from an editing point of view) in After Nightfall thus far.

We see a rapid succession of flashbacks to Troy’s last day alive. And yes, I am the obsessive who slowed it down and gleaned each frame for potential clues.

So here they are.

– Troy wakes up.
– There’s the breakfast scene we saw a glimpse of in the season 1 finale.
– Troy is talking to Oscar
– Justine answers the door
– Ryan walks away from Leanne
– Troy runs into Nathan
– Back to the breakfast scene?
– Troy walks to school with Hayden
– Dave is in his car
– Troy sits with Xavier and Grace
– Troy is walking through bushland and appears to come across a tryst between…two men. On first glance it seems to be Wesley and someone else. Someone with dark hair. Someone who at first glance MIGHT be Xavier, but definitely don’t quote me on that. I’m not sure. But surely that wouldn’t be the reason Troy was killed?

Episode 6 ends on a tantalising cliffhanger, probably the best one yet, and there’s no violence, no death, no explosive action. It’s just a father sharing a moment with the ghost of his son.

And this, THIS is why I love After Nightfall.

There’s a great balance between action and stillness. It knows when to let the characters breathe and have a quiet moment. It knows exactly how much action is needed and above all, it’s about the story and characters. And every single scene plays a part in the narrative. Especially considering the micro budget, small crew and limited timeframe they had to work with…it’s just phenomenal what this series has done. There’s really no other word for it. And I mean that sincerely.

Episode 7 promises to be a flashback episode to the day of Troy’s murder. We’ve had a tiny preview, so we have some idea of what to expect. I hope we get some answers to a few questions like Troy’s relationship with Nathan and why Wesley is so beaten up. But more than that, I hope we learn more about Troy, because he’s been quite the enigma this whole journey.

I don’t know what will happen next, but I know one thing for sure. We’re about to find out who killed Troy McLeavey.