Tag Archives: crime

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