The role you play is Alex, a mother who fights for her daughter. How did you prepare?
It was really important to me and to [director] Glendyn [Ivin] that Alex had a rawness to her; a real sort of extreme vulnerability because of the extreme circumstances she was in, which was a betrayal that she still hasn’t dealt with after four years. She has re-established herself with great difficulty and no support with a child in Australia and also is presently in a situation that is highly threatening and she’s very fearful that her child is going to be taken away from her. She knows what Alistair [played by Ewen Leslie] is capable of and
You have two sons, stepson Luca, 8, and Valentino, 3. As a mother, did you feel the role appealed to you more?
Sure, they’re different circumstances, but the same level of ferocious protectiveness I feel about my children was at play as I was performing that role. That came naturally and I did understand it and had I been in that situation myself I would have fought as hard.
Part of The Cry was filmed in the UK. How was it juggling such a serious, mentally straining role with your own family?
It was a struggle. It always is, that’s the thing. Gone are the days where it was just me sitting in a hotel room (and it was so much easier) somewhere, having the space to learn lines for three hours and make detailed plans. Life is good now. It is a juggle, I can’t lie about that, but my partner, [painter] Vincent Fantauzzo, and I just make it work. We make choices about how things are going to work, project to project, and how we can put the children first and everything else can fall in around that. It’s always a bit of a stretch at the beginning and then somehow it all just falls into place. So they all came with me. We decided it would be best for them to come and have a different experience and an adventure, and they did. They thought it was brilliant, so it worked. It was great.
Did you guys have some fun adventures?
We caught up with friends. We had a great week in London, and we really just hung out together and explored. The kids loved Hyde Park and we’d go for long walks and make memories. It was nice to do that at the end of the shoot. They’re [the kids] still talking about it.
In terms of your career, what’s next?
I’m looking at a miniseries that’s shooting quite soon and I’ve optioned a book, and have got that in development, so the year is looking pretty busy at the moment. I’m kind of feeling,
although I’m developing my own project, I’ll always be an actor and I always feel really compelled to take a great role. And there are some really wonderful things on offer.
Offspring is over, but in a time of reboots, in five years’ time do you see it coming back?
I don’t know! I just honestly don’t know the answer to that because in five years’ time I don’t know how I’ll feel or whether it will be material that’s relevant. You know, the world’s changing so fast and our hunger for drama
and what we want to see is changing as well. So I think for me, Offspring was made at a time where we really, really wanted to enjoy a character that was so relatable. And we wanted that comic relief in our drama at that time
as well. I think it was just a very timely production and so amazing that it endured for seven seasons. It feels like such a success to me that I’m so proud of, but now, having gained that experience working on a long-running series, I’m enjoying pushing out and building a larger audience and looking at a different kind of drama as well.
Has motherhood impacted your career choices? Do you feel more inclined to choose stronger female roles, like in The Cry?
Yes, for sure! When you have children, they inform all your ... well, they inform all my choices. That’s certainly true of work. There’s a level of consciousness now for me when I’m looking at a role, I think, “Is this something that I feel comfortable delivering myself ?
Is it material that I really need or want to explore? Is it material that I feel is offensive for the sake of being offensive?” It has to have a purpose for me, but I feel like with every drama and every individual character, if there is a strong purpose there, there’s a reason for telling a certain character’s story. Then it doesn’t really matter to me how I’m portrayed on screen, its whether I believe in it or not that I think is important. And when my kids grow up and they ask me why I chose to do a particular role, if I’m able to explain it to them then that’s what matters to me.