Teresa Palmer and Miranda Otto on the new cult series The Clearing

Even crime and thriller fans will be on edge…
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It’s disturbing, set eerily close to home and it’s the hit crime and thriller series we’re all talking about. It is, of course, The Clearing, a fictionalised drama and adaptation inspired by the Australian crime thriller novel by J.P.Pomare, In The Clearing

Starring a stellar line-up including Teresa Palmer, Miranda Otto and Guy Pearce, Australian Star Original series The Clearing is an eight-part psychological thriller, which follows a woman forced to confront the nightmares of her past to stop a secret cult, intent on gathering children to fulfill its master plan.

The Clearing’s cult is led by a paradoxical female character, Adrienne, played by Miranda Otto.

Miranda said playing Adrienne was unlike any other character in her career.

 “I’ve done other things that are in the scary realm… played characters who are more dark and nuanced in that direction, but Adrienne Beaufort is a very interesting case,” Miranda explains.

“She is more of a construct and invention than a character or person… She is feeding off pushing people into extremes and viscerally feeding off their emotions.”

Miranda adds that as the series evolves, so does Adrienne’s unforgivable actions, and the consequences on the children in the cult.

It’s very important to me that we see the victims of our actions in this as the heroes of this story,” she explains.

“But it was really interesting to me to ask ‘what is that void in someone that they need to inflict this on other people? What is that emptiness that creates it?’”  

Amy Savage plays one of the children of the cult.
Julia Savage plays ‘Amy’, one of the children of the cult. (Credit: Disney+)

Australian actress Julia Savage plays one of the cult children, Amy, in what is arguably one of the most disturbing of initiations. 

On the flipside is Teresa Palmer, playing cult survivor ‘Freya’, who is forced to confront her nightmare past and try to end the cult’s plans.

Teresa Palmer plays cult survivor Freya.
Teresa Palmer plays cult survivor Freya. (Credit: Disney+)

“Freya is a survivor, she’s endured a childhood that most wouldn’t be able to imagine,” explains Teresa on her character.

“When we see her, she’s caring for her ailing mother and you realise that they have a very complicated back story. Freya has tried to create a stable life for Billy [her son] and it’s such a far cry from the sort of life she experienced herself.”

The Clearing really kicks into gear when patterns of the past replay for Freya, says Teresa.

“When a local girl is kidnapped … it triggers her trauma and it goes really from one dramatic twist to another. It’s intense!”

Intense indeed. And the reason why the series has claimed, err, cult status amongst crime and thriller enthusiasts.

Brought to you by Disney+

The Australian Star Original series, The Clearing, is now streaming on Disney+.        

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