There is a host of well-known acting talent in the upcoming miniseries reimagining of Picnic at Hanging Rock, with names like Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Yael Stone (Orange Is the New Black), Don Hany (Offspring) and Anna McGahan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries) among the cast.
But it’s the young actresses playing the schoolgirls of Appleyard College who are attracting considerable attention, being tipped as the next generation of Australian stars to watch—both here and overseas.
Lily Sullivan plays Miranda Reid
In taking on the strong-willed role that propelled Anne-Louise Lambert to international success in the original movie more than 40 years ago, Queensland-born Sullivan, 24, knew she had sizable shoes to fill. “Everyone had preconceptions of what Miranda was like, so I decided on my own way of exploring her and getting down to the basics of who this young woman is,” she says.
Samara Weaving plays Irma Leopold
In Picnic, she plays the role of headstrong Irma, a key member of Miranda’s school gang, but only weeks ago, the former Home and Away star, 26, walked the red carpet at the Oscars as one of the cast members of the Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Madeleine Madden plays Marion Quade
The 2018 version of Marion Quade allowed Madden, 21, to put an all-new stamp on the Picnic role. “There is a world of difference, as this time she’s an aristocratic, mixed-race, illegitimate girl who faces a different future to the rest of the girls,” she says.
Ruby Rees plays Edith Horton
Edith is the neglected daughter of the Horton family, who desperately wants to be accepted into Miranda’s close circle. “Picnic was such an important project to be a part of, especially at a time in history when so many artists are fighting to get female voices heard,” says Rees, 22.
Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne
Picnic at Hanging Rock marks the breakout performance for the 14-year-old, who has previously appeared in the TV series Deadly Women, as well as the short films Little Heart and Fly vs Spy.
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Read more of our profile of the Picnic at Hanging Rock stars in the issue of WHO magazine out now. The six-part miniseries premieres on Foxtel on Sunday May 6.