So where does the rebooted series pick up from?
Dave (Erik Thomson) and Julie Rafter have created a new life in the country with their youngest daughter, Ruby (Willow Speers), but their happiness is brought sharply into question when a city reunion reveals the rest of the family are facing challenges.
Did the cast stay in touch after the original series ended?
I’ve stayed in touch with pretty much everyone from the show. Of course it’s hard to see each other when we live in diﬀerent states or countries, like my situation. At the moment my son Zac is finishing high school here in New Zealand. Erik and I are in touch regularly and I see the others whenever I get a chance. We’re always messaging each other randomly.
What did you miss the most about playing Julie?
Julie is such a lovely, warm character and every time I slip on a linen shirt and say her words, I’m reminded of all of my sisters – who I originally based the character on – so in a way it feels like I’m coming home.
Why do you think now was the right time to bring Rafters back?
The world is a bit of a sad place at the moment and I think to bring back a show and characters that brought so much comfort and joy when it was ﬁrst aired will hopefully be a light in the dark. And, selﬁshly, I just wanted to hang out with all the cast again. I’ve missed them!
Georgina Haig is a new addition. How did she go in the role of Rachel?
Georgina walked onto the set the very ﬁrst day and it was like she had been there for years. She’s not only a brilliant actress but a warm-hearted, delightful human so she ﬁt right in from the get-go.
What can fans expect from the new season?
There will be a lot of laughs, courtesy of our resident funny guy Carbo [George Houvardas] and Ben [Hugh Sheridan]. Ruby [Speers] is now a budding Greta Thunberg, so expect to see some very topical subjects discussed. And like every drama, there will be sadness, too.
Do you need to watch the original series to enjoy the revival?
It’s always great to watch the original, but I think this series stands alone and you will be able to pick up on the characters pretty much straight away. There’s something for everyone. But if you did want to catch up, there’s plenty of time.
(Back to the Rafters premiers Fri., Sep. 17 on Amazon Prime Video)