Emma Hamil­ton

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - SHAN­NON MOL­LOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

The first ques­tion most peo­ple ask Emma Hamil­ton is what coun­try she’s from.

Af­ter liv­ing in Bri­tain for a decade and land­ing act­ing roles that see her speak in all man­ner of ac­cents, she sounds a bit like a “mon­grel” these days.

So when the Aus­tralian landed a role in Chan­nel 9’s new crime thriller Hyde & Seek, she was ex­cited to em­brace our very dis­tinct drawl.

“But then I found out my char­ac­ter Claire is orig­i­nally a Kiwi,” Hamil­ton laughs.

It wasn’t the only chal­lenge she faced while step­ping into the role of the enig­matic po­lice of­fi­cer.

I al­most didn’t recog­nise you as a blonde af­ter your mem­o­rable role play­ing Princess Mary last year. Yes, I know. It was nice to be blonde again. Right af­ter Mary I went back to the UK to film bits and pieces for Mr Sel­fridge. Then I came back again for this project. It’s been a busy cou­ple of years. I’ve been able to come home to work, which has meant ev­ery­thing to me.

How long have you lived in the UK? It’s been more than 10 years now. That wasn’t the plan — it just hap­pened. I went to drama school there and then signed with an agent. I got work straight away. It’s where I’ve done the ma­jor­ity of my work. It was only through Last Cab To Dar­win that I got to come and work here for the very first time.

Didn’t you play a Brit in that movie though? Yes! It’s hi­lar­i­ous. Un­til Mary, I’d never acted in my na­tive ac­cent be­fore. So, just once, which was in­cred­i­ble. I’ve only ever done Eng­lish or Amer­i­can. You’ve got a mix of ev­ery­thing go­ing on there. It must con­fuse peo­ple. I’ve de­lib­er­ately kept my mon­grel ac­cent. I like it. But I’ve had to do a lot of work to get Claire’s right be­cause mine fluc­tu­ates. She has a very par­tic­u­lar past and her ac­cent re­flects that — it de­notes a colour­ful past, per­haps in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters.

With­out giv­ing away too much, this se­ries is about an hor­rific mur­der that ex­poses a crim­i­nal un­der­belly. What’s it been like to film? It’s very dif­fer­ent and it’s been chal­leng­ing for me in some ways. I’ve had to learn new skills. For in­stance, I’ve never worked with a firearm be­fore. It’s a lit­tle scary — it’s an ac­tual gun. And play­ing the role of Claire has been in­ter­est­ing. It’s a new ex­pe­ri­ence. Claire is a very in­tel­li­gent and self-de­ter­mined woman. She’s con­fi­dent. She’s a bit ruth­less and very driven to­wards achiev­ing jus­tice. I’ve loved this job.

HYDE & SEEK, CHAN­NEL 9, MON­DAY, 8.45PM

Emma Hamil­ton is happy to be back home; (above) with Ryan O’Kane in Mary, The Mak­ing Of A Princess.

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