Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - Photography STEVEN CHEE Stylist GEMMA KEIL Words AL­LEY PAS­COE

Ac­tor Marta Dus­sel­dorp in sleek, mod­ern clas­sics.

´´I want them to see women on screen who are smart, flawed, out­ra­geous and funny´´

Af­ter star­ring as Sarah Adams in the post-world War II drama A Place To Call Home for the past three years, Marta Dus­sel­dorp is ac­cus­tomed to step­ping back in time. To­day, she is loung­ing on a vel­vet bench in the lobby of Sydney’s Art Deco-styled Primus Ho­tel, built back in 1939.

Sit­ting in a cor­ner booth, the ac­tor is thought­ful as she talks about re­turn­ing to the mid-20th cen­tury for the drama’s fourth sea­son. “This [time it] feels more nat­u­ral, some­how, like I’m a part of Sarah and she’s a part of me,” she says.

Dus­sel­dorp speaks of feel­ing ex­pec­tant about the new sea­son, not least be­cause her char­ac­ter gives birth. As a mum of two girls, the 43-year-old has chan­nelled her own moth­erly in­stincts into her scenes: “[Sarah] will kill some­one if she has to, and when she be­comes a mum, watch out! When you’re pro­tect­ing your child, it’s about at­tack.”

As well as pro­tect­ing her daugh­ters, Dus­sel­dorp aims to in­spire them. “I want them to see women on-screen who are smart, flawed, out­ra­geous and funny,” she says. “We used to be vic­tims – run­ning away in our knick­ers while a man chases us with a shot­gun. I’m sick of that im­age. Women are well-trav­elled, well-read and well-spo­ken… We have to rep­re­sent that. It would be naive not to.”

True to her be­liefs, she’s taken on an­other com­plex role as an ac­tor who sur­vived a sadis­tic crime in Bene­dict An­drews’ new play, Glo­ria. Fol­low­ing a six-year ab­sence from the­atre, Dus­sel­dorp is aching for the adren­a­line and fear of a live au­di­ence. “I could fail spec­tac­u­larly,” she says with a laugh. “I’m look­ing for­ward to walk­ing on hot coals again.” A Place To Call Home, 8.30pm, Sun­days on Show­case from Septem­ber 11.


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