That’s the spirit
CLAUDIA Karvan is a chameleon. The actor’s long list of Australian acting credits means she has to sport a new haircut and colour each time she changes roles.
But in recent years her amped-up career means she also juggles the dual roles of acting and producing Australian drama.
Karvan, 38, is showcasing both sets of skills with the start of the second season of the pay-TV show Spirited.
Karvan ( pictured) has reprised the lead role of control-freak and slightly demented dentist Suzy Darling in the quirky Foxtel drama.
Season one saw Suzy unhappy in her marriage and grappling with the presence of rock-star ghost Henry Mallett ( Matt King) in her wacky life.
As season two begins, Suzy had laid to rest the ghosts of an unhappy marriage and fallen in love with her ghost. Karvan not only acts but is co-producer.
‘‘ I think we’ve come on leaps and bounds from series one,’’ says Karvan, who wrapped the acting side of the job about six weeks ago but is still in production for the last couple of episodes.
‘‘ In series one, we tested a whole vein that we hadn’t really been in much before. In this second series we feel a little braver and that the show has got legs, arms and is walking on its own a bit.
‘‘ It’s taken on a life and we kind of run in its wake.’’
Certainly, when it comes to her character, Karvan confesses it’s hard not to trail in Suzy’s wake.
‘‘ Suzy has certainly evolved. She’s out of the shadow of her husband now and there’s actually a bit more affection she feels towards her husband rather than annoyance,’’ she says.
‘‘ She’s a more balanced person. She still has her competitive streak and her pedantry and all those fantastically annoying qualities about her, but love has certainly warmed her.’’
The fact Henry comes with his own baggage – a whole coterie of new ghosts – adds plenty of comic and dramatic fodder to the season.
Karvan reckons Suzy makes her real life seem positively normal by comparison.
‘‘ Suzy’s basically had a dangerous impact on my life,’’ laughs Karvan, who, when she’s not working, relishes time with her two children, Audrey, 9, and Albie, 5, and her partner Jeremy Sparks.
‘‘ I have inherited her trait of talking to myself. Do you do that?’’ she asks.
‘‘ I’m relieved other people do it. I talk to someone who I imagine is there. I relive scenes or jokes I’ve heard a couple of days before and laugh out loud.
‘‘ I have a lot of Henrys in my life. I’m lucky like that. I’m in touch with lots of creatively-minded people and people who are incredibly honest and are the antithesis of me and can send me up. Life for me is pretty good.’’