THE camaraderie and chemistry between House Husbands’ cast mates Firass Dirani and Anna McGahan is a reflection of the feel of Nine’s popular drama. It’s fresh, easy, playful, charming, and unexpectedly disarming.
But dig a little deeper, and it’s breaking new ground for all concerned.
Dirani may have grappled with the underworld and the bad guys in his turn as Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim in Underbelly: The Golden Mile, but he confesses that wasn’t a patch on the challenge of grappling with twin boys and an infant in his most foreign role to date – playing a dad. ‘‘ It’s been like baby boot camp for three months,’’ he laughs.
Rising star McGahan, who turned heads as the promiscuous prostitute Nell Cameron in Underbelly: Razor, is more likely to be tending the bar than stripping on one as the loveable Lucy, the grown- up daughter of recently retired ratbag Lewis ( Gary Sweet).
In House Husbands Dirani plays former AFL star and bad- boy Justin for whom life has rapidly become very serious.
‘‘ Justin has lost his career, his family and is battling with trying to win custody of his twin boys and young daughter,’’ Dirani says. ‘‘ He’s grappling with the kids, whom he loves dearly, his manager has cut his grass, and he’s trying to make good and it’s all falling apart.’’
Meanwhile, McGahan ( pictured with Dirani) leapt at the chance to play law student Lucy.
‘‘ She’s so different to anyone I’ve played – she’s this stoic and gentle soul. She does the right thing, all the time, sometimes at the expense of herself.’’
But she says Lucy is not naive or stupid. ‘‘ She’s got a great brain . . . she has wisdom.’’
McGahan and Dirani are great mates off camera, and in early episodes there’s a frisson of attraction when their characters meet through work then discover an unlikely connection.