Make mum’s day

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

MARTA Dus­sel­dorp says play­ing Sarah Adams in A Place to Call Home is her dream role.

Which to most mothers out there will come as a sur­prise – she equates some of the scenes she had to act out for the show as painful emo­tion­ally as giv­ing birth.

“I have given birth twice nat­u­rally ( to Grace, 6, and Mag­gie, 3) and you go to the dark side of life and death and you feel like it’s a ra­zor’s edge,” she said.

“I think that’s what I was try­ing to call on. But Sarah doesn’t let things get to her.

“When I was faced with that amount of pain I re­mem­ber this an­i­mal

scream that came out of me, but Sarah can’t do that. She in­ter­nalises and steels other things in her life. In that mo­ment she knows what has to be done.”

A Place to Call Home is the Seven Net­work’s home- grown pe­riod drama, lav­ishly shot with a close at­ten­tion to de­tail.

The cast is a roll call of some of Aus­tralia’s most highly re­garded ac­tors, in­clud­ing Noni Ha­zle­hurst in the role of Bligh fam­ily ma­tri­arch El­iz­a­beth, and Brett Climo as her son Ge­orge.

Writ­ten by Packed to the Rafters cre­ator Be­van Lee, it fol­lows the story of nurse Sarah Adams, who re­turns to Aus­tralia from the UK af­ter work­ing over­seas dur­ing World War II.

With se­crets to hide, she is shunned by her mother when she ar­rives for a re­union in Syd­ney, and in­stead seeks out the help of the Bligh fam­ily to start afresh, whom she has met while sail­ing back from Lon­don.

But as the show con­tin­ues it seems she is not the only one with a hid­den side.

Up- and- com­ing act­ing tal­ents Abby Earl, who stars as the way­ward Anna Bligh, and Aldo Mignone, who plays the part of her lover, Gino Po­letti, are try­ing to keep their ro­mance se­cret across the so­cial di­vide.

Mean­while, James Bligh, acted by an­other bright un­known in David Berry, is strug­gling with his role as a hus­band to wife Olivia, who is played by emerg­ing ac­tor Ari­an­wen Parkes- Lock­wood. She is also in tor­ment over is­sues within her mar­riage.

For Dus­sel­dorp, the chal­leng­ing role of Adams came along at the per­fect mo­ment.

“I think some­times you meet a role at the right time in your life,” she said.

“I felt when I picked the script up and started read­ing Sarah that ev­ery­thing I am in­ter­ested in was piqued.

“[ I was in­ter­ested in] her re­straint and si­lence, and she is very in­tel­li­gent and pas­sion­ate and very good at what she does.

“There was this serendip­ity. We are of a sim­i­lar age and I thought there was a bit of a meet­ing place and a bit of a cross­roads.”

She says the fact it is a pe­riod drama, set in the 1950s, re­ally helped with get­ting in to char­ac­ter.

“It does half the work for you, re­ally. I had an amaz­ing make- up artist who trans­formed me, ev­ery­one was trans­formed,” she said.

“It’s not easy, but they made it ef­fort­less. Then you put on the cos­tume and you are in this place filled with Tup­per­ware and porce­lain.”

Lee says he al­ways had Dus­sel­dorp in mind for the role, as she had the “craft skills and charisma to bring this mul­ti­fac­eted woman to life”.

It’s a com­pli­ment the ac­tor takes as an “hon­our” and says it was a priv­i­lege to work with him.

“I think he is a writer who is at the very top of his game – he is so in­spi­ra­tional when he speaks,” she said.

“I am absolutely hum­bled by what he said and I feel the same about him.”

ZOE NAU­MAN

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