Make mum’s day
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.”