The fi rst cut is always the deepest
EVERYONE remembers their fi rst great love, the one that shook them to their core and profoundly defi ned every romantic interaction that followed.
Simone Kessell couldn’t help but think of hers when joining the cast of Channel Ten drama
Wonderland, in which she plays Sascha – the one that got away for Tom, played by Michael Dormer.
“He’s ( Tom) still haunted by her,” Kessell, 39, says.
“When she comes back into his life unexpectedly – working in a restaurant – he can’t leave it alone.”
The pair come back into each other’s lives at full speed, with passionate but tumultuous consequences. While fans of the series get a brief taste of what the Kiwi- born glamazon will bring to the series before it wraps for the year, the bulk of the Tom- Sascha storyline will play out in 2015.
Kessell’s character is one of the fi nal attempts by creators of the show to shake things up.
Despite a strong cast, high production values and an evolving script, Wonderland has failed to resonate and slumped in the ratings.
But there’s an entire season in the can for 2015 and producers took the last- ditch opportunity to really “up the ante”, Kessell said.
“They’ve looked at the show and decided it was time to shake things up. There are so many, ‘ Oh my god!’ moments coming that change the whole dynamic.”
Her character’s backstory off ered the opportunity to draw on past experiences.
“I think everyone has a great fi rst love story. I was in my early 20s and working in fi lm and television and the reality is that actors fall in love quite easily,” she says.
“When you work with someone who’s amazingly talented and creative, sparks fl y. And then you fi nish shooting. The funny thing about those fi rst loves is that you think back and only remember the good things, don’t you? You don’t think of the screaming or wanting to kill them. You reminisce fondly. You forget why you wanted to break up.”
While her fi rst love didn’t pan out, her greatest one did – Kessell is now married to Australian director Gregor Jordan ( Two
Hands) and the couple have two children.
“Life is very good. Life is full. I couldn’t be happier.”
WONDERLAND WEDNESDAY, 8.30PM, TDT