ABC3’s new drama was the cat­a­lyst for a Se­cret Life of Us reunion.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - By TIF­FANY DUNK

WHEN Sibylla Budd ar­rived at the first ta­ble read­ing for drama To­mor­row When the

War Be­gan, she was greeted by some fa­mil­iar faces. Her for­mer The Se­cret

Life of Us co-stars, Deborah Mail­man and Spencer McLaren, were sit­ting in front of the stu­dio wait­ing for her. It was the first time the trio had worked to­gether since the iconic noughties drama wrapped in 2004.

“It was so lovely, just like old times – noth­ing had changed,” Budd says. “Deb and I shared a dress­ing room to­gether on To­mor­row When

the War Be­gan and that was just like old times as well. We just nat­tered the whole time. I guess the con­ver­sa­tion has changed in the past 12 years – it’s more about moth­er­hood now, back in the day it was about boys.” To­mor­row When the War

Be­gan is a six-part drama based on the clas­sic se­ries of John Mars­den books.

The young-adult nov­els de­tail the in­va­sion and oc­cu­pa­tion of Aus­tralia by a for­eign power, cen­tring on a group of teens led by El­lie Lin­ton who wage a guer­rilla war against their at­tack­ers.

But un­like the books and the 2010 film, which starred Caitlin Stasey and Lin­coln Lewis, this adap­ta­tion also cov­ers what the par­ents of the teens at the cen­tre of the ac­tion got up to.

And that’s where Budd, McLaren and Mail­man (who plays Kath Macken­zie, mum to Madeleine Mad­den’s Cor­rie) come in.

“They’ve gone to a new place with this se­ries but it’s still very true to the whole thing,” McLaren says.

“You get to see … things that are hap­pen­ing else­where, not just with El­lie (Molly Daniels) and the gang.”

McLaren and Budd play the par­ents of two teens, in­clud­ing Fi (Madeleine Clu­nies-Ross), who is part of El­lie’s gang. And while their pre-ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ship made it easy to slip into the roles, for Budd it was also a plea­sure to play a mum on-screen.

“I have two sons so it was nice to play at hav­ing a daugh­ter for a while,” she laughs.

“I don’t know if it’s the time in my life, be­ing a par­ent, that these types of sto­ries talk to me more. What it would be like to lose them, to be sep­a­rated from them, what you do as a par­ent to try to help your child.”

But while the main cast may all be young in years, Budd and McLaren say they def­i­nitely didn’t need any moth­er­ing on the set.

“All of them had their heads re­ally well screwed on,” McLaren says.

“They were very aware of what was go­ing on and very ap­pre­cia­tive of the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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