The Real Housewives of Sydney has the characters in place to match the success of the Melbourne franchise, writes ANNA BRAIN
Keep it real
IT takes all types to cast the right mix on a reality show, and The Real Housewives of
Sydney co-stars Melissa Tkautz and Lisa Oldfield are an excellent case in point.
Tkautz, a mild-mannered pop singer and mother of two, keeps her husband off-limits and is on her best behaviour (at least for now).
Oldfield, also a mother of two, is an outspoken, divisive character who has flung open her home to the cameras – and if you don’t like what you see, she doesn’t care.
Welcome to the second edition of the Aussie series, following the wildly successful Melbourne franchise.
Drink-flinging and namecalling abound as seven larger-than-life personalities give us a glimpse into their upmarket lives in the glamorous harbour city.
Oldfield, a businesswoman who is married to One Nation founder David, says she takes a gung-ho approach to being on the small screen.
“I’m Lisa Oldfield, warts and all,” she says. “I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t disguise how I feel. I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission.”
It’s hard to believe she was in hospital, recovering from serious spinal surgery, until a week before filming started.
“I don’t want to be too melodramatic, but if I hadn’t done something sooner rather than later, I would’ve been a quadriplegic,” she says.
With painkillers on board (“I don’t recommend Endone with Bollinger chasers – especially when you’re going on camera,” Oldfield quips), she jumped into the drama headfirst.
Property princess Krissy Marsh is the first to fall foul of Oldfield’s scathing tongue, making for some awkward moments when the group got together for a screening of the first episodes.
Oldfield sets the scene: “I’m sitting next to Krissy’s husband as I’m [on air] saying she gives [sexual favours] behind the bike shed. He’s a great guy, he thought it was hilarious. Krissy, maybe not so much,” she says.
“With someone like Krissy, she’s completely different off-camera than she was oncamera. I don’t know whether she was deliberately trying to play a bimbo, or a mean girl. I don’t understand artifice.”
Meanwhile, Read My Lips singer Tkautz has firm ideas on what boundaries need to be kept.
She says her financier husband, whom she married in 2009, will not appear on the show, as “this is my world, and he has his world”.
In the first episodes, she also stays on the sidelines during some heated arguments. “I will stick up for myself, but I won’t insert myself into something that’s nothing to do with me,” she says.
What you will see from this group – which also includes beauty queen Nicole O’Neil, entrepreneur Victoria Rees and artist Athena X Levendi – is cocktails, parties, shopping and beauty treatments.
Matty Samaei, a plastic surgery enthusiast who describes herself as “very self-made … and beautiful”, owns a Double Bay Medispa clinic which doubles as a confessional for her friends and customers – including Oldfield, who is open about her facial treatments,
suggesting she used the excess fat from liposuction to make soaps for gifts.
Tkautz is similarly adamant that women should feel free to do what makes them feel good. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much work you’ve had done,” she says.
“I like to work out and eat well because it makes me feel good about myself. Do I have facials and lasers and botox? Sure. Whatever I need to do to make myself feel good.”
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SYDNEY
SUNDAY, 8.30PM, ARENA