MOTHER OF A JOB

In the sci-fi thriller Ex­tant, Halle Berry plays the mum of a ro­bot but still she finds sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween that and her real-life moth­er­ing role

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV - NEALA JOHN­SON

In a re­cent episode of sci-fi drama Ex­tant, ro­bot child Ethan had his first night­mare. It was some­thing the “Hu­manich” droid wasn’t yet pro­grammed to do. It hu­man­ised the child in the eyes of his mother, Molly.

Halle Berry, who plays Molly, can re­late to that.

“Hav­ing two chil­dren who are so very hu­man helps me get in touch with my hu­man­ity on a daily ba­sis. I strug­gle with whether a ro­bot would evoke the same kinds of feel­ings from me,” Berry says.

“My daugh­ter just had a night­mare ... and she’s say­ing, ‘Mummy, no. No, no’. I say, ‘Honey, what is it?’

“She says, ‘Mummy, there’s two cup­cakes. There’s a pur­ple one and a pink one. You are eat­ing the pink one and you know I want it! Mummy, no!’ I re­alised she was hav­ing a night­mare ... but I was re­lieved it was about cup­cakes.

“I’m not so sure a ro­bot would do that. I’m not sure if a ro­bot can dream for real! But that is one of the gems, one of the jew­els of what moth­er­hood is all about.” Molly has a sec­ond child in

Ex­tant – the one she be­came im­preg­nated with while in space. That “child” was last seen in a spec­i­men jar, some­how com­pelling a space sci­en­tist to kill his col­league.

An “event” se­ries pro­duced by sci-fi lu­mi­nary Steven Spiel­berg, Ex­tant is the cre­ation of TV first-timer Mickey Fisher.

“When Steven Spiel­berg came along, a name like that you don’t re­ally sneeze at, and I know the qual­ity of his work and I know that he loves this sort of genre,” Berry says.

“Th­ese su­per­nat­u­ral kind of sto­ries are right in his wheel­house.”

Fisher ad­mits Molly is the first com­plex fe­male character he’s ever man­aged to write, but reck­ons Berry took it to another level.

“She brings so much emo­tional truth to it, she can take any scene and find some­thing real and make it thrilling to watch,” Fisher says.

Ex­tant, Chan­nel 10, Wed­nes­day, 9.40pm.

Halle Berry in Ex­tant.

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