The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

DEB­O­RAH Mailman has won plau­dits for her su­perla­tive act­ing in hard-hit­ting dra­mas such as Mabo and Red­fern Now but it is Off­spring’s Cherie But­ter­field that is clos­est to her heart.

But­ter­field is one of the most pro­gres­sive char­ac­ters on Aus­tralian TV – an in­dige­nous woman who isn’t de­fined by race but her hu­man­ity.

“I think a lot of in­dige­nous ac­tors want to see more of this in terms of cast­ing and char­ac­ters that aren’t cul­tur­ally spe­cific,” Mailman says.

“(Pro­ducer) John Ed­wards has a lot to do with that in the way he cast me as Kelly Lewis in The Se­cret Life of Us. It was a sim­i­lar idea. It wasn’t about being a black­fella. It was just a woman on the dat­ing scene try­ing to bal­ance life as it is.”

Last sea­son, But­ter­field mar­ried Dr Martin Clegg (Lachy Hulme) and moved to the bush. But now they have a longdis­tance re­la­tion­ship after she re­turned to St Fran­cis.

The cou­ple has kept the flame alive by send­ing each other ro­man­tic let­ters. “It is a strange re­la­tion­ship but it works for them,” Mailman says.

“Ini­tially, Cherie was quite freaked out at the idea of Clegg but he pushes her to love life – and ap­par­ently their sex life is great.”

By Colin Vickery OFF­SPRING WED­NES­DAY, 8.30PM, TEN

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