Acclaimed Australian actress Rachel Griffiths has enjoyed a stellar career in the United States. She has returned to her birthplace Melbourne to join the cast of House Husbands. Series three debuts on TV One on Thursday, and Griffiths' character Belle Lamont makes her first appearance in episode 2.
How have you enjoyed joining House Husbands? What has it been like?
It's been so much fun. Also, I haven't had many acting roles that children would watch, so it's been great to do something that the Year Fives are looking forward to. I've had so many kids at my children's school say, "Oh, are you doing House Husbands? That's so cool!"
Had you seen much of the show?
I'd seen a couple of episodes and then when they first reached out, I was sent a whole season and it really hit the spot that I love, which is pathos with humour. They keep the comedy going but the dramatic moments also get their chance. It's my kind of genre. It's also not a mean show, in that it's not sarcastic or cynical. It's about family relationships - which I always seem to find myself doing - but I'm enjoying all the different angles that are being played.
What can you tell us about your character?
Belle enters as an outsider to an established family. When I spoke with Ellie Beaumont, one of the show's creators and writers, I asked her whether she wanted Belle to come in as a kind of insider or have the different energy that an outsider might bring - that abrupt energy that's kind of new and takes a little while to get accustomed to. They were very much in favour of the second option. And having been on shows with a well-established cast, it's always fantastic when someone turns up and unsettles the core stability, when you have a character who slightly unnerves the audience, I think it's great for a show, so that it's been my job on
. They wrote Belle as a very unpredictable character, which I'm enjoying. You never know how Belle is going to respond to anything. If you think she's going to lose it, she's really calm. And if she hears something you would think she should just take in her stride, she goes bananas. So again, it kind of keeps you slightly out of your comfort zone, which is a fun sort of character to play.
How have you enjoyed the on-set atmosphere?
Really great. They're such a hard-working group of people. You've really got to be on your toes. Everybody's there to work, but the tone of the show demands that you genuinely have to share open, human moments with each other. And it's been delightful spending time with Julia Morris who, next to Magda Szubanski, is probably the funniest woman in this country. Julia [who plays Gemma] is just hilarious - she's an absolute riot. So it's a great atmosphere. We turn up, work really hard and have a good time. We all cheer when we get through an impossible day and then go home and start all over again.
House Husbands screens Thursday at 8.30pm on TV One.