When Kate Atkinson wrapped filming on 10 seasons of the gritty jail drama Wentworth she was completely happy to bide her time till one thing fully totally different got here alongside. Then she bought supplied precisely that, with the function of a lifetime enjoying Melissa Caddick in Underbelly: Vanishing Act.
The 2-part drama is impressed by the real-life thriller of high-roller Melissa Caddick who disappeared after embezzling tens of millions from household and buddies.
Atkinson described the challenge as “unbelievable timing” and whereas she felt fortunate simply to be working throughout the coronavirus pandemic, she was additionally thrilled to play such an interesting character.
“I used to be so excited by the concept of enjoying a personality that is not solely fully distinctive to something I performed earlier than, however such a departure from myself. One of many stuff you do as an actor is try to interrogate why somebody does what they do, what drives them,” she informed 9Entertainment.
“Somebody who’s attempting to create one other model of herself and the way in which by which she does it by way of materials possessions and glamour and monetary fraud, it simply could not be farther from my life.”
Melissa’s ardour for vogue is likely one of the many areas the place Atkinson differs from her character. The 49-year-old thought she may discover this difficult, as an alternative she’s loved how totally different the outfits are to her personal wardrobe and former characters she’s performed.
“After I first bought forged on this function, certainly one of my buddies jokingly mentioned, ‘Do they realise they’ve forged somebody who can barely get out of overalls, as a girl who’s obsessive about vogue?’.
“The most important problem is to not really feel pressured to present the viewers what they need or who they assume they know she is — none of us know. And this isn’t a fact telling, this isn’t a documentary. We have taken these two life occasions, however we have extrapolated them right into a story about larger concepts,” she defined.
“It is a part of the character of the present that we’re teasing out each model of this doable story and each model of this person who’s a part of the journey, that everybody has their very own idea about what might or might [not have happened]… Moderately than shying away from that, we’re form of teasing out that tendency for everybody to assume they know what occurred.”
Atkinson relocated to Sydney from Melbourne at some stage in the Underbelly: Vanishing Act shoot. Whereas she adores her long-time residence of Melbourne, leaving to movie the drama was a pleasant reprieve after being in lockdown after lockdown, even when the solar solely shined throughout her two-week isolation earlier than the shoot.
“I have not labored in Sydney for nearly 15 years, and I labored principally in Melbourne for a very long time so I am acquainted with everybody down there they usually’re all fantastic. But it surely has been beautiful simply to be in a distinct playground for some time,” she mentioned.
“I did know of Maya and clearly I do know Colin’s work, and that is simply been an actual deal with. Then there is a bunch of younger Sydney actors who I’ve not labored with earlier than they usually’ve simply been wonderful — everybody’s actually invested of their roles. So I actually, actually loved assembly numerous new faces as effectively.”
When Underbelly: Vanishing Act hits screens, it is probably viewers will recognise Atkinson from certainly one of two iconic exhibits: Wentworth or Seachange. These dramas stay standouts in Atkinson’s profession and she or he admits she may need given up appearing if not for tasks like these.
“I by no means actually skilled to be an actor and I’ve form of written a wave of fine fortune, not simply being fortunate sufficient to get roles, however to get roles on exhibits the place I am really studying quite a bit from different folks on the job,” she mentioned.
In reality Atkinson did contemplate leaving appearing after filming Season 1 of Wentworth, and ending a level in worldwide politics. She did go and do a postgraduate diploma nevertheless it’s clear the actor’s life is the one for her.
“It’s a very insecure life-style, and it comes with nice highs and nice lows, and I believe I have been very fortunate and my profession’s been fairly constant, however yeah, it isn’t one thing I believed I might nonetheless be doing at this age,” she mentioned.
“We name ourselves carny people on this business and an expensive pal of mine mentioned to me, ‘You’re all the time attempting to flee the circus, however you’re carny people, like the remainder of us’. So I am nonetheless right here, and nonetheless the clown.”
Now that filming has wrapped and Underbelly: Vanishing Act is about to hit screens, Kate’s objective for 2022 is to go to Perth, which appears to be like to lastly be doable once more after the Western Australia border lastly reopened lately.
“I, in fact, can be throwing my hat within the ring for different work, however I do not know what that is going to be but. And within the brief time period, I hope I can go go to my mum and buddies, sooner quite than later, as a result of that’s one thing that should occur,” she mentioned.