In recent years, Haig and fellow Australian Cornish have worked predominantly in the US while McGrath, who hails from Ireland, has also filmed several movies and TV series there. “It doesn’t necessarily matter where a show comes from now,” McGrath says. “Look at Big Little Lies or Chernobyl or Russian Doll, which have international audiences. I think what Channel Seven has created is at that level.”


Cornish knew she wanted to play Melanie just a few pages into the script. “She has that suburban lifestyle that seems so perfect – a job and a husband and two beautiful kids – but she’s going through a kind of existential crisis,” says Cornish, who won awards for her work in the films Somersault, Candy and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. “She’s asking herself, ‘What if I hadn’t married so young? What would it be like to be with someone other than her husband Michael (Dan Spielman)?’”

Though Melanie tries to rid her mind of such thoughts, her repressed desires ultimately assert themselves. “As soon as the opportunity arises, she acts impulsively and that becomes a big problem,” Cornish says. “We delve into these very intimate and private moments for each individual, then we explore the ricochet effect and the implications of their actions.”

When Cornish turned 18, she spent her birthday alone on a hill in Northern Italy, gazing at the countryside and writing in her journal. “[Solitude] is a huge priority for me,” she says. “I was talking about it with my best friend recently. She’s realised that taking time out makes her a better person for everyone around her … taking those moments to be alone is really important.”

For Cornish, such reflection is a chance to consider the intricacies of human behaviour; the choices we make that appear inexplicable to others. “[Director Tori Garrett] is not afraid to explore all the different parts of what it is to be human,” she says. “She doesn’t label anyone or put them in a box.”


“It’s rare that you get female characters that are so accurately crafted,” adds McGrath. “What I love about the character of Saskia is that she’s warts and all. She doesn’t always behave exactly right … and lord knows I don’t always do the right thing. But that’s what makes the characters feel real – real people fail and they f— up and they do things that are a bit reprehensible.”

Haig agrees. “If someone does something bad it doesn’t mean they are bad,” she says. “We explore things from the perspective of, ‘Why did someone do that particular thing in that moment? When you’re in the darkest depths, how do you find forgiveness? And is forgiveness even possible?’ What this show does is really look at the grey areas between right and wrong.”

WHAT: Secret Bridesmaids’ Business
WHEN: Seven, Sunday, September 29, 8.30pm

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