Star revels in Aussie thriller's dark, but familiar setting
PLAYING a cancer survivor on Seven's new thriller Secret Bridesmaids' Business hit close to home for Georgina Haig.
The award-winning actor, who has been based in the US where she's starred in Once Upon a Time and The Crossing, plays bride-to-be Olivia, who harbours fears her cancer has returned. Her wedding plans are then thrown into disarray by several shocking revelations and she must lean on the support of her best friends Melanie (Abbie Cornish) and Saskia (Katie McGrath).
"My father's been dealing with prostate cancer and my aunty has breast cancer," she tells The Guide.
"It's so prevalent and unfortunately most people if they haven't dealt with it themselves then they know someone who has.
"She thinks it's come back but she doesn't want to tell anyone. She doesn't want to feel like a victim and she's putting on a bit of a front. She's trying to be positive and cheerful but then when she learns that her fiance has cheated on her I think she's trying to decide on how to deal with that. The advice you get given isn't necessarily the advice you're going to follow."
The slow-burn romantic thriller was filmed in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, where Haig grew up. It was a welcome return home for the young mum, who had her two-year-old daughter in tow.
"It couldn't have been closer to home for me. Mum and Dad popped in for crew lunches," she says.
"It's special to see the peninsula depicted in this interesting, cinematic way. It's stunning but quite moody. It's not like other wine regions of Australia. Internationally, I don't think people have seen this side of Australia portrayed before."
For co-star Alexander England, the series was a chance to go against the nice-guy type he's played on shows like Offspring.
His character, Jakob, is a textbook narcissist who seduces Melanie. But what starts as an affair quickly devolves into something sinister after she rejects him.
"He pushes himself further and further into her space and her life to an uncomfortable degree," he says.
"He's always been the one to choose when things are happening and when they're not - he bullies people into doing what he wants, so this might be the first time we see someone really push against him with the support of her friends.
"It's interesting to get a character like this who is so far removed from who I am as a person. Nobody thinks they're a baddie: as an actor you have to look at what the character is trying to do."
The drama's first episode foreshadows a dramatic climax of events, with Olivia in a blood-soaked wedding dress running through her family's vineyard.
"There is a burgeoning sense of something's not right here and things definitely escalate pretty dramatically," he says.
"It's a complex and adult story with some dark themes, which is where the real stakes come from."
Secret Bridesmaids' Business continues on Tuesday, October 8 at 8.45pm on Seven.