Mum’s the word in dark new suburban thriller
THE seemingly picture-perfect life of a mummy blogger unravels as one of her followers turns out to have a dangerous obsession in the new thriller The Secrets She Keeps.
The six-part suburban noir based on Australian author Michael Robotham's best-selling novel of the same name, opens with a chance encounter between two women in a supermarket in an affluent Sydney suburb. They are the same age, both heavily pregnant and due at the same time - but is it just coincidence?
Meghan (Jessica De Gouw) is a glamorous influencer on the rise, with an ambitious television sports reporter husband Jack (Michael Dorman), while Agatha (Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael) works in the supermarket as a shelf stacker.
"They have this life-changing encounter and then they're tied to one another through the course of the series," De Gowe says.
"Laura and I are old friends and it was a lovely surprise to find out I'd be working with her. Both of us are walking new ground in terms of these characters.
"It's been lovely getting to play on screen with a friend and find these characters together.
"I haven't played a mother before … it's one of the most emotionally taxing roles I've had to play."
Agatha is envious of Meghan, but De Gowe says her character's life is far from the picture she paints on social media.
"Her husband is chasing this ever-moving horizon of ambition and together they have created this very grand lifestyle they can't afford," she says.
"The financial strains on them lead them down very dark paths. We meet them when they are very disconnected and they fall further and further apart. Then they suffer a pretty severe trauma and that forces them to find out who they really are, stripped bare of all of the things around them."
Meghan and Agatha come from two vastly different walks of life but they hold one thing in common - explosive secrets that could destroy everything they hold dear.
Both will risk everything to conceal the truth.
"What we're really talking about is women and their place in the world - their voice," De Gouw says. "Meghan is a mother but she's also searching for connection and purpose. She's plagued by guilt and is constantly managing all these roles. She always feels like she's stumbling and failing at every step.
"That's exacerbated by this influencer world she participates in where these mummy bloggers are telling women how to dress and style their homes and feed their kids. It's a beautiful front, but behind that it's obviously not the truth. They're claiming to be honest and empowering but then there's also hash tag ads and paid partnerships.
"It's this very beautiful world but it's rotting at the core."
Also recently starring in SBS's acclaimed series The Hunting, De Gouw says Australian dramas are getting noticed abroad.
"Australia has some incredible stuff happening right now that is world-class quality," she says.
"The stories we're telling are so different.
"It's been really lovely being home. When there are such incredible projects here, why would you leave? At the moment, I think we're in a golden age of television."
The Secrets She Keeps premieres Wednesday at 8.45pm on Ten/WIN.