Sarah Snook, Benedict Samuel and Rodger Corser head the cast in The Beautiful Lie, a contemporary re-imagining of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina.
Directed by Glendyn Ivin and Peter Salmon and produced by Endemol Australia’s John Edwards and Imogen Banks, the 6-part ABC drama starts shooting in Melbourne next week.
Scripted by Alice Bell (Puberty Blues, The Slap, Rush) and Jonathan Gavin (Party Tricks, Offspring, Mr & Mrs Murder), the series is billed as a sprawling saga of adultery, scandal, manners and mayhem involving three enmeshed families across three generations
The supporting cast includes Celia Pacquola, Daniel Henshall, Sophie Lowe, Alexander England, Catherine McClements, Dan Wyllie and Gina Riley.
The protagonists are Anna (Snook) and her husband Xander (Corser), who is 15 years her senior. Both are former tennis professionals.
Anna manages to juggle career and family until her brother Kingsley (Henshall) is caught philandering and she is called on to intervene. She finds herself dangerously attracted to music producer Skeet (Samuel), a charming dilettante who has rejected the apparently innocent Kitty (Lowe).
In turn Skeet becomes obsessed with Anna and is willing to forgo his music career to win her enduring love.
Banks tells IF there are numerous parallels between the novel and contemporary society. “It’s about different kinds of love, family, infidelity, dangerous affairs and how you maintain long relationships,” she says.
ABC TV head fiction Carole Sklan says, “The producers have assembled a fantastic cast and creative team to realise this resonant story of the complexities of love and passion set in Australia today.
“Inspired by the great Tolstoy, the writers have taken an incredibly fresh and modern approach. The series promises to be both funny and heartbreakingly sad.”
Following Predestination, Snook has worked almost non-stop with roles in ABC-TV’s The Secret River, The Dressmaker, Oddball and Holding the Man.
Samuel recently filmed an episode of The Walking Dead and he co-stars with Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Alice Braga in Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Western By Way of Helena.
The DoP is John Brawley, Elizabeth Mary Moore is the production designer and Chiara Tripodi is doing make-up, all Puberty Blues alumni.