Kate Mulvany as Frankie in ‘Lambs of God’ (Photo: Mark Rogers).
Kate Mulvany has a stellar CV as a playwright, screenwriter and stage, film and TV actor – but several years ago she was afraid that screen roles were drying up.
Happily that changed when she was cast as an Army captain who suspects the death of her husband in Afghanistan was covered up in the Foxtel/Goalpost Pictures’ drama Fighting Season.
Now she is on screen in Foxtel/Lingo Pictures’ miniseries Lambs of God as Frankie, the sister of Father Ignatius (Sam Reid), who is kidnapped by nuns played by Ann Dowd, Jessica Barden and Essie Davis.
Her acting career continues to flourish as she makes her US TV series debut in Amazon’s The Hunt, which follows a group of Nazi-hunters living in New York City in 1977.
“I thought roles might dry up for actors who are over 40 but I have been offered parts I never expected to get,” she tells IF via Skype from New York.
Kate and her husband Hamish Michael were taking a break in Kyoto when her US management suggested she audition for the role of Sister Harriet, one of the members of The Hunters, who set out on a bloody quest to prevent hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials from creating a Fourth Reich.
She did so without expecting she would get the part but a package of her work including scenes from The Merger, The Little Death, Secret City and Get Krack!n convinced the series creator David Weil and the producers, Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Sonar Entertainment, that she was the right fit.
Only after she had been cast did she discover Al Pacino had signed on to play a Nazi hunter in his first ever US TV series. She describes Pacino as an “absolute gentleman” and marvels at what she describes as a “masterclass in acting.”
Apart from the scale of the 10-part production, she finds that participating in the show is not much different from the Australian series she has worked on. The heavyweight cast includes Logan Lerman, who joins The Hunters after his grandmother is killed by mysterious intruder in their apartment, Lena Olin, Carol Kane, Saul Rubinek, Tiffany Boone, Josh Radnor, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Greg Austin and Dylan Baker. “They’re all incredible character actors,” she says.
Daniel Henshall and Kate Mulvany in ‘Lambs of God’ (Photo: Mark Rogers).
Kate has twice seen Lambs of God and loved the world created by Sarah Lambert, adapted from the Marele Day novel. She likens her character Frankie, who was a drug addict, pregnant and alone on the street when she turned to her brother for help, to a broken butterfly.
Her best mate Damon Herriman plays the ruthless priest Father Bob. It was her first chance to work with the director Jeffrey Walker, whom she had long admired.
She credits casting director Kirsty McGregor with championing her cause for the role in the Blake Ayshford-scripted Fighting Season, a subject which resonated with the actor as her father was a Vietnam veteran who suffered from severe PTSD.
This year she has been nominated for two AWGIE awards – for the Beat Bugs episode she wrote entitled Lady Madonna and for her play Harp of the South. Last year she was nominated for her play The Rasputin Affair. As a fervent fan of The Beatles she adored working on the animated show.
After The Hunt wraps in September she will tackle two plays that have been commissioned as well as developing two TV series. And then there is a labour of love: turning her play The Seed into a feature film with producer Nicole O’Donohue and completing a novel based on the play, which is half-written.
The play is set in a council flat in Nottingham, England, on one day in the 1990s when three generations of the same family gather to celebrate their birthdays.
She is repped by Meissner Management in Australia and LINK Entertainment in Los Angeles.