Press release from ABC TV Publicity

AFI Nominees Alex Dimitriades, Sophie Lowe and two-time AFI Award-winning actor Anthony Hayes will complete the stellar cast of The Slap which includes Golden Globe Award nominee Melissa George, Academy Award® Nominee Sophie Okonedo, Tony Award nominee Essie Davis and, in his first Australian role, Jonathan LaPaglia.

Alex Dimitriades will play Harry. Alex’s first major role was in The Heartbreak Kid, which lead to his role in the provocative film, Head On. Other notable roles include ABC TV’s Wildside, La Spagnola, Underbelly and Summer Coda.

Sophie Lowe will play Connie. While relatively new to Australian audiences, Sophie has already established a reputation for hard-hitting and confronting roles in films such as Beautiful Kate and Blessed.

Anthony Hayes will play Gary. Anthony wowed audiences in The Boys. Anthony has also acted in Look Both Ways, Suburban Mayhem and most recently Animal Kingdom.

Lex Marinos OAM will play Manolis. Lex was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 1994 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to the performing arts as a director, actor and writer. He has appeared in countless productions including The Last Days of Chez Nous, A Country Practice, and Kingswood Country.

Also joining the cast are Blake Davis (Tangle), who will play Richie, Oliver Ackland (Wasted on the Young, The Proposition) who will play Rhys and Diana Glenn (Carla Cametti PD, Satisfaction) who will play Sandi. Greek actress Toula Tianni is playing Manolis’ wife, Koula and Eugenia Fragos (Head On) is playing Elisavet, Hector's sister.

The Slap traces the shattering repercussions of a single event on a group of family and friends. At an Australian backyard barbeque, a man slaps a child who is not his son. The boy’s parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and legal action results. Friends and family are forced to take sides. The Slap brings to life questions of parenting, the rights of children, race, class, sexuality, and the different perspectives of men and women.

A team of four AFI Award-winning directors – Jessica Hobbs (Love My Way, Answered by Fire); Matthew Saville (Noise, The King); Tony Ayres (Walking on Water, The Homesong Stories, Saved); and Robert Connolly (The Bank, Romulus, My Father) – will each direct two episodes.

Produced by Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden and Michael McMahon, The Slap comprises eight one-hour episodes, each told from the perspective of one of the main characters.

Filming commences on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 in Melbourne. UK based distributor, DCD Rights, has the international sales rights for the series which will screen on ABC TV at a later date.

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