Initially, before you’d even seen a script, what drew you to this role?
Maria: I’d have to say Imogen Banks, I mean everything she’s created is just so unique and so cool, I think she’s one of Australia’s best creators.
What were your first thoughts and reactions to the script and to discovering the show’s premise?
Maria: Initially I was more excited about the relationships between the sisters, the show being about female relationships; those dynamics, their unity, and also their differences. Then I realised how intense the storyline is with all the siblings and with what her father has done.
I love that this idea involves the bringing together of different people from different walks of life. It offers a good opportunity to look at different perspectives.
What do you think makes it a must-watch?
Maria: One thing that really stands out is the style in which the story is told; it feels unique in its vulnerability, stripped back, it doesn’t feel very shiny and manicured. There’s something real and authentic and honest that will really connect with people because it’s relatable, and not just for women but for everyone.
And there’s a really good balance of hilarity and sincerity. Some things are so funny and so sad and I think that’s so… life.
It has a great cast. Barry Otto, Magda Szubanski and Catherine McClements to name a few. What was it like to work with Australian acting royalty?
Maria: I have to be honest, I fan-girled out with Magda the first time I met her. I like to think that I act professional and don’t get star-struck but I grew up watching Big Girl’s Blouse and Kath and Kim so I bombarded her, just re-enacting skits and completely embarrassing myself.
Barry, the way he works, is so playful. He’s got this kind of childlike wonderment that is so infectious, and beautiful to witness as well. And Catherine McClements is just a powerhouse, so straight up.
You have sisters of your own, how much of your own personal experience did you bring to this and has it affected your relationship with them?
Maria: I’m one of three sisters, so I can definitely relate to and understand that dynamic where you’re all completely different but so close at the same time. There was something beautiful with Lucy (Durack, who plays Roxy) and Antonia (Prebble, who plays Edie) that I felt was instant. So much heart, and love, and trust and support between us as actresses, and our characters. It reaffirmed my faith in and unity with women. I feel extra loving and appreciative towards my sisters at the moment.
When it comes to your on-screen sisters, how different are the three of you? Did it take long to find common ground as actors?
Maria: I think we’re really different, but we’re all quite positive women. It really took me aback at how supportive the environment was and how encouraging we were. We got along really well, it didn’t take long at all. And we’re so different; Lucy is like a Disney princess, she’s so bubbly and bright, and Antonia is so intellectual and precise, and I’m a bit silly. Oh god, we sound like our characters!
So I know the show is called Sisters and it centres around three women, but what about the male roles, what do you think male viewers can enjoy about this?
Maria: There’s a really strong male cast, and I think men are quite broadly represented. We follow their storylines, and the challenges they face within the plot.
It’s a show about humans, it’s high drama, that’s really engaging whether you’re male or female.
Australia loves its dramas. What does Sisters bring to the landscape that we haven’t seen before?
Maria: I think it brings something quite raw and unromanticised, which feels really unique. There’s something real life about it and there’s something equally beautiful in that. Nothing’s glamourised, all the characters, both male and female, are layered and you get to see all the sides of them which I think is such an achievement and something everyone in the show can be proud of, there’s a lot of depth to this.