It has been two decades since Sigrid Thornton’s star turn as SeaChange’s charmingly dysfunctional mother and magistrate Laura Gibson.
With Channel Nine’s premiere of the series reboot set to air on Tuesday, the 60-year-old actor thinks the timing for a return trip to Pearl Bay is spot on.
“We’re experiencing more dislocation from the planet than ever before,” Thornton told The New Daily.
“SeaChange is about themes of love, human connection, relocation – not just physically, but in places of the heart – and also story lines about the effect of climate change are front and centre, so perhaps it’s more relevant than ever before.”
To celebrate the beloved show’s 20th anniversary, she gamely answered 20 rapid-fire questions, but begged for one caveat: “Please don’t let any of these answers define me”.
Said Thornton, “These questions could be answered very differently next week.”
1. How does it feel to be back in SeaChange mode?
The tagline for the first series was “Rich and strange”. It feels like those two things. It feels rich and strange, but I’m very delighted.
2. What are you loving on TV right now?
[British comedy-drama] Fleabag.
3. If not acting, what profession could you imagine tackling?
Probably a psychotherapist.
4. Do you have a favourite holiday spot? Where is your Pearl Bay?
There is a place that is very dear to me, but I’m not going to talk about it. It’s secret!
5. Is there anywhere that you’re dying to go but haven’t yet?
I’m going to Istanbul later in the year and I’m really looking forward to that.
6. Who or what makes you laugh the hardest?
Fawlty Towers never fails to make me laugh.
7. Do you have any hidden talents?
I hope I’ve got lots of hidden talents that are yet to be revealed to audiences as my career progresses.
8. What is your greatest beauty tip?
Keep a smile on your dial.
9. Who would you love to work with that you haven’t?
Lots of people! Hundreds. There are so many people who I would like to work with who I haven’t worked with before. Some Australian, some international. And directors of course.
10. How do you treat yourself?
I’ve been working six days a week for months on end and I decided I could sleep for two years, but instead I binged on a show called Mrs Wilson that stars Ruth Wilson. It’s about her grandmother. Thoroughly recommended viewing.
11. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned about parenting?
Knowing when to let go and knowing when not to.
12. Who, in your opinion, was Laura Gibson’s greatest love?
It’s yet to be had …
13. What was the last movie you saw?
I’m so busy, I haven’t seen a movie in ages. I’m looking forward to seeing The Australian Dream, the Adam Goodes documentary that Stan Grant has made. That’s next on my list.
14. What makes you mad?
Dishonesty makes me mad.
15. How are you most likely to spend a free day?
16. What is the most important thing to you at this stage of life?
17. Did you go back and watch the original series before filming started this time around?
Yes, I did. The way that television is made has changed to some extent – the editing is a little bit different, the pace has slightly changed – but essentially, because Pearl Bay is its own entity, it does feel very familiar.
18. Is there a show that you’d like to see get a reboot?
Fawlty Towers. But you couldn’t do it without John Cleese.
19. What do you order in a bar?
It depends on what I feel like really, but I do like a gin and tonic.
20. What’s your biggest hope for the series?
We want fans of the show to be well satisfied with the respect this version pays to the original series, but we also want new viewers to come to the show and be interested in what I am very proud to say is a really diverse group of unique characters. I believe there is something for everyone.
SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed premieres on August 6 at 8.45pm on Nine