Focus on the Television Nominees: Part 1 – Best Television Drama Series & Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series

Did you know that the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards marks the 25th year in which the AFI | AACTA has awarded excellence in television categories? Television Awards were first given out in 1986. No nominees were annouced that year, but winners were announced in ten categories around Mini Series and Telefeatures.

Fast forward to 2011/2012, and we have nominees in 13 television categories. These include Children’s Television Series, Comedy Series, Light Entertainment and of course Television Drama and Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series.

You can see full listings of the nominees over on the AACTA website, but in the lead up to the AACTA Awards in January, we’re writing a two-part piece to provide you with insights and further reading on the high quality of our television drama nominees. In this post, we look at the nominees in the Best Television Drama Series and Best Telefeature, Mini Series and Short Run Series, and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s been a great year for Australian drama on the small screen.

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES

And the nominees are:

East West 101, Season 3The Heroes’ Journey. Steve Knapman, Kris Wyld. SBS
Offspring, Season 2. John Edwards, Imogen Banks. Network Ten
Rake. Ian Collie, Peter Duncan, Richard Roxburgh. ABC1
Spirited, Season 2. Claudia Karvan, Jacquelin Perske. FOXTEL – W

In this category, for which the producers accept the Award, we have four strong contenders. East West 101, the tense SBS cop drama set in multicultural Sydney, won this Award back in 2009. Producers Steve Knapman and Kris Wyld have had great success in the crime and cop genres over the years, beginning their work as a writing/producing team with their acclaimed ABC drama series Wildside (1997-99). You can read more at the Knapman Wyld Television website.

Offspring, Season 2, the Network Ten romantic drama which has become appointment viewing has in the opinions of many, proved to be even stronger in its second season. Last year, Deborah Mailman won an AFI Award  for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama for her role as the bubbly Cherie, while John Waters was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for his part as the lothario Proudman patriarch. This year, the series itself is nominated with producers John Edwards and Imogen Banks up for the Award. John Edwards, of Southern Star Entertainment, has been responsible for numerous AFI Award winning television dramas including The Secret Life of Us, Marking Time, Love My Way, Tangle, Rush and many more. Read more about Edwards here. Imogen Banks has been twice nominated for AFI Awards alongside Edwards:  for her work on Tangle (2010) and Dangerous (2007).

Rake, the witty and hilarious ABC1 series about a rascally and rogueish criminal barrister (played by Richard Roxburgh), is a strong contender, with its fearless lead character and wicked plotlines. The series was created by Roxburgh, Charles Waterstreet and Peter Duncan (Children of the Revolution, Unfinished Sky)  – and Duncan was also co-producer with Ian Collie, co-writer with Andrew Knight, and director of two episodes. You can read Encore’s on-set interview with Collie and Duncan here.

Spirited, a supernatural romantic comedy, screened on Foxtel’s W channel, sees leading lady and producer Claudia Karvan, along with co-writer and producer Jacquelin Perske up for the Award for this second series. They’re two women quite familiar with winning AFI Awards, having collected a swathe of them for their acclaimed drama series Love My Way (a show that was nominated for 18 AFI Awards and won eight over its three series). News that Spirited has just been renewed for a third series has the show’s ardent fans cheering. Visit the show’s official website here.

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE, MINI SERIES OR SHORT RUN SERIES


And the nominees are:

Cloudstreet. Greg Haddrick, Brenda Pam. FOXTEL – Showcase
Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. John Edwards, Karen Radzyner. ABC1
Sisters Of War. Andrew Wiseman. ABC1
The Slap. Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon. ABC1

Cloudstreet, Foxtel’s beautiful three-part mini series based on Tim Winton’s beloved book, is up against three ABC productions in this category. Producers Greg Haddrick (Head of Drama for Screentime) and Brenda Pam have previously collaborated on Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, and Haddrick is a three-time AFI Award winner and an accomplished screenwriter (MDA, Underbelly). With a talented and cohesive ensemble cast (wonderful casting by Mullinars), and superb production values, Cloudstreet is nominated for a total of eight AACTA Awards and is destined for a long life on DVD and blu-ray and will be in many a Christmas stocking this year. Check out the official website here.

The two-part Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo was a surprise hit on the ABC when it screened in April this year. The true tale of a brave young editor, Ita Buttrose (Asher Keddie) at the helm of Australia’s sexual revolution with Cleo, the magazine that reflected new freedom for women also featured a pitch perfect performance by Rob Carlton as a youthful Kerry Packer. (Both Keddie and Carlton are nominated for their performances in this production). Prolific producer John Edwards (see Offspring above) has a hand in this one too. To explore the show more, visit the official website here.

Sisters of War, the 97-minute telefeature first screened on ABC1 in November 2010, is based on the true story and war diaries of a nurse and a nun held prisoner of war by the Japanese in Papua New Guinea in 1942. Starring Sarah Snook, Claire van der Boom and Susie Porter, this is a story about women in extreme circumstances, and their extraordinary courage and will to prevail. (Snook and Porter are nominated for their work here, but more on that in a future blog post.) Sisters of War was written by John Misto (Days of the Roses, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh), directed by Brendan Maher (The Road From Coorain, After The Deluge) and produced by Andrew Wiseman. Wiseman, up for this AACTA Award, has previously been nominated for a number of AFI Awards, and has won twice (My Brother Jack, After the Deluge). Screenhub‘s interview with Wiseman can be found here.

The eight-part short run series The Slap, up for a total of  eight AACTA Awards, managed to be ‘watercooler television’, in the same way that the original novel by Christos Tsiolkas was a ‘BBQ stopper’ and book club favourite. In this Award category, the nominees are producers Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden and Michael McMahon, who are partners in the prolific local production company Matchbox Pictures (along with fellow producers Penny Chapman and Helen Pankhurst). Michael McMahon has won an AFI Award previously, for Best Documentary (Wildness, 2003) and was nominated for Best Film for The Home Song Stories, in 2007. Helen Bowden has also been nominated twice before, for Best Film (Soft Fruit, 1999) and Best Documentary (Girl in a Mirror, 2005). Tony Ayres is a writer and director as well as a producer (he directed two episodes of The Slap – ‘Richie’ and ‘Manolis’) and won two AFI Awards in 2007 for his semi autobiographical feature film The Home Song Stories. Find out more about Matchbox Pictures at their website.

The winners of the AACTA Awards for Best Television Drama Series and Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series will be announced at the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 31 January 2012 and broadcast on the Nine Network. Stay tuned for our post next week covering the nominees for Best Direction in Television, Best Screenplay in Television, Best Lead Actor and Actress in Television Drama, and Best Guest or Supporting Actor and Actress in Television Drama.

Why I Adore: Love My Way

Gnarly Family Trees: Truth, Beauty and Love My Way by Rochelle Siemienowicz

Love My Way, Series 1: Lou (Alex Cook) and Frankie (Claudia Karvan).

Love My Way, Series 1: Lou (Alex Cook) and Frankie (Claudia Karvan).

On a hill by the ocean sits a big white house. A man in a wetsuit returns from his early morning surf. Inside, a woman peers through the gaps in her blanket. The sun shining through creates mysterious patterns of colour and light. Not far away, in another house, a blonde babe climbs astride her sleeping man, arousing him in the nicest possible way until a little girl bounds into the room. ‘Where’s my school uniform?’ she pipes. ‘You were sexing,’ she adds with mild disgust. The woman rolls off, to reveal her satin nightgown straining over a hugely pregnant belly. It’s funny, true and a little bit wrong.

Welcome to a television world where the sun shines, the surf rolls and beautiful people with Australian accents live out their complicated romantic and domestic lives. But this certainly isn’t Home and Away or SeaChange, or even The Secret Life of Us. It isn’t even free-to-air television. It’s Foxtel’s Love My Way, arguably the first and finest Australian drama series created for Pay TV. Over the course of three series, aired from 2004 to 2007, Love My Way collected a huge stash of awards, attracted universal critical acclaim, and built a devoted fan-base that saw the network shift the show’s broadcast channel three times to capitalise on its popularity. Like many prestigious HBO dramas from the United States, it was on DVD that this Australian series probably found its real home and its most fervent fans, with boxed sets bought and borrowed at a frantic rate.

Love My Way

People like us. Key Cast from Love My Way: L-R: Brendan Cowell, Claudia Karvan, Asher Keddie & Dan Wyllie.

So, what makes Love My Way so special? Here’s a classic scene from the first episode: ‘This is my birth and I’ll do it how I fucking want to,’ says pregnant control-freak Julia (Asher Keddie) as she fills the wading pool in the courtyard, lighting aromatherapy candles for pain relief. Several hours later she’s screaming at the midwife and at her husband, Charlie (Dan Wyllie), when they suggest some Panadol.’Panadol! Haven’t you got anything else, I’m only two fucking centimetres dilated!’ As the ordeal progresses, she’s in the water, straining and splashing. Lovely, funny, irresponsible Charlie tries to support her and keep her afloat, but only with one arm – the other is firmly attached to his bottle of beer, as if he’ll drown without it. We’re later shown, quite matter-of-factly, the crimson cloud of blood and afterbirth staining the water; testament that Love My Way is prepared to get dirty and real.

Love My Way DVD cover Series 3Over the course of three seasons, the drama unflinchingly depicts things not often spotted on Australian television. For a start, candidly depicted sex is a key driver here, a central facet in every character’s life, whether they’re fifteen, thirty-five or fifty. Sometimes it’s good sex, often it’s bad. Sometimes it’s porn-fuelled masturbation, and occasionally, as we’ve seen, it happens in front of the children. Then there’s the casual and often inconsequential drug use – cocaine, ecstasy, ice and lots of dope. And don’t forget the kleptomania, the nymphomania, the lighting of farts, the biting of ears, and the grief, oh the endless, messy and almost unbearable grief of losing somebody you love. Yes, there’s pain and dirt aplenty, and thanks to superb scripting and naturalistic acting, it feels incredibly real.

This isn’t the kind of ‘dirty and real’ that we see in so much Australian cinema…

But this isn’t the kind of ‘dirty and real’ that we see in so much Australian cinema, where harsh lighting, bad skin and foul language combine to create a general low-rent ugliness – a tendency so pronounced that it’s a common accusation that our films are only about drug addicts, criminals and bogans. Instead, Love My Way is decidedly stylish and certainly middle-class. The characters might swear a lot, drink far too much (even when they’re breastfeeding) and suffer the odd embarrassing encounter with the law, but they’re living lives that look very good indeed. They’re architects, artists and chefs; people who wear casually assembled vintage clothes, go surfing every morning and attend the Walkley Awards for work. They sing karaoke to Crowded House songs, share barbecues with their exes and various new spouses and children, and have marital crises in Ikea showrooms, where they dream that ‘storage solutions’ might solve all their problems.

These are people like ‘us’, or the people we’d like to think we are – complex, flawed and cool, making our living in vaguely creative ways and living in somehow affordable but spectacular inner-city real estate. Mostly, though, they’re like ‘us’ because they’re trying to make the best of a family structure that bears only passing resemblance to the traditional nuclear model.

Claudia Karvan, star and co-creator of Love My Way.

Claudia Karvan, star and co-creator of Love My Way.

Claudia Karvan, the star and co-creator of Love My Way, has said that the series grew out of the observation that while the harrowing divorce-drama Kramer vs Kramer reflected the way families broke up in the 1970s, nowadays people seem to handle it better. Her character Frankie is a case in point. She’s in her early thirties and a single mother to the impish eight-year-old Lou (Alex Cook). While it’s not always easy sharing custody with Lou’s father, Charlie, and his new wife Julia, it’s managed with admirable honesty and only the occasional screaming match. These characters own keys to each other’s houses, and Frankie remains on intimate terms with Charlie’s parents (Max Cullen and Lynette Curran). She even shares her house (and sometimes her bed) with Charlie’s brother, the blunt and sparky Tom (Brendan Cowell).

Here, the modern family tree is an overgrown mess of branches growing out of the dirt of broken love stories and abandoned vows.

When little Lou is asked to draw a family tree for a school project, she titles it ‘My Family Up a Tree’ – an allusion to the family’s craziness, but also to the way she happily exists at the trunk of it. The set up makes perfect and natural sense to her child’s mind.

The series takes as its central premise the idea that strangely beautiful fruit can grow on these gnarly family trees: ex-partners who understand each other deeply and make each other laugh; stepmothers who prove to be cranky and sweet, rather than wicked; and new babies born into a tangle of adopted aunties and uncles. Naturally, such trees are prone to their own peculiar thorns and diseases. Hostility and resentment often break through, as does latent sexual tension. Money is always an issue, and new additions to the family, whether through birth, marriage or friendship, cause already clouded dynamics to shift and change. It makes for great and absorbing drama.

LMW Series 3 Julia and Charlie and Toby (Asher Keddie, Dan Wyllie & Byron Chaplain)

'The way a marriage can turn sour in one conversation, and recover with one well-timed joke." Asher Keddie and Dan Wyllie create one of the most convincing married couples ever seen on Australian television. Image from Series 3 of Love My Way.

The general concept of large and messy family groupings is nothing new for television drama, and of course it’s a staple of soap opera. It’s certainly a recurrent theme for Southern Star producer John Edwards. With other collaborators, he is also the creator of a mini-genre that began with The Secret Life of Us (Channel Ten, 2001-2004), a show that was more about friends who form a family. Then came Love My Way, followed by Foxtel Showcase drama Tangle, having this year broadcast its second season, with a third on the way – a noir-ish tale of family life set in Melbourne suburbia. Then Edwards is also involved with Channel Ten’s hit comedy drama series Offspring, about a neurotic thirty-something obstetrician (Asher Keddie) and her ‘fabulously messy family’.

The writing is so good in Love My Way that there’s hardly a clichéd exchange or a predictable plot development. And yet it feels so familiar, the way that a marriage can turn sour in one conversation, and recover with one well timed joke; or the way that a friend can suddenly become a lover or an adversary.

It’s impossible to write about Love My Way without mentioning the incredible physical beauty of the production.

A team of accomplished writers was responsible for such great scripting, including Karvan herself, along with film and television veteran and series co-creator Jacquelin Perske, playwright Tony McNamara and actor/playwright Brendan Cowell. Working in collaboration, they pooled ideas and themes from their own experiences of marriage, divorce, parenthood and working life. It’s the way the characters speak to each other that feels so refreshing and real. It’s often brutal, with a disarming lack of etiquette. As Tom tells Frankie one morning when she’s recounting a dream from which she’s freshly awoken: ‘Don’t tell me your dreams. Other people’s dreams bore the shit out of me.’ And he’s not being aggressive or angry. It’s just a matter of fact.

It’s impossible to write about Love My Way without mentioning the incredible physical beauty of the production. It’s not just the good-looking cast and stunning Sydney locations. It’s the craft we’re talking about here – from the cinematography, to the production and costume design. The gorgeous opening credits, repeated over the three seasons, signpost the visual tone and saturated colour scheme that continues into the show itself. They’re worth looking at closely. (In fact these are the first 10 minutes of the first episode, and I predict you’ll want to watch every single one of them.)


These opening credits are set underwater, with a sea-green background and the sunlight filtering down through bubbles. The characters appear to be floating and swimming, suspended in light and water. Karvan’s hair drifts in the current like seaweed, and her clothes of red and green gleam like a mermaid’s tail. Bringing humour and levity to the painterly scene, other actors, like Dan Wyllie and Lynette Curran, mug and grin through goggles as they swim in front of the camera. Complementing these visuals is a soundscape that’s both nostalgic and otherworldly, yet with a forward-thrusting energy. It’s The Psychedelic Furs’ early 1980s hit ‘Love My Way’, performed this time by Magic Dirt – wonderfully evocative, though maddeningly repetitive if you happen to sit through too many DVD episodes at a time…

The aesthetic beauty of Love My Way, its cinematic production values, extends from the opening credits into every single scene of the series. In fact, it’s possible to freeze almost any frame of the show and find a beautiful composition of colour, light and form, especially in those scenes containing Karvan, with her angular frame and her solemnly beautiful face. In a recent critique of Australian cinema, Louis Nowra berated our filmmakers for failing to engage in the full and lingering romance of the human face on the big screen. Love My Way has such a romance, albeit on the small screen, and it’s compelling enough to suggest he may be right: we need more of this.

Love My Way is proudly ‘arty’. One of its central themes is the quest to create art and to use one’s life in the work. Frankie is an artist. She inhabits many other roles – as mother, lover and friend – but at her core is the need to filter what she sees and feels into her work; to make it live again through paint on canvas. She has to constantly fight against the demands of those other roles – childcare and paid work, especially, are always sucking away at her painting time. It’s a reality that any creative parent is bound to recognise.

Love My Way Series 1. Alex Cook as Lou

Proudly 'arty' a central theme of Love My Way is a woman's struggle to be an artist, mother and lover. Alex Cook as Lou.

Unlike so many films that deal superficially with the creative process, whether of writing, composing music, or painting, Love My Way, as a television series, can sustain and explore the theme of what it really means to be an artist and a woman, and demonstrate the way these things are inseparable for this character. Frankie’s work is informed in Series One by her dreams and her fears, and finally by her very great and overwhelming grief. By Series Three she is fighting for her simple right to be an artist, with her cocky new husband, Lewis (Ben Mendelsohn), teasing her and saying that if she really were an artist she would do it more compulsively, instead of finding excuses. Her outrage is palpable.

Lewis and Frankie (Ben Mendelsohn & Claudia Karvan in Series 3 of Love My Way).

Cocky, erratic and irresistible, Lewis (Ben Mendelsohn) is a challenge to Frankie in Series 3.

Not only does she have to manage Lewis’s erratic behaviour, manic spending and his annoying teenage son (who’s suddenly materialised on the doorstep), but she’s now being asked to justify and prove the very thing that is at the heart of her identity! It’s only when she begins to create again, at the conclusion of Series Three, by making a beautiful and dreamlike tribute to the ghosts of her past, that Frankie can again approach wholeness.

The operative word here is ‘approach’, because Love My Way is far too honest and life-like to ever attempt storylines that present characters as finally or fully redeemed, healed or completed. Resolution is only ever temporary and conditional. As John Edwards, the co-creator of the series, has said: ‘The great lie of television is that things get resolved.’ The genius of Love My Way is that it works within that lie – as a successful television drama that satisfies the need we have for stories to be beautiful, to have endings; for characters to find meaning and transcendence. But at the same time, it’s realistic enough, and convincing enough, to have us believe that Frankie and Lewis, and Julia and Charlie, and all the rest of that surprisingly functional family might be out there, living new stories in their complicated lives. Even if we’re not watching.

A version of this article was originally published in Kill Your Darlings, Issue 2, July 2010.

 

Note: Love My Way at the AFI Awards

In an astonishing run, Love My Way recieved the AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series three years in a row – 2005, 2006 and 2007. The series also won multiple other AFI Awards and nominations. They are all listed below.

 2005

Won: AFI Award for Best Direction in Television – Jessica Hobbs
Won: AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in Television – Max Cullen
Won: AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in Television – Claudia Karvan
Won: AFI Award for Best Screenplay in Television – Jacquelin Perske
Won: AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series – John Edwards and Claudia Karvan

Nominated: AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in Television – Dan Wyllie
Nominated: AFI Award for Outstanding Achievement in Craft in Television – Louis Irving (cinematography)

2006

Won: AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series – John Edwards, Claudia Karvan, Jaquelin Perske

Nominated: AFI Award for Best Direction in Television – Shirley Barrett
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in Television Drama – Dan Wyllie
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in Television Drama – Claudia Karvan
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in Television Drama – Asher Keddie
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Screenplay in Television – Jacquelin Perske

2007

Won: AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series – John Edwards, Claudia Karvan
Won: AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in Television Drama – Claudia Karvan

Nominated: AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in Television Drama – Justine Clarke
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in Television Drama – Ben Mendelsohn
Nominated: AFI Award for Best Screenplay in Television – Tony McNamara

Read Previous ‘Why I Adore’ Posts:

Paul Anthony Nelson (the ‘Why I Adore’ godfather and founder) introduces the concept, and rhapsodises about Mad Max. AFI Membership Administrator Lia McCrae-Moore revisits the lyrical beauty of One Night the Moon and Clem Bastow reminisces about a childhood spent watching the television show Round the Twist. Or you can read Anthony Morris flirting with disaster in his adoration of Romper Stomper, Annie Stevens going bridal with Muriel’s Wedding, or Popzilla bowing down before the altar of literary screen adaptations. Most recently, Lia McCrae-Moore showers affection on SBS’s high-octane police thriller, East West 101.

Contribute: We’re currently looking for more ’Why I Adore’ articles devoted to Australian film and television. Send a one paragraph summary to editor[at] afi.org.au and we’ll get back to you with more details.

AFI Quick Quiz: Kestie Morassi

Kestie Morassi The Adelaide-born Kestie Morassi is a familiar face in Australian film and television, having worked steadily for more than ten years in the business, yet she’s still a little bit mysterious. Her television roles have ranged from Miss Sharlow in the ABC’s The Saddle Club to the kinky-but-sweet brothel madam Natalie in Foxtel’s Satisfaction, and she has appeared on pretty much every recent Australian drama you care to think of, from The Secret Life of Us, to Underbelly, and from Offspring to Wilfred. Morassi has appeared in films including Dirty Deeds, Travelling Light, The Illustrated Family Doctor and Strange Bedfellows.
 
Morassi’s real breakthrough, however, came with the role of the terrorised backpacker Kristy in Greg Mclean’s international hit horror film Wolf Creek (2005) – a performance that earnt her an AFI Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Morassi is currently starring in Blame, a psychological thriller shot and set in Roleystone, outside of Perth. Written and directed by Michael Henry, and also starring a cast of other up-and-coming young actors, Blame sees Morassi playing a grieving young woman who teams up with the friends of her dead sister in order to take revenge on the man they blame for her death.
 
With her wide blue eyes and mischevious dimple, Morassi is a talented and versatile actress with a winning warmth and vulnerability on screen, and an obvious lack of pretention. Here are her answers to the AFI Quick Quiz.
 
Kestie Morassi in Blame

Kestie Morassi as a grieving sister intent on revenge in Blame.

The AFI Quick Quiz: Kestie Morassi

Q. What is your favorite word? Oil.

Q. What is your least favourite word? Wrong.

Q. What turns you on? Trees.

Q. What turns you off? Cinnamon.

Q. What sound or noise do you love? A crowd cheering in the distance.

Q. What sound or noise do you hate? A motorbike down a narrow street.

Q. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Astrophysics.

Q. What profession would you not like to do? Anything 9 to 5.

Q. The last film or DVD you watched? Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Q. The film that changed you and why? Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner is the first film I remember seeing as a child and realising what a film is, and what it can do. I recognised how the actors worked together to tell a story and it occurred to me that a film could be a way to say something important.

Q. Your guilty television pleasure? Top Model.

Q. Complete this sentence: The thing I love about working in the Australian film and television industry is… the genuine sense of camaraderie.

Q. Three key mentors that have inspired you?

  • My first drama teacher Michelle Williams. She gave everything to her students and recognised people’s strengths, encouraged you to love yourself and be an individual. She was also an inspiring actress to watch perform.
  • Bryan Brown. He was integral in helping me to be cast in Dirty Deeds, my first break into film. He and David Caeser recognised something in me that I always felt was there but I just needed a chance to show it. Bryan Brown is a huge inspiration to me also because he’s obviously an icon, but has remained completely down to earth, has a huge heart and is always himself. What you see is what you get and I admire that.
  • My Mum. My support, my angel, my life, my love. 

Blame is currently in limited release. You may want to check out our Reviews Wrap of the film.

Editor’s Note: Just for fun, here’s a gorgeous red carpet photo from the AFI Awards archive, featuring Kestie Morassi with fellow leading ladies from Satisfaction. If you haven’t seen her as the latex-loving madam with a heart of marshmallow, it’s worth a look. In my opinion, this is Morassi’s funniest, naughtiest and sweetest performance to date.

Leading Ladies from Satisfaction at 2008 AFI Awards

Leading ladies from Foxtel's Satisfaction on the red carpet at the 2008 AFI Awards, L-R: Madeleine West, Diana Glenn, Peta Sergeant, Kestie Morassi (in silver) & Alison Whyte.