Halcyon stars in critically acclaimed TV drama series
The streets of Halcyon Waters in Hope Island have become one of the stars in Australia’s hottest new drama series, The End.
The series stars British actor Dame Harriet Walter and the cream of Australia’s acting fraternity including Frances O’Conner, Noni Hazlehurst, Robyn Nevin, Alex Dimitriades and John Waters.
Written by Gold Coast born and educated writer Samantha Strauss, the series is also a comedy, albeit a dark one as it explores the subject of euthanasia.
The inspiration came from her own grandmother’s experience moving into a Gold Coast retirement home following the shock and premature death of her grandfather in 2003.
“She arrived really depressed and all dressed in brown. Dad gave her six months to live – he’s a doctor and he thought she was on her way out,” she told Foxtel’s magazine.
“Then she did go wild – she made a best friend called Pamela, who’s the basis for Noni’s [Hazlehurst] character, and within six months, instead of being dead she was wearing a red dress and driving a red car and dancing on tables and drinking atrociously and getting home at 5am.
“And I loved it! I was in this kind of in-between stage of life and I would spend heaps of time there because they were such interesting characters.”
A number of homeowners from Halcyon Waters had the opportunity to work as extras on the series, having attended a casting call with the show’s producers.
Harry and Marie Louise Pirvics made it through the casting process, with Harry getting a larger role as the community’s piano player.
“The irony was Harry wasn’t at all interested and we forced him to go and then he ended up getting a bigger part,” Marie Louise said.
Harry laughingly added: “I actually got paid as an actor and shot a bigger scene but then it ended up on the cutting room floor.”
The couple said the actors were incredibly friendly and were very nice during the shooting process.
“I got to spend a bit of time with them, mainly with John Waters as we had a music rehearsal session off set and he was lovely,” Harry said.
Marie Louise said: “The whole experience for me has been an enjoyable one and I think it is better to have had these experiences, then not to have had them.
“I certainly learned a lot about the process, which was very interesting.”