Australia’s most hotly anticipated new local drama Picnic at Hanging Rock is now streaming on Foxtel Now, and we sat down with stars Lily Sullivan (plays Miranda Reid) and Maddie Madden (plays Marion Quade) who revealed that many of the themes explored by the show, set in 1900, are still completely relevant today.

Telstra mobile customers can stream all six episodes of Picnic at Hanging Rock with a 24 month Foxtel Now subscription now included with selected mobile plans.

Were you fans of the original movie when you were younger?

Maddie: I wasn’t actually allowed to watch it because I’m such a scaredy cat!

Lily: I did really young, I thought it was a children’s film – little girls in pretty dresses going off into nature – and then obviously was left with the weird, mysterious, ominous feeling the film does leave you with, but yes I watched it multiple times before scoring the role.

Did anything spook you when filming at Hanging Rock?

Lily: Andy the camera operator’s watch stopped when we were shooting the scene when Ms. McCraw looks at her watch…and we were all calling his bluff but you know when somebody just has that look on their face where they are saying “I’m not making this up for giggles”. And of course, I think we always believe in the unknown and a realm we don’t understand because I feel like that’s just way more interesting and exciting – and that’s definitely where we go with Picnic.

Are many of the themes explored by the show set in 1900 still relevant today?

Lily: The more we jumped into our characters and discovered them the more I realised the themes were just running parallel with my own set of issues or things to overcome.

Maddie: We explore identity and sexuality and being a young adolescent – and that whole storm which is being a woman and being suppressed.

Lily: And friendship, and I feel like as humans they’re all lessons we have to learn over and over again and they never go away.

What’s the dynamic between your characters and the teachers in the show?

Maddie: There are these women that are older and have conformed to society, and then there’s a younger generation of women who are rising up against them and power and the patriarchy.

There was a bit of criticism for having the teachers younger and I think it’s quite brilliant, because it’s something that we still see in the world today.

How was it working with Natalie Dormer?

Maddie: She’s incredible and so down to earth, and a real professional and a lot of fun and she really brings something to the story and to the character.

Lily: She bursts the bubble pretty quickly though. You just hear her talk and she’s brilliant, fiery, ridiculous and a lot of fun.

What’s it like to be starring in a homegrown Australian drama?

Maddie: It’s exciting because there’s so much talent down here and Australian stories, and it’s exciting to showcase our talent and stories on an international stage.

Lily: I think for me, meeting some of the now closest people to me that I get to grow up in this industry with, and try to figure out what my voice is in this realm and creative industry – which is so intoxicating and amazing – but can be scary and overwhelming, but it’s really exciting.

All six episodes of Picnic at Hanging Rock are streaming now on Foxtel Now.

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