Picnic at Hanging Rock cast announced

International stars Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games) and Lola Bessis (Cassandra, Swim Little Fish Swim) will join with Australians Yael Stone, Anna McGahan, and Sybilla Budd in Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock cast, announced today.

All 5 will play Appleyard College staff in the 6 part re-imagining of Joan Lindsay’s classic novel.

Rising local stars will play the schoolgirls at the heart of the story including Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) as Miranda Reid, Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) as Marion Quade, Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) as Irma Leopold, Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) as Edith Horton and introducing Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne.

Other cast members will include Don Hany, Harrison Gilbertson, James Hoare, Marcus Graham, Mark Coles Smith, Jonny Pasvolsky, Philip Quast, Emily Gruhl, John Flaus, Ros Gentle, Julie Nihill, Kaarin Fairfax, Randall Berger, Mayah Fredes, Alyssa Tuddenham, Kate Bradford, Bethany Whitmore, Markella Kavenagh, Felix Johnson, Ines English, Huw Higginson, Rob Jacobson and Kim Gyngell.

Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said: “The accomplished cast who have been secured for Picnic at Hanging Rock will give new forms to Joan Lindsay’s iconic characters as the actors take up the scripts our writers, Bea Christian and Alice Addison, have drawn from the provocative spirt of the original mystery.

“Though the story remains in 1900, Picnic at Hanging Rock will be 21st century storytelling for the premium Foxtel drama audience.”

FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter said: “Picnic at Hanging Rock is celebrated as an iconic, female-led story and we are thrilled to be announcing our strong and diverse cast who will bring the characters to life in the most vivid manner.

“We have an exceptional mix and depth of established names and exciting young Australian talent who will redefine these characters for a new generation. The strength of the scripts, the appeal of the story and our directors’ vision has drawn an incredible calibre of actors to the project including Natalie Dormer (pictured). Natalie is known for her bold choices in playing powerful, smart and fearless women. Her rendering of Mrs Appleyard is sure to be just as intriguing and complex.

“Hot off her listing in Interview magazine’s ‘Hollywood’s Most Wanted’, we look forward to audiences seeing French actor Lola Bessis join us to play Mademoiselle de Poitiers.”

With union concerns now allayed, production is set to begin in Victoria later this month, and screening on Showcase later this year.

Picnic at Hanging Rock’s executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Penny Win, the producer is Ewan Burnett, writers are Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison, directors are Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie. FremantleMedia International is distributing the series worldwide.

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