By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 23, 2011 at 11:36AM
BREAKING NEWS! The BBC has bought The Slap! A fantastic achievement for Matchbox, the ABC and Aussie TV.
A tweet, mere minutes ago, from the Twitter account for the upcoming Australian TV series titled The Slap, which Sophie Okonedo co-stars in alongside other acclaimed thespians in Melissa George, Essie David, Alex Dimitriades, and Anthony Hayes.
I'm actually not surprised that the BBC picked it up, even though the series' starring cast is primarily Aussie, save for Okonedo. This means that it's likely only a matter of time before we hear that it'll air in the USA - likely as a BBC America series.
As a recap...
The Slap is based on the award-winning novel by Christos Tsiolkas and " traces the shattering repercussions of a single event on a group of family and friends. At an Australian backyard barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his son. The boy's parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and legal action results. The Slap explores what happens when the veil of civility that binds us as a society, is rent aside by one disturbing action. It brings to vivid life questions of parenting, the rights of children, race, class, sexuality and the different perspectives of men and women.."
AFI Award-winning directors helming each episodes of the 8-parter include Jessica Hobbs, Matthew Saville, Tony Ayres and Robert Connolly
What role does Sophie Okonedo's play? First, her character's name is "Aisha," and here's how ABC Australia's website describes her:
The slap took place at Aisha’s house, during her party for her husband’s 40th birthday. Hugo, the child who was slapped, is the son of one of her best friends, Rosie. On the other hand, Harry, the man who slapped Hugo, is her brother-in-law. She has her own reasons for siding with Rosie, which go far deeper than the slap itself, and threaten to unravel her family. Aisha is married to Hector. She is a woman whose resilience and strength holds her family together. She also is a successful professional woman with her own veterinary business. Entering her forties, she is assailed by doubts about her marriage and future. The slap at the barbecue has left her torn, her loyalties divided between her husband and one of her oldest friends. She fights for what is important to her, but feels like she is losing her grip.
From that description, and the below first trailer, I'd say her role is a meaty one - more than just background fodder in the ensemble cast, which is good for her.
But I'm definitely curious about this one, which looks rather dramatic and intense: