When I stepped onto the set of SBS’s new drama The Hunting it felt like you could cut the air with a knife.
Not just because it was a sweltering hot day in Adelaide and everyone who was not submerged beneath the water of the public pool that was the day’s filming location felt like their head was encased in an oven, but more so the tension that comes with having an important story to tell in just the right way.
Sitting on the edge of the pool in a sleek, dark colored suit that is a stark contrast to the iconic bohemian wardrobe of the beloved Offspring character she played for years is actress Asher Keddie. The scene playing out beside the local pool which has been commanded for the day is an emotional one with newcomer Alex Cusack, the actor who plays Andy, the teenage son of Asher’s character Simone, in the series.
Take a look at the trailer for the new SBS drama The Hunting.
The Hunting traces the lives of four teenagers, their teachers and their families throughout the lead up to, and then through the aftermath of, a nude teen photo scandal where two high school teachers discover students are sharing explicit photos of their underage friends online, a scandal that involves Andy and his classmate Zoe, who is played by Luca Sardelis.
The series offers up a melting pot of social themes to examine including misogyny, privacy, sexualisation, online exploitation, toxic masculinity and since the story plays out through the eyes of both the teenagers and adults in their lives, it’s quite the balancing act to get it right.
“The Hunting looks at the hard-wired behavior of people of our generation who are now raising children, particularly teenagers,” Asher tells me me later in the day when we are seated in her trailer on set. “They are really kind of at sea in a way when trying to raise them with trust and integrity and respect.
“My character Simone has two children, a boy, 16, and a girl, 12, and she has good chemistry with her husband Nick, who is played by Richard Roxburough. Then when this inciting incident occurs with the nude photo scandal, it becomes a really such a complex story and there is nothing black and white about it.
“Simone is a career woman and she really needs a certain degree of control over her home life, because she’s in quite a controlling relationship with her husband.