"I carried a picture of little Lou." Claudia Karvan on that Love My Way scene we'll never forget.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Love My Way. Read on at your own risk. 

Everyone has a Claudia Karvan moment that has stuck with them. 

For most of us it's episode eight of Love My Way, where the tie that binds the characters together is suddenly ripped out from under them. 

After seven lovely episodes of getting to know Karvan's character Frankie and her daughter Lou (Alex Cook), Lou falls off her scooter in the park and her heart stops. 

It's hard to look at Karvan's face without remembering that moment. And it's impossible to think about that moment without remembering the expression on Karvan's face. 

It was pure and utter grief.

Watch the trailer for Stan's Bump. Post continues below. 

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"It was very, very difficult to commit to that storyline," Karvan told host Mia Freedman on this week's episode of No Filter

"It was Jacquelin Perske's [series creator and co-writer] idea. The theory behind it from Jacquelin was that, you know, we've created this world and the linchpin in this world is Lou. So as writers and storytellers, what happens if we pull that pin out? 

"Once the idea was seeded, it was like, okay, we have to do it. None of us really wanted to do it. And it was an extremely painful thing to devise and talk about, and it feels sort of dangerous to go into that territory when you are a parent." 

As difficult as the scene was to write and film, it was worth it. It struck a chord with the Australian public and has become one of the most iconic moments on Australian TV. 

Image: Foxtel.  


Everyone remembers where they were in their life when they watched that scene, and there's comfort in finding other people who have also watched it. 

It's like a private club of millions of Australians mourning the death of an eight-year-old girl they never met. 

What made the storyline even more powerful was how it was carried through the rest of the season and the next two seasons. Karvan showed us what grief really looks like. How it can be all-consuming and just a part of daily life at the same time. We watched Frankie attempt to move on and love again, while also honouring the life she'd built with Lou. 

"I bought this amazing book on grieving parents, it's titled something like 101 Tips for a Grieving Parent. And so I carried that book with me every day and before I'd do a scene, I read one of the bits of advice... and it just, it destroys you," she said on No Filter.  

Claudia Karvan in High Tide.


"And I carried a picture of little Lou, the actress who played her, and just looked at that picture." 

Karvan said after filming each day she was able to detach herself from the storyline and go home and be with her step-daughter who was three or four at the time. 

"And you go home and you feel very light. You don't have to carry it with you. You just have to carry it with you in that moment," she explained. 

Apart from grief, Love My Way also dealt with adultery, toxic relationships, career failures, substance abuse, and the impact of death and dying on the family unit. 

It defined what it was like to be navigating your 30s in Australia in the mid-2000s. 

Karvan was cast in her first movie, Molly, in 1983 when she was just 10 years old. She then went on to star in High Tide in 1987, and The Heartbreak Kid in 1993. 

But most of us were first introduced to Karvan as Alex in The Secret Life of Us in 2001. 

Image: Channel Ten.  


Just like Love My Way, The Secret Life of Us, which also starred Samuel Johnson, Deborah Mailman and Joel Edgerton to name just a few, defined a decade and a generation. 

We learnt what our twenties were going to look like from that rag-tag group of flatmates living in an apartment block in Melbourne's St Kilda. 

And like Love My Way, the scenes and faces and pivotal moments from The Secret Life Of Us have stuck with millions of Australian women as they've moved through their next decade, and the one after that. 

Now Karvan's latest project, Stan's Original Series Bump, is defining what it's like to be in your 40s. Her character Angie is on the brink of separating from her husband (Angus Sampson) when their teen daughter (Nathalie Morris) has an unexpected baby. 

The show, which is loved by critics and audiences alike, explores what it's like to get to the middle of your life and realise all your well-laid plans are about to be thrown out the window. 

Listen to Mia Freedman's full interview with Claudia Karvan. Post continues below. 

Although Karvan has been defining women's lives for over two decades now, she doesn't think of herself as a celebrity or even as famous. 

"I don't know if in my mind I ever use even the word famous," she told No Filter. "Yeah, I just feel like I just wouldn't use it in my own brain. Not even now."

Stan's Original Series Bump is streaming exclusively on Stan now. 

Feature image: Foxtel