Kath & Kim: articles

Magda Szubanski

Magda falls in love with a wig

MAGDA Szubanski believes hairstyles make or break characters. For example, her Kath and Kim co-star Glenn Robbins transforms himself into a complete dag with "just a few small adjustments" to his mane.

"It's his real hair, just brushed differently," she says. "A few adjustments are all that stand between seeming quite normal and looking like a dickhead."

Szubanski plays netball-obsessed Sharon in the new ABC comedy series and says it is a peculiar wig that stands between her persona and that of her character.

"I'm in love with the wig," she says. "I used to wear it a bit in my Fast Forward days and I just knew it was right for Sharon because it's that sensible cut, the wedge for the sports girl who just wants to wash and wear her hair."

Szubanski (above, with Gina Riley) developed Sharon while working with Kath and Kim creators Riley and Jane Turner on another comedy series, Big Girl's Blouse.

She says she had been playing variations of Sharon for a while until the character came into her own.

"It really came out of this period in my life when I was playing a bit of baseball at the weekends and I just translated that into netball, which is a hugely popular sport that so many people can relate to," she says.

"I thought it was just funny to see someone who is completely sport-obsessed, where that is the main thing in their life."

But Sharon has one other interest she pursues when she is not captaining her netball team or training hard.

She has adopted Kath and Kim as members of her family, often spending more time at their house than she does at her own.

"We were all discussing their background stories and we decided that Sharon lives with her nanna and her parents are divorced and they've both left to live better lives, so she's just adopted this other family," she says.

The comedy, a parody of Australian suburban life, is set in a townhouse. It focuses on the lives of matriarch Kath, her boyfriend Kel, and her daughter Kim, who has recently left her dog-obsessed husband Brett.

The stalwart comedian (Babe, Fast Forward, Dogwoman) says Aussie comedy is different from the American style. "It's more like a child of Larry Sanders or even Spinal Tap," she says.

• Kath & Kim, ABC, Thursday, 9pm

by Jennifer Dudley
May 16, 2002
The Courier Mail