Love My Way: articles

Claudia Karvan

CREATIVE… Claudia Karvan plays a 30-something single mother and newspaper illustrator in Foxtel’s Love My Way.

Drama explores new ground

IF Aussie drama The Secret Life of Us was a glimpse of how hip 20-somethings lived their lives, Foxtel’s Love My Way is a look into the comings and goings of 30-somethings.

After all, 30 is the new 20.

“It’s not a show that’s specifically targeted at people in their 30s,” says Claudia Karvan, star and co-producer of Love My Way.

“It’s just that I’m 32 now and I guess I wanted to look at issues more relevant to me so we used all of our lives as a vague template for the show.

“It’s an age group that has never really been seen on TV before.”

Described as an exploration of the love that binds us, the relationships that define us and the dreams of grown ups, Love My Way looks at the families of the 2000s.

Karvan’s character, Frankie Paige, is a single mum and newspaper illustrator trying to organise her life, which includes a young daughter, ex-partner, complex family and work.

And she is as different from Karvan’s character Alex in The Secret Life of Us as possible.

“I’m incredibly critical of what I do and the characters I play,” Karvan says.

“She (Frankie) is supposed to be someone with a lot of choices in her life, someone who is still evolving as a person. Where Alex was romantic Frankie is learning things on the run.”

She is joined by flatmate Tom (Brendan Cowell), daughter Lou (Alex Cook), ex-husband Charlie (Dan Wyllie) and his new wife Julia (Asher Keddie).

Sam Worthington joins the cast in episode three as Howard Light, Karvan’s love interest.

Filming in real locations became a possibility because there was enough money in the budget to pay council fees. And actors were not chosen because of what they had done before but for their talents and dedication, Karvan says.

Producer John Edwards developed Love My Way with Karvan after working with her on The Secret Life of Us. The pair considered several ideas including a spin-off of Alex and Rex from Secret Life but settled on a completely new product.

Karvan’s foray into co-producing follows a stint directing on Secret Life, and she says she is thrilled with the way the Foxtel-commissioned drama has been received by the network.

“There were plenty of benefits of working with Foxtel because it’s not a bureaucracy with old conventions,” Karvan says.

“We were allowed to push the boundaries further than we would have with free-to-air TV but we always avoided being eccentric for the sake of it.

“The creative channels of communication were opened up and a lot of our heads of departments worked in film so we had our pick of the crop as far producers went.”

It is not the first Foxtel-produced drama: the network co-produced Head Start and Marking Time with the ABC, and White Collar Blue and The Cooks with Ten.

But according to Foxtel’s director of television and marketing, Brian Walsh, it is the first time the network has had the freedom to make a drama exclusively aimed at subscribers.

“I was impressed by the success the HBO network had in the US with their dramas Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and Sex and the City . . . and I wanted to carve out a piece of TV drama that was edgy, daring, provocative,” he says.

Walsh says the network gave Karvan and Edwards absolute creative freedom to take the show as far as they wanted to go.

“They’d come to us and say ‘can we push the storylines this way’, I said ‘you can go as far as you like’. ”

“The decision came about because we had invested in other dramas like White Collar Blue and The Cooks but felt there was too much creative compromise for a drama to play on a free-to-air channel as opposed to a cable channel.”

Walsh says when ratings finish on November 27, Foxtel will launch its season of programming from December to April.

“I would hope if Love My Way is the success we anticipate it will be, we’d commission another series.”

Karvan says she hopes to work on the directing/producing side of TV in the future, especially as she gets older. “In the next six years I’ll probably continue to get acting work but it will die off,” Karvan says.

“I’ve been acting since I was 8 years old and I love it, but so much of it is just sitting around waiting until you can film the next scene.”

However, Karvan says she never wants to give up acting for good. “The physical rush is always worth it in the long run,” she says.

 Love My Way, Fox 8, from November 22, 8.30pm

By Madeline Healy and Erica Thompson
November 11, 2004
The Courier Mail