Tangle: articles

Tangled loves

HELEN Ganska talks to Catherine McClements about showcase's impressive new drama

Tangle is the latest Australian offering from Showcase on Foxtel and is a complex, multi-layered, messy family drama created by John Edwards, Imogen Banks and Fiona Seres and a worthy successor to Love My Way — another Edwards' creation.

The well-written drama filmed in and around Melbourne is about two generations of two families colliding, connecting — sometimes at cross-purposes as they navigate their way around the maze of love, sex, money and politics.

Catherine McClements was filming the first series of Channel Ten's action-packed tactical response police series, Rush when she got the call to start filming Tangle.

In Rush she plays the rebellious headstrong, Inspector Kerry Vincent and in Tangle she plays the ambitious psychologist, Christine whose calm and rational problem solving is stretched to the limit when her family is threatened.

"While it is hard to watch your own stuff, I have seen the show and I just love the atmosphere — it is an incredibly atmospheric piece with amazing detail," she said.

"Everyone gives these amazing performances as it is so well-written.

"Everyone has a reason to be there and there is this thread through these scenes which are not overly-written with too much dialogue.

"My character imagines she is strong but it doesn't take much before you see she is fragile and we don't have that deep centre of what is right and wrong — there are often so many elements that need to be taken into consideration when making decisions.

"Tangle brings our past right into our lounge rooms for us to deal with now."

While the opening scenes of the series depict perfect home lives, it does not take long for this maze of love, sex and politics to start showing cracks.

"Scratch the surface and it just takes one little tremor and it all gets uncovered and there is lots going on underneath," says McClements.

"The lives of these 15-year-olds these days going into adulthood is a fascinating subject shown in this series.

"There is a sadness and an anxiety about it and is not such a positive, 'world is your oyster' feel about it.

"They are rich kids with this moral core which is very troubled — and when you look at their lives, they do have it all — but it is not as easy as that."

This is not the first time that McClements has worked with Edwards on Secret Life of Us and Rush before this series.

"He is such a prolific writer — he has a lot of taste for a producer and works with the best," she says.

"He casts amazingly — he has a great talent for casting the right person for the right role and he is a real pleasure to work with.

"John (Edwards) has so many projects on the go, and the great thing about him is that he works with another producer and sets them up and then leaves them to it — and their talent comes through."

Tangle tells of Ally (Justine Clarke) who is married to Vince (Ben Mendelsohn) with two children, Romeo and Gigi. Vince's best friend Gabriel (Matt Day) is secretly in love with Ally and is the unwilling cover for Vince's affair with Em (Lucia Mastrantone).

Em is the mother of Charlotte, who is involved with Romeo and his cousin, Max. Max is the result of an affair between Tim (Joel Tobeck) and Ally's sister, Nat (Kat Stewart).

Tim and his wife Christine (Catherine McClements) are raising Max as their own and Gigi observes it all.

"Tangle is about families and about how children work on their parents and parents work on their children, she says.

"The nature of television allows for these sprawling stories and allows the viewer to follow a thread.

"A human being is capable of taking in all the information and all the emotion and all these human stories in the one piece and viewers can take it all in as the story rolls out over a long amount of time.

"Tangle is like reading a big novel such as Gone with the Wind."

By Helen Ganska
October 05, 2009