Motherly love with '70s style

The Vickers family, played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Claudia Karvan, and, front, Ed Oxenbould and Ashleigh Cummings.
The Vickers family, played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Claudia Karvan, and, front, Ed Oxenbould and Ashleigh Cummings. Stephen Baccon - Network Ten

BEING the mother of teenage daughter is a tough gig. Playing one on TV is just as tough according to Claudia Karvan.

The veteran of Australian film and TV takes on the task of playing Judy Vickers, mother of Debbie, in Channel 10's reboot of the iconic novel, Puberty Blues.

"It's hard being a mother of a teenager. There are lots of character challenges but that as an actor has been great," Karvan said.

"Judy is a really difficult customer, she's quite opinionated, a warrior.

"She is watching her daughter get caught up in the thuggery of teenage life.

"She wants what is best for her daughter but often all you hear is barking."

Based on the iconic novel penned by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, the eight-part mini-series tells the story of teenage girls Debbie and Sue, of innocence lost and experience gained, all set against the turbulent backdrop of Australia in the 1970s.

A time where sexual revolution was in full force, surf culture reigned supreme and "teenagerdom" came into its own.

Published in 1979 the novel was bold and confronting, an unapologetic account of adolescence, but the later film version glossed over a number of key issues that were at the time deemed too controversial for the screen.

But Karvan said this reboot would satisfy fans of the cult book.

Debbie and Sue may be teenagers of the '70s but Karvan believes their story and struggles are universal.

For Karvan the role was a chance for a break from her usual dual roles of directing and acting.

"It's all care no responsibility. It is a real pleasure to bring to life other people's hard work."


Puberty Blues premieres Wednesday, August 15, at 8.30pm on Channel 10.

Topics:  tv series tv show

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