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‘Treading water’: ‘Bad Mothers’ character keeps ‘audience unsure of how they feel about him’

Daniel MacPherson plays Anton Pooley in the drama series “Bad Mothers.” (Courtesy of Sundance Now)

Daniel MacPherson’s professional life has come full circle.

Like many other Australian actors, he got his start on the soap opera “Neighbours,” at age 17.

Twenty-three years later, the 40-year-old actor snagged a role on the drama series “Bad Mothers.”

The role would take him back home to Australia after nearly two decades in Los Angeles.

“It does feel full circle in some ways,” he says in a recent interview from Australia. “I’m one of the lucky men that get to be part of the ‘Bad Mothers’ ensemble. This show is dominated by fantastic female characters and some of the best Australian talents. It’s an honor to be part of this show.”

“Bad Mothers” began streaming on Sundance Now on May 7. A new episode streams each Thursday.

The series follows Sarah, played by Tess Haubrich, who’s seemingly perfect life as a local general practitioner, loving wife and doting mother comes crashing down when she discovers that her husband, Anton Pooley, played by MacPherson, is having an affair with her best friend, Charlotte, played by Melissa George.

Suddenly, Charlotte turns up dead, and Anton is arrested for her murder.

As Sarah’s life spirals out of control, she finds unlikely support from a ragtag group of mums called the Bad Mothers Club.

Sarah finds herself drawn into the chaotic worlds of her new friends. There’s just one thing preventing Sarah from leaving the mess of her old life behind her: Anton swears he’s innocent.

“Anton is a complex human being,” MacPherson says. “He’s made a series of decisions that have taken him down the rabbit hole. He’s managed to isolate himself more and more with each decision. When we meet Anton, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and things are about to get bad for him.”

MacPherson says stepping into Anton’s shoes was a difficult task from the get-go.

“This is the challenge of taking someone like Anton and making him relatable. You want to keep an audience unsure of how they feel about him. Do they hate him or empathize with him? It’s treading water. His issues are being brought to life, and he learns the value of his wonderful wife.”

MacPherson says that as he gets older, he’s more selective with the roles he pursues.

“Bad Mothers” gave him a chance to get to play a character unlike any he had played before, as his characters were always the guy-next-door type.

“The role is an exploration into marriage and relationships,” he says. “Moving forward and working within those challenges has made me a better actor. I thrive for those challenges.”

 

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

 

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