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Down-to-earth superhero: Role of 1960s detective in ‘Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries’ is ‘really freeing’ for actress

Geraldine Hakewill and Joel Jackson in a scene from the series “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries. The pair play Peregrine Fisher and Detective James Steed. (Christine Ramage/AMC)

Geraldine Hakewill jumps into life in the 1960s in the Acorn TV series “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.”

She adores a lot of elements of the show, but one thing sticks out – the fashion.

“I love guys to wear more suits” she says about the show.

But there is a downside to dressing to the nines.

“It’s such a shame, because it takes a long time to get ready,” she says with a laugh. “Once you put on the fantastic clothes, the hair and the makeup must be done to make it all work.”

Hakewill is back as Peregrine Fisher in the series’ second season. The series premiered on June 7 and will have a new episode every Monday through July 19.

The series is a spinoff of the Australian sensation “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.”

It follows the fearless and spirited Peregrine Fisher, played by Hakewill, the niece of world-class adventuress and private detective Phryne Fisher, as she inherits a windfall from her famous aunt and sets out to become an exceptional sleuth in her own right.

Detective James Steed is played by Joel Jackson in the series “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.” (Christine Ramage/AMC)

As murders continue to plague the streets of 1964 Melbourne, the daring detective tackles her trickiest assignment yet – juggling her career, the busy life of an adventuress, and her romance with Detective James Steed, played by Joel Jackson.

Fisher continues her mission to do the legacy of her famous aunt justice, to find her way in changing times and to make a difference in the world.

In the new season, Fisher investigates cases that include an air hostess school, a dog show and a bowling alley. She also meets up with Birdie Birnside, played by Catherine McClements, and reignites her spying career with an old flame. Meanwhile, her associates Violetta, played by Louisa Mignone, and Samuel, played by Toby Truslove, struggle to contain their passion.

Geraldine Hakewill says she has found a freedom in playing Peregrine Fisher. (Christine Ramage/AMC)

“It was really fun to make this show,” Hakewill says. “I love Peregrine as a character, and I’m thrilled to bring her to life once again.”

Hakewill says the second season finds Fisher settling into being a detective for hire.

“She’s settled into her house, and her relationship with James has evolved in some way,” she says. “What that means, we’ll all find out together as the season progresses.”

Geraldine Hakewill steps into the shoes of Peregrine Fisher in the Acorn TV series “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.” (Courtesy of Christine Ramage/AMC)

The Australian actress is enjoying Fisher’s many facets and is fascinated by playing a woman in the 1960s.

“I think the exploration this season is about how women at the time were required to choose between having a relationship and a family and their work,” she says. “I think Peregrine is realizing that if she wants to be with somebody, that she would have to make the decisions between two things. She’s incredibly focused on her career, and if she wants to be in a relationship with somebody, she may have to compromise that. To that question, the answer is ‘no.’ ”

The 33-year-old actress has also been fascinated about traveling back in time to the 1960s.

She’s also glad there has been some headway as far as the women’s movement goes.

A scene from the series “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.” (Christine Ramage/AMC)

“Men are still making more than women today,” she says. “But it’s getting better. I haven’t been in the position of having to make a decision if I was going to choose my family or my career, thankfully. (In the series) we haven’t quite hit the free love era. I learned of this through people who lived through it so I could understand the mindset of the people. It’s really not that far in the past.”

Hakewill has also bonded with her character.

She says Fisher is like a superhero without supernatural powers.

“She’s more than just a person,” she says. “She’s full of life and enthusiasm. She throws herself into everything and treats everybody the same. Peregrine also doesn’t fully understand the social codes and challenges them. She finds a way into people’s hearts, and I really love that of her.”

Hakewill has also learned from playing Fisher for two seasons.

“I’ve learned to be a bit bolder,” she says. “Peregrine’s lack of self-consciousness is really freeing, and it’s given me the desire to not care what other people think. I have to do quite a few stunts in the series. I’m not very good with heights, but when someone calls ‘Action!’ my mind clears and I just do it. She’s given me that confidence.”




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