Blind casting on The Newsreader

Blind casting on The Newsreader

When The Newsreader reaches its ‘Bicenennial’ episode set in 1988, actor Hunter Page Lochard will feature as a leader of Aboriginal protests which were staged in Sydney.

“He’s heavily based on real figures behind those protests, and he’s really great. I’m really excited for people to see it,” said Lucas.

While an Indigenous actor was clearly required for the role, producers were more open for other characters in the series.

“For all other characters, it really was blind casting,”producer Joanna Werner confirms.

“Whoever was best,” Lucas agrees. “We didn’t know when it was written that (variety host) Jerry was going to be Irish. But then Rory (Fleck Byrne) was such a spectacular option and we felt that sort of makes sense.”

But Werner outlines while there is diversity in the newsroom, on air there was a much different rule.

“Australia was still an incredibly diverse, multicultural society in the 80s. So we wanted to reflect that in our newsroom as well. We were also realistic about the On Air faces that you saw at the time. They were predominantly white and that’s what we see in our show.

“But the rest of our characters are reflective of Australian society.”

The Newsreader continues 8:30pm Sundays on ABC.