Bryan Brown And Daughter Matilda Bring New Series To Presto

29/10/2015 8:16 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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In terms of potential father-in-laws, they don't get much more intimidating than Australian acting legend Bryan Brown. Well, at least when you're brought home to meet them for the first time.

This situation is just one of many explored in Presto's latest offering 'Let's Talk About' -- a 10-part series penned by (and starring) Bryan's daughter Matilda.

The premise is simple -- Claire (Matilda) has been dating lovable clown Ben (Offspring's Richard Davies) for only a few weeks when she discovers she is pregnant. They decide to keep the baby but must now embark on a rocky route of preparing for his or her arrival -- while navigating the ins and outs of a new relationship.

Bryan (who also serves as Executive Producer) plays her intimidating father who relishes in giving Ben a good talking-to about his expectations regarding his daughter.

The question had to be asked -- is this a scenario in which art mimics life?

lets talk about

Meet the family... (L-R) Matilda and Bryan Brown, Lisa Hensley and Richard Davies.

"If he doesn’t like someone he’s pretty f***ing obvious," Matilda told The Huffington Post Australia. "And in those situations, it’s not nice to bring your boyfriends around. But generally he’s pretty good. The last few you’ve been really good with."

At this point, Bryan, who is seated beside her, laughs.

"The last few. Do you mean four or 20? There’s been a few."

It is not the first time the father/daughter team have worked together on a project, with their 20 x 3 minute series 'Lessons From the Grave' picked up by the ABC last year.

"We were familiar with working in the [short] format," Bryan told HuffPost Australia.

"So we talked and I said 'let's do another one, Tilly, you’re really good at it.' So she started on this one and I had a read of the first couple of episodes and thought, ‘bloody terrific.’"

The premise for 'Let's Talk About' came after Matilda witnessed one of her own friends go through a similar situation.

"I’ve come to that age where you look around and you see your friends are having babies, and then a couple of years ago my best friend fell pregnant to a man she hadn’t been seeing for that long," Matilda said.

"So they had that conversation about when they maybe wanted to have kids and, for him, it was maybe two years down the track.

"It was a really big surprise for her and for him, and over the nine months of her being pregnant I found myself listening to what she had been going through -- on top of the pregnancy, you have the relationship and getting to know somebody in this situation -- I was fascinated by it."

lets talk about

Matilda and Richard as Clare and Ben.

When Matilda started writing the screenplay in February this year, she thought the story would suit a web series format. However a subsequent meeting with Presto soon changed her mind, with the streaming service keen to commission not only 'Let's Talk About' but 'Lessons From The Grave' to show as repeats.

'Let's Talk About' is the company's first locally commissioned content.

"It was the best case scenario," Matilda said. "It's the easiest project to ever come to fruition that I’ve ever worked on."

And by all accounts, it seems making it was also a breeze, with the entire series shot in one week at Sydney's Whale Beach.

"It is fun. We have a good time together, it’s very creative," Bryan told HuffPost Australia. "Because she has all these different friends that are this age, who are talented young people and who are in the industry, but maybe have only been in it for a couple of years.

"For me that’s great, because their enthusiasm and desire to be in the industry I love seeing. And I get to crack my jokes in front of, you know, 30 years olds."

At this, Matilda good-naturedly rolls her eyes.

"That’s the thing. He loves being part of the set of young people because they will laugh at anything he says because he’s Bryan Brown. I’m like, 'ugh, you guys don’t have to laugh to be polite'.

"And they’re like ‘oh he’s so funny, he’s so funny'. So of course he has to be on set. It’s the only time he feels funny."

lets talk about

Matilda and on-screen mum Lisa Hensley.

But back to what it's really like bringing a new love interest home to Bryan Brown.

"As a father with daughters, it’s really quite a number when the blokes start visiting because they are growing up and you have to accept that," Bryan said.

"As a father you also have the responsibility to go -- 'is this a decent bloke for my daughter to be around? Is he a really great mad bastard who I’d be happy about? But is he mad in the best way? Does he have an inner strength about him?'

"A few I might have liked but I didn’t think they were necessarily right for her. But that’s what you do as a father. You can’t sit there going ‘well I’m blank about this'."

But however daunting his opinion may appear to be, it seems Matilda appreciates her father's input.

"I said to him after the last one or second last one -- I don’t want to put a thing on it because I don’t want them to read it and think ‘that was me’ -- I’ve said, 'how could you let me? How did I think he was right for me?'" Matilda said.

"And he was like, ‘look. Next time, just bring ‘em over, early on, and I’ll tell you if they are bloody right for you or not'."

"Let's Talk About" premieres on Presto on Friday, October 30, 2015.

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