As Adrielle Cuthbert, Elsa Pataky plays her steamiest role yet.
And to make it all the more exciting, Tidelands is the 42-year-old's big return to the acting world, having put her career on hold to raise her three children – India, six, and twins Sasha and Tristan, four – whom she shares with heart-throb hubby Chris Hemsworth, 35.
The family of five reside in idyllic Byron Bay, a stone's throw from where Elsa filmed Australia's very first Netflix original about sexy sirens and drug traffickers.
Ever wondered what Chris thinks of her racy sex scenes? Or whether she gets jealous watching her husband on-screen with some of Hollywood's sexiest leading ladies? Here, OK! sits down with Elsa – and let's just say, she doesn't hold back.
Congrats on the success of Tidelands! Now that you've made your long-awaited return to our screens, can we expect more roles from you Down Under?
Of course! I would love to keep working here close to home and not have to take my kids anywhere in the world. This is home for me.
The show's been given rave reviews – please tell us there will be a second season!
I hope so.
It's safe to say that Tidelands is not The Little Mermaid…
Definitely. There's no tails, no scales, which are musts for mermaids, but it makes it more interesting, because it was different, because we haven't seen something like that.
Have your three kids watched it?
I think we'll have to wait a few years. I told them that I'm a mermaid or a siren, but they weren't really interested. They were always waiting for the tail. Where's the tail?
What's it like playing your character, Adrielle Cuthbert?
It's so difficult to describe because you just have to know her, step-by-step. She's kind of weird in the beginning, and then you kind of realise that she's half-siren, half-human. So that gives a lot, and she has some powers that she can use, so playing [Adrielle] was actually amazing. But she really is a strong, powerful woman, and she has a goal in the whole show that she wants to achieve, and she's been living for a long time!
Adrielle is unpredictable…
You don't know what she's gonna do – if she's nice, if she loves or not, if she's evil. She's just selfish, it's very complicated. It's great to discover in the whole show.
Do you share any similarities with your character?
You always have something in every character that you find in yourself, but I think I'm very different to the character I play. But maybe not, maybe that little evil part is inside of me. I think it's really deep in there, but sometimes it comes out.
Your character's very sexy. How do you get into that role, or does it come naturally to you?
Oh, that's natural [laughs]. I think you just play with it. I think when you read the story and you know it's there, that sensuality. It's interesting, how to use it as a woman, you know? She knows the power that she has with that, and how she could play with it in every situation. It's interesting. Women in general, we know that, and it's one of our little weapons that we have to use whenever we want.
A lot of your scenes are quite raunchy. Did your hubby Chris watch them?
Yes, he does.
But I think it has so much behind it, and in that [first sex] scene, it's not so much about sex. It's about power, and the relationship between two characters that actually distracts you from what is happening. It's a very different kind of sex scene, I think.
Does that mean you watch his sex scenes?
Yes, it's part of our work. We know that, you know? It's what we do, and there's nothing there [with our co-stars]. We're all very professional. Like, c'mon. His best friend came to me and was like, 'That was horrible!' and I was like, 'Well, settle down, because Chris has had a lot of them, too.'
We're kind of equal in that way. It's just part of our work, and I don't feel any threat around it.
You also have some serious fight scenes in Tidelands. Did you train?
We did, yeah. We had a great team behind the fight scenes. Also, I've been doing boxing.
Chris once said it's a little embarrassing just how good you are in the gym, that you apparently 'wear him out'…
I don't know about that. With the Tidelands powers, maybe [laughs]. We've been training a lot and we do Muay Thai together, so I love that. I'm like, 'Give me a fight, I'll be there.'