TV

'Picnic At Hanging Rock' cast: Meet the stellar Aussie stars behind the key players

Here's who plays who in the reimagined classic.

By Stephen Downie

Think you know the story of Picnic At Hanging Rock? Think again. Foxtel's bold TV remake is a brightly coloured, intricately woven mystery about people living in a repressed time.

"These people are trying to survive at a time which, for them, sucked," a frank Lily Sullivan, 24, who plays Miranda Reid, says.

Rebellious Miranda is the one who leads the two other girls – Irma Leopold (Samara Weaving) and Marion Quade (Madeleine Madden) – away from the group picnicking near the river.

She takes them up to the ominous-looking rock, where they promptly disappear on that fateful day. Where have they gone? Are they lost?

And that's just one of the puzzles to be solved in the anticipated series.

Before tuning in Picnic At Hanging Rock this week, we have everything you need to know about the key characters, the Aussie stars behind them and why Natalie Dormer's Mrs Appleyard isn't all she seems.

Samara Weaving as Irma Leopold

Irma is from a wealthy family. With lots of pretty frocks, it's no wonder she turns the boys' heads in town.

Like Miranda, she seems to play by her own rules.

Sarama, who found fame on Home And Away, says stepping into the role of the iconic character was easier than she expected.

"Larysa Kondracki [the series' co-director] did a great job of planning and executing," she explains.

"She had a real vision. I think people are going to be happy with the outcome."

Natalie Dormer as Mrs Hester Appleyard

Famous for playing Margaery Tyrell in Game Of Thrones, Natalie leads the cast as school founder Mrs Appleyard.

"To play Hester Appleyard is a joy," Natalie ethuses.

She runs the school with an iron fist – but is she all she seems?

When Mrs Appleyard's accent slips, you get the impression she has secrets she desperately wants to keep hidden.

Lily Sullivan as Miranda Reid

She was great in Romper Stomper. Now, Lily shines as rebellious tomboy Miranda.

Born and raised on a cattle farm in North Queensland, Miranda doesn't want to be at Appleyard College.

"She's a young woman who is a dreamer and who was born in the wrong time," Lily says.

"Everything she's naturally gravitated towards has been taken away."

Madeleine Madden as Marion Quade

Get used to seeing a lot of Madeleine. She's also in the ABC's new Mystery Road series and later Pine Gap.

She plays Marion, the daughter of a prominent judge.

She has a talent for maths and would rather spend time with maths mistress Miss McCraw (Anna McGahan) than anybody else.

Catch Picnic At Hanging Rock on Sunday, 6 May at 8.30pm (AEST) on Showcase.

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