Caitlin Stasey’s high school regret

I wish I’d committed a little bit more.
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Caitlin Stasey’s experience of high school was “kind of blah”.

“I didn’t really go because I was working full-time from the time I was 13,” the former star of The Sleepover Club and Neighbours tells TV WEEK, “so I chucked in school a lot earlier than I should have. I wish I’d committed a little bit more.”

Now 33, Caitlin jumped at the chance to explore high-school dynamics in eight-part comedy Class Of ’07. The series centres on a group of young women attending their 10-year reunion when a massive tidal wave hits, leaving them stuck at school on their own.

“I knew I would love working with a big bunch of women and I did,” Caitlin says. “We hung out pretty much constantly.

We would have little dance parties with ourselves, we went on weekend trips to places… it was really lovely.”

Caitlin is speaking to TV WEEK via Zoom from Los Angeles, where she lives with TV producer Erin Murphy-Muscatelli. The couple’s tiny dog is making excited noises in the background.

“My girlfriend’s coming home soon, so she’s on high alert for her,” she explains.

Caitlin Stasey in Neighbours (left) and in her new TV Show Class of 07 (Right).

(Credit: Channel 10 & Prime)

LA has been Caitlin’s base for years. Her US credits include the historical drama Reign (where she co-starred with her former Neighbours castmate Adelaide Kane), the hit horror movie Smile – and, most recently, the series Bridge And Tunnel, in a role that actor and filmmaker Edward Burns wrote for her.

“I love doing a Long Island accent, I love being in New York,” she says. “It’s a shame we won’t be making a third season.”

Caitlin has also tried her hand at directing, making a series of short erotic films.

“I did enjoy it,” she says. “Directing is a whole other skill set that I’m trying to fine-tune – but at the end of the day, the thing I love most is acting.”

Despite all her acting experience, Caitlin had some challenging moments shooting Class Of ’07, where she plays Saskia, a mean-girl-turned-ethical businesswoman.

“Doing anything emotional or dramatic comes very easily to me, because I’m an emotional person,” she explains. “The scenes I was most challenged by were the ones where I imagined I was supposed to be making audiences laugh. I felt self-conscious about it, when in fact people who tend to be the funniest are the ones who don’t force anything.

“Our cast is so funny, and I just wanted to keep levelling up and meet them where they were at.”

Caitlin says she was “overwhelmed” by the talent in the series, which was written and directed by Kacie Anning.

“For a lot of the cast, this is their first series regular role,” she says. “It was refreshing to be around, because I feel like when I come back to Australia they can find their darlings and reuse people quite often. In this case, Kacie was so committed to finding new people and it really paid off.”

As for Caitlin, she’s in demand both in the US and in Australia. Having just shot a recurring guest role in a US series, she’s heading to Tasmania soon to make the horror movie Devil Inside with Ryan Kwanten. But Neighbours, in which she starred as Rachel Kinski from 2005 to 2009, is still part of her life. She’s stayed in touch with some of her former co-stars, including her on-screen siblings.

“A few years ago Matthew Werkmeister [who played her brother Zeke] came and stayed with me,” she says. “He’s an amazing cook, so it was great having him here. And Dichen Lachman [who played her sister Katya] and I are good friends.”

So is there any chance she’d return to the revived Neighbours?

“I’d go back for a few episodes if they wanted me to,” she says. “I haven’t thought about what Rachel’s been up to the past decade and a bit, but I’m keen to find out.”

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