Lengthy earlier than she nabbed the a part of Eli’s mom Frankie, Tonkin was your common fan of Dalton’s most-talked-about work. She remembers the e-book being in every single place in Australia when it first got here out. It was the book-club e-book on the time, and her mom gifted her with it for Christmas in 2019. When she acquired the job a number of years later, Tonkin revisited the fabric, and this time, studying it was a bit surreal. As a substitute of picturing another person as Frankie, she was picturing herself. The unique textual content finally turned Tonkin’s bible whereas filming. “Having a e-book, particularly a e-book so detailed as Trent’s e-book, was so invaluable for creating this story,” Tonkin says. “Tv can also be a really totally different medium, but it surely simply added such a powerful basis.”
Along with the e-book, Tonkin constantly referred again to an interview with Dalton the place he defined his causes for writing the e-book. “[Trent] shared that he was sitting along with his mother, who Frankie is predicated on, within the backyard along with his younger daughters. He shared that his mother turned to him and mentioned, ‘I wouldn’t change something in my life as a result of all of it led to this second sitting right here with you and watching my grandchildren dancing within the daylight,’” she says. “For me, each time I might have a query a couple of scene or a line, all of it simply went again to that. … Though issues might be actually arduous and so unfair and so painful, there’s something to be gleaned out of it. Hopefully, we’re all fortunate sufficient to get to the tip of our lives and look again on the patchwork of what acquired us there and assume the identical factor—that I wouldn’t have made any totally different selections as a result of I might haven’t wished to alter something. For me, that was basically the essence of the e-book and the essence of the present as properly.”
All through the collection, we see Frankie at totally different levels of her dependancy—going by way of withdrawals, doing medicine, and recovering—however regardless of her generally questionable decision-making, Frankie’s love for her kids is her North Star all the time. For Tonkin, this turned her goal and driving pressure all through the six months of filming. “Simply because she doesn’t all the time make the right alternative as a mom doesn’t imply she’s not an excellent mother, and it doesn’t imply she’s not making an attempt to be an excellent mother, so for me, it was holding onto that piece of data. She simply loves her youngsters a lot, and she or he’s doing the most effective she will, and generally, that’s it,” Tonkin explains.
The place the position turned really transformative for Tonkin was within the analysis. She immersed herself in as many books, blogs, and podcasts on dependancy and restoration as doable. She learn numerous firsthand tales from individuals battling dependancy themselves in addition to their households. “I’ve all the time had a lot compassion for individuals who battle with dependancy, and the stigma that individuals aren’t making an attempt their greatest is simply not true,” she says. “ individuals’s tales like that versus this cliché thought of doing medicine, there’s a purpose for it. There’s regret. There’s guilt. There’s ache.”
There’s a line within the present that claims, “It will get so good that you just’ll neglect it was ever unhealthy.” It goes again to the message Dalton shared about his mom: After all of it, she has no regrets as a result of it acquired her to the place she is at this time. Tonkin nonetheless repeats that line to herself on a regular basis, particularly when issues aren’t good. It’s a relentless reminder that, regardless of any turmoil in life, there may be nonetheless hope.