Family spirit at the heart of The Gods of Wheat Street
INDIGENOUS acting talent, both new and established, is at the centre of the ABC's new series, The Gods of Wheat Street.
The six-part comedy-drama follows the Freeburn family in a fictionalised version of Casino in northern NSW.
Kelton Pell plays Freeburn patriarch Odin, who raised his three younger siblings after his mother died in a car crash.
Even though his mum passed away when he was a teenager, her spirit still has a strong presence in his life.
"I think we all need a bit more magic in our lives," Shari Sebbens told APN.
"What Jon's (Bell) done so well in writing the series is taking something very much a part of Aboriginal people's lives, our connection to our loved ones who have passed away, and how we strongly feel that they guide us and protect us and are just there sometimes even though they're no longer with us and he's captured that so beautifully on screen."
Logie winner Sebbens, who made her feature film debut in the award-winning Australian film The Sapphires alongside her acting hero Deborah Mailman, plays Odin's younger sister Isolde.
A budding fashion designer, Isolde lives with Odin and his two daughters but longs to get out of small-town Casino.
"Odin's had to navigate his way through life as big brother and father figure for so long," Sebbens said.
"Rightly so, a lot of his focus is on his daughters and as a result, Isolde feels on the outskirts of the family. She also understands that she might be projecting her own insecurities on to them. She's not too confident. I always think of her as a little sister in my head."
While Sebbens had a guest role in the ABC's acclaimed Aboriginal drama series Redfern Now, The Gods of Wheat Street is her first major recurring TV role.
After the death of Odin's boss, and the pending sale of the automotive repair business, his job as a mechanic is put in jeopardy.
To make matters worse a rival family has a competing shop across the road and Odin and Isolde's brother Ares is back in prison.
And their other brother Tristan is in love with the daughter of the rival family.
In the show's debut last week, Odin's mum (played by Australia star Ursula Yovich) returns to tell him more trials are coming.
In tonight's episode, Odin attempts to put in an offer to buy the mechanic shop.
The Gods of Wheat Street - ABC1 - Saturdays at 8.30pm