Deborah Mailman stays mum on Offspring

“I’ve been having a ball. It’s been a really good job for me,” admits Deborah Mailman.

“I’ve got two young boys, I’ve enjoyed being at home, being a mum. So this is great for to come back into it and dust-off the cobwebs a bit.”

Having spent most of the last three years away from television and raising her two sons TEN’s Offspring has been an affirming experience for Mailman.

‘Cherie’ is the first time she has ever played a mother, and as real life mother of  7 month old Oliver and 3½ year old Henry it is a tailor made role.

“The stories related directly to me in terms of my character ‘Cherie.’ Being a first-time mum there are all those joys and worries that come with parenting. So I laughed with the familiarity of being a parent and thought ‘What a great job to be doing,'” she says.

She was drawn to the project by the Pilot script, along with her faith in producers John Edwards and Imogen Banks.

“I thought it was fantastic. It was a little bit quirky and funny. I was actually laughing when I was reading the script.

“Having known John through Secret Life of Us I already had a gut instinct about Offspring. It was confirmed for me when I read the Pilot script. So I just said ‘Yes I want to do it.’

“Once the ball started rolling and I realised there was Asher Keddie, who I’m such a big fan of, Kat Stewart, John Waters, it just got better and better. There was really no convincing to do the job. And it’s been followed through in terms of my anticipation of the project. I’ve loved every minute and every part of it.”

Despite being away from TV performing for three years, Mailman didn’t miss the acting bug. There were scenes for ‘Cherie’ that she was able to realise that she might not have achieved without the experience of being a mother.

“Certainly the handling of the babies, and the newborn in particular, I feel safe in handling them. The confidence has been the one change I can think of.

“There was the labour, the birth, that indescribable feeling you get when your baby is in your arms. That was such a joy to play. I was actually 8 months pregnant with my second child when we were filming the Pilot so I was a ball of emotions.

“Doing the scenes when the baby had apnea was quite a raw experience for me to have to go through because (son) Olly was moving around in my belly and I could feel him. So there was a lot of stuff to going through me at the time.”

Mailman says she has matured since her earlier TV work on The Secret Life of Us, helping to put some work-life balance into perspective.

“I’ve so grown up. My family life has allowed me to focus and grow up. I enjoy the responsibility that comes with having a family. I love it.

“It’s been a great experience to have Offspring and if a second series comes about that would be fantastic.”

Offspring airs 8:30pm Sundays on TEN.


  1. I like to thing Cherie in Offspring is Kelly from Secret Life of Us five/ten years later. I mean they’re virtually the same character, but it’s Deb Mailman and we all love her.

  2. Love Deb Mailman – great actor – wondrous face! Although i do think that the way they link her character to Nina’s family, borders on incredulous – the writing and performing is so good in this show, that I can forgive it – just! It is a privilege to watch such a great cast strut their stuff.

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