“Everybody had this sense of it being really special”

Brooke Satchwell knew when she was invited to join The Twelve ensemble it would be something rare.

Brooke Satchwell may never sat on a jury but the invitation to join the ensemble of The Twelve was too strong to decline.

After all the 10 part drama would see her perform alongside names such as Sam Neill, Marta Dusseldorp, Kate Mulvany,  Brendan Cowell, Jenni Baird, Matt Nable, Pallavi Sharda and more.

Based on a Belgian series, De Twaalf, the Australian adaptation unravels how the histories of twelve jurors -dreams, secrets, hope, fears, personal trauma, and prejudice- impacts on a chaotic and flawed attempt to determine justice.

“I was already a fan of the original. I’d watched it,” she tells TV Tonight.

“This is obviously a different iteration, different storylines. But the concept and that idea of sitting in judgment of one another, is always a concept I’d found critically-flawed in our society.

“We’re all so incredibly biased by whatever it is we’re dealing with”

“It’s a fascinating idea, particularly since we’re all so incredibly biased by whatever it is we’re dealing with on any given day. Our view is coloured… there’s always three versions of the truth.

“So it was incredibly exciting and to have such sustained work in such a critical time was quite amazing.”

Satchwell, whose work includes police dramas Water Rats, White Collar Blue, Dead Lucky and crime drama Mr. Inbetween, plays introverted young mother Georgina, who seems to have it. But Georgina’s husband pressures her to get off jury duty and put her family first.

Satchwell was elated to tackle her first legal drama, filmed in Sydney during lockdown.

“I couldn’t believe it actually. When they gave me the name-drop of the cast, and told me that Warner Brothers were involved and it was Foxtel -my family- and the producers Easy Tiger, it was kind of a dream come true,” she continues.

“Everybody had this sense of it being really special material”

“The complexities for me on this job were predominantly shooting during these strange times of COVID, whether you want to consider it pre or post, it’s a magic teacup ride. That certainly accelerates the pressure in any given day. Everyone started this job with really high ambitions, in every department. Everybody had this sense of it being really special material, and having an opportunity to push beyond any work that any of us had done individually, or collectively, previously. There was an opportunity here to push the boundaries of Australian storytelling. That was our ambition.

“So the audience will tell us whether we succeeded or failed in that. But that was the intent behind every single person in every department on this job.”

The Twelve is attracting early critical acclaim, no surprise given the pedigree of its acting ensemble.

“I think what’s extraordinary about this is it’s about the nuance and detail of being very human, and how you make choices. Every little tiny moment that happens in your day affects your decision making. So that’s such fine, nuanced, detailed work, which is a dream for an actor. It’s really compelling storytelling as well.”

Satchwell has also taken time to reflect on another career highlight, her five early years on Neighbours, with the show wrapping production in Melbourne.

“This feels like the beginning of a new chapter for me.”

“The ending of anything has very mixed feelings and there’s a sense of loss, obviously. Suddenly, it’s occupies such a large space in people’s lives, hearts, in our culture. Let alone the opportunity provided for training the crew and cast alike. The family of everybody who’s been part of it won’t die, so that’s not a concern. But I’ve also reflected on it personally, in that this feels like the beginning of a new chapter for me. It is curious to recognise that the very opportunity that began my career and was a launching pad for me is coming to a close. Personally, I find that resonates in an interesting way, given what we’re experiencing as a collective. A lot of chapters are closing as new ones begin.”

Meanwhile the success of The Twelve may not necessarily lead to more for Satchwell, given the format could see a shift in future casting.

“I think there’s a potential for a return,” Satchwell confirms.

“It would take a different structure. Obviously, you can’t have the same jury. But there’s considerations there for the network. Absolutely.”

The Twelve continues 8:30pm Tuesday on FOX Showcase.

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