Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Michelle Langstone

Michelle Langstone

She's a man eater

Catriona Mathewson speaks to the new girl on Drovers Run

AS IF the folks on Drovers Run don't have enough to contend with, dealing with errant city folk on a nearly weekly basis. Now there's a bloomin' New Zealander on the farm.

Kiwi actress Michelle Langstone will join the cast of McLeod's Daughters as Fiona, a new love interest for Alex (played by fellow New Zealander Aaron Jeffery) when the show returns for 2006 next week.

In real life, Langstone has been dating the recently separated Jeffery, although she is less keen to talk about that liaison than her onscreen romance.

On McLeod's, Langstone plays an Aussie and sounds the part, but speak to her in person and the first thing that bowls you over is her broad New Zealand "ecksent".

"I just went home to New Zealand for Christmas and spent some time with family and friends and since I've come back everyone's been in peals of laughter," Langstone says, explaining that her accent grows a little thicker after a trip across the Tasman.

Luckily, the giggle-factor is mutual.

"My friends in New Zealand and I, we used to fool around with the Australian accent quite a lot because we find it very funny," Langstone says.

Although she has been based in South Australia, where McLeod's is filmed, since last year, Langstone's character Fiona does not make her onscreen debut until this season. It's a juicy role she is relishing. "She (Fiona) is one of those characters that will really divide audiences," she says.

For regular viewers, Fiona's sudden arrival throws a wet blanket on romantic friction developing between regular Stevie (Simmone Jade Mackinnon) and Alex.

"I think she's an interesting character, Fiona, because she's every bit as strong and tenacious as the women that work on Drovers but she's from a totally different kind of life," Langstone says. "She's from a very wealthy family and she's very poised and gracious."

However, Fiona also comes with her fair share of baggage, having been recently humiliated by a broken engagement. With this in mind, she is determined not to let Alex slip through her fingers and is particularly keen to keep Stevie out of the picture.

Langstone hints at some major developments.

"There are several major storylines that occur a few episodes in and it gets rather uncomfortable for Fiona in several ways. I can't let on but it's very big and extremely dramatic and was a real challenge to film."

McLeod's is also hugely popular in Langstone's home country, but lags a week behind, with family and friends anxiously awaiting her first appearance.

"I think they're looking forward to seeing it actually and mocking my Australian accent. I'll never hear the end of it," she laughs.

McLeod's Daughters, Nine, Wednesday 7.30pm

By Catriona Mathewson
February 09, 2006
The Courier Mail