Centred around the exploits of Nash Taylor, a fictional stalwart of Sydney’s indie rock scene, you’d be forgiven for thinking the new ABC2 comedy-drama I Rock is in thrall to the skinny-jeans boy brigade who dominate alternative rock. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Taylor (Josh Mapleston) and his bandmates in also-ran outfit Boy Crazy Stacey are a rather charmless bunch of no-hopers, while the show’s most fearlessly strong character is Cara Killjoy (Kate Sherman), openly gay lead singer of electro-pop outfit the Little Ponies. In the first episode, she even snatches herself a hot girlfriend from under the hapless Taylor’s nose.
That girl, the dippily-named Comet, is played to perfection as an indie ingenue by young actress Ashley Fitzgerald.
She told Sydney Star Observer that viewers might find it hard to get a handle on her character at first.
“The question during the whole show is ‘Who the hell is this girl?’ But having said that, Comet is definitely fun, friendly and loveable.”
Early in that first episode, Comet coyly insists to Nash that she’s never even been with a girl. Ten minutes later, she stops playing mid-set for a public pash-fest with Cara.
It seems Comet might be a bit more cunning that she originally lets on.
“Definitely. She’s got a few tricks up her sleeve, and they’ll be revealed through the course of the season,” Fitzgerald teased.
And how did she and Kate feel about those rather gung-ho kissing scenes?
“Kate is so beautiful, she’s really lovely. I actually met up with her and her girlfriend before filming started, and her girlfriend gave us some advice: ‘Guys, just make it look damn real, OK?’ I think everyone around us was more nervous than we were.”
Fitzgerald said she was pleased to be involved in a show that cast women as powerful players in the boys club of indie rock. Even Nash’s token ‘groupie’ ex-girlfriend, played by acclaimed theatre actress Alison Bell, is a powerful music blogger with industry clout he doesn’t quite seem to grasp every time he treats her like dirt.
“The women are all so strong. I love Kate’s character Cara the most, she just kicks arse. And Kate herself is a tiny, tiny girl, but she exudes all this strength. She’d kick any boy’s arse.”
The show’s eight-episode season is also peppered with cameos from a litany of Australian music identities, including Laura Imbruglia and You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, with whom Fitzgerald had one memorable scene.
“Tim was great, he was really down-to-earth but at the same time quite flamboyant and extraordinary. I didn’t realise, but the outfit he was wearing in our scene was his own. The first thing I said to him was, ‘Oh my God, what a wild costume!’
“He said ‘what costume?’ ”
info: I Rock screens 9pm Monday nights on ABC2.