Over the past four seasons, ABC’s Rosehaven followed the adventures of Emma and Luke, best friends and real estate agents. Written by and performed Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola, the fifth season of Rosehaven will be his last.
Media week spoke to Luke McGregor about the show’s conclusion, the filming of the Covid epidemics, and the number of on-screen serial killers.
End of the show
Even though the show ends on his own terms, McGregor says saying goodbye is a weird feeling.
“It hasn’t quite sunk yet. It’s almost like – it’s probably a little too dramatic – but because it’s the final season, it’s almost like every character in town is dead! We basically wrote the last dialogue they’ll ever say, so it’s sad to think I won’t hear anything from, say, Barbara or Damien, or any of those characters that we’ve grown to love writing for, because that they feel like real people to us now. It’s kinda weird.
“It’s sad, but at the same time, it was our choice to end it, so if I feel bad about it, it’s my fault.”
Working around the Covid
As the country continues to play musical chairs with state borders, McGregor says making sure everyone can be in the same place at the same time filming has required more planning than before.
“We had a few people that we were like ‘shoot them now’ because we were worried that Sydney would suddenly shut down, or that we were writing whole episodes around a character and we couldn’t get that actor anymore. But we got through. There were a few times we just had to get people down early, but otherwise it was pretty good.
There was, however, an unexpected benefit to the restrictions.
“It was the first time that we had no illness across all the actors and the team. Normally if someone gets a cold or a stomach ache or whatever, everyone gets it. Almost every season I’ve lost my voice because I grabbed something from someone, but because everyone was wearing masks this time around, we never spilled anything.
“We were lucky with Tassie to be lucky not to have an epidemic. My biggest fear was that Rosehaven would bring Covid to Tasmania, so thank goodness that didn’t happen! “
Filming in Tasmania
All along Rosehaven run, the Tasmanian framework has remained an important part of history. McGregor says The Apple Isle was the perfect place to define the fictional city.
“The good thing about Tassie is that she looks like a small town anywhere. Also, you have this past with beautiful hills, but you can drive 30 minutes and you are in town. It all felt like if Rosehaven was real, this is where he would be.
“When people think of rural Australia they think of the desert and the heat, the sand and the brown, so we wanted to do something a little greener and show a different part of the Australian hinterland. . “
Connecting with the public
Over the past four seasons, Rosehaven won 20 award nominations and eight wins. McGregor isn’t totally sure what makes Rosehaven resonate with so many people, but he has a few ideas.
“Maybe the fact that it’s a little slower pace, a little smoother. Maybe part of this is that it’s not that common to see a platonic relationship between a man and a woman who doesn’t-they-don’t-aren’t-they reunite. And it’s not because one of them has a different sexual preference, it’s just because they’re just friends and that’s it.
“I’m not really sure I’m being honest. This could be our outstanding writing and performance, I have no idea! “
Australians on screen
McGregor says it’s important for Australians to be able to see themselves reflected across the screen.
“It’s really important, and especially in times like these we live in, we’re all stuck inside.
“It’s also very important for the rest of the world to see Australia from a different perspective. A lot of our blockbuster movies involve criminals and serial killers, so it’s good to have other shows as well. I’m a big fan of these shows, but maybe it’s better for tourism for people to see something other than a serial killer in the outback!
Rosehaven season five, starts Wednesday, August 4 at 9 p.m. on ABC and ABC iview