Melissa George said she was warned that Mosquito Beach would be “one of the hardest jobs” due to the “physical and mental” cost of shooting.
Known for Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Wife, the 46-year-old Australian actress is starring as the female lead Margot in the TV thriller series.
In the Apple TV+ series, she plays the wife of radical idealist and inventor Allie Fox, played by Justin Theroux, who exiles her family to Mexico, who suddenly finds herself fleeing from the US government.
You do an eight page dialogue scene and he takes 20 shots because he wants to see how far he can go.
Season two concludes on Friday, and the Foxes reunite to “determine the future of the family when an unexpected crisis threatens to end their journey once and for all.”
George said: “What I love about the role is that when I first signed for the cast of Rupert Wyatt, who directed the first two episodes, I was like, ‘This is going to be one of the hardest jobs, physically and mentally. It’s going to be tough, are you ready to do it?’ I said, ‘Yes, of course’.
“But then you don’t get all the scenarios at once, you only get the first one or two.”
He added that Metin Hüseyin “forced” the “hardest” of the directors throughout the series.
“You guys do an eight-page dialogue scene and he takes 20 shots because he seemed to want to see how far you could go,” George said.
He added that the second series saw the “incredibly complex” Margot “turn into a sort of pit of despair” and “start to unravel”.
“What I loved was that he clearly came from a very wealthy family, was an English professor, spoke the language, and then met Allie.”
She also said she understood Margot because she lived in a “foreign country” – France – where she was raising her two children.
George added: “When the odds are against you, which they were, and how you get over it on a daily basis, there’s so much of this maternal instinct and survival ability.
“So two lives – playing Margot and returning to France for my kids… The parallelism to me… it helped both parties and so, I had a lot of things ready to express on screen.”
Theroux’s uncle, Paul Theroux, father of documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, wrote the 1981 novel on which the thriller is based.
Theroux’s adventure story examining American society has received worldwide acclaim.
George said: “I know it was pretty organic for Justin, it wasn’t because of his family that he got the part. She got the role because it suited her, and that’s the fascinating part.
“So there was a lot of insight, because frankly, my character in the book was very different from what we showed in the show, and therefore, I had a new page, I could do whatever I wanted. Complete freedom to create this piece from scratch.”
George said he had never seen the 1986 big-screen version of the story starring Harrison Ford as Allie and Helen Mirren as Margot.
“How can you compete with the amazing Helen Mirren? It’s not possible, so I didn’t even start and scare it, it doesn’t work.
George hopes there will be a third season, adding, “It’s something you’re working towards, really, you often feel like a story is unfinished and an unfinished story is just sad, so I feel like there’s more left.”
Mosquito Coast is a Fremantle Production for Apple TV+. The second season will be available from January 6th.