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Strife's Asher Keddie spills on moment she consoled 'devastated' fan

"It's been challenging in the ways that I wanted it to be."

Asher Keddie has had an amazing year, with the actress, 49, appearing in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and most recently, Strife, which is available to stream now on Binge.

The star spoke about the show, which is loosely based on Mia Freedman's book Work Strife Balance, to Yahoo Lifestyle and revealed what it was like to take on the role of Evelyn Jones.

Asher Keddie stars as Evelyn in Binge's Strife
Asher Keddie stars as Evelyn in Binge's Strife, which is based on Mia Freedman's book Work Strife Balance. Photo: Supplied

In the show, Evelyn's life is a mess. She's going through a divorce, her children aren't her biggest fans, and she's churning through a redundancy package while trying to get Australia's first women's website, Eve Life, off the ground. Evelyn is a character that some people may love and some may hate, but Asher tells us the role was "challenging in the ways" she wanted it to be.

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"I've enjoyed every moment of the process from developing who the character would become, and the ensemble and, yeah I really have enjoyed all of it, and it's been challenging in the ways that I wanted it to be," she tells us.

"And polarisation is great, by the way, that's what I think, and I'm all for it," the star adds with a laugh. "I think we can't keep igniting conversation that needs to happen unless there is some kind of polarisation. Otherwise, there's no rub there, you know? So that's what I like about the show a lot, is that it offers that, and cracks open discussion that we clearly all want to have."

'Wonderful energy'

Kylie Minogue and Asher Keddie on Strife
Aussie icon Kylie Minogue appears in an episode of the show, with Asher saying it was "wonderful to work" with her. Photo: Instagram/Binge

Asher reveals she had two people that she really wanted involved in the show, and she managed to get them both.

Aussie icon Kylie Minogue appears in an episode of the show, with Asher saying it was "wonderful to work" with her.

"She's great, she's got such a wonderful energy, and she's so front-footed, and she's so bright, she's got a great intellect," Asher says, adding, "She is very instinctive as well, which makes her a fantastic actress, and I just really wanted to do that with her, so I asked and she said yes. We just had a great time shooting that."

She added that she also really wanted Matt Day, who stars as her ex-husband, to be on the show and was thrilled that he also agreed.

Asher Keddie and Matt Day on Strife
Asher revealed she was so happy when Matt Day agreed to be part of the show and play her ex-husband. Photo: Supplied

"Matt Day, straight off the bat, that's who I wanted to play opposite as my ex-partner in the show. I knew he was right from the moment we started developing scripts," Asher explains. "I had met Matt and worked with him very briefly on [Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo] all those years ago.

"And I remembered our exchanges were kind of really robust, and I just thought, God, he's so smart, and he's so funny, made me laugh a lot. And he has the most incredible comic timing, he's so great. And I thought that's who it is, I just had a feeling about it, and so I was thrilled when he said yes, I think he's really good in the show."

'Extreme reaction'

Given Offspring had such a hold on the Australian public, it's unsurprising that Asher has had some 'extreme' fan encounters during her career, with the star sharing one particular story of a fan who was distraught when her character Nina's partner on the show, Patrick (Matt Le Nevez), died.

When asked about fan encounters, Asher laughs and tells us, "Oh, gosh, well, which one would you like me to begin with?"

Asher revealed that many fans were left distraught after Matt Le Nevez's character Patrick died on Offspring. Photo: Network Ten
Asher revealed that many fans were left distraught after Matt Le Nevez's character Patrick died on Offspring. Photo: Network Ten

"We were just talking about this storyline earlier, when Patrick passed away, which seemed to create an extreme reaction in the Australian public when that happened. I had one encounter in particular in a... pharmacy. Someone came up to me and was truly, truly angry and distraught that we had done that.

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"And truly, clearly thought she was talking to Nina or not me, I don't know, she was so confused, the poor thing, and she just was so devastated. So I think I spent like 20 minutes in that pharmacy that day trying to comfort her and explain why we chose to do what we do because it was really meaningful to her, and it had really rocked her world," she adds.

"So, when drama has that kind of impact, and it connects on that level, no matter whether it's a comedy, like Strife is, or it's something that you know, involves loss or grief. If an audience member has a reaction like that, I always appreciate it because I think, well, we've connected with you, and made you feel something, and that's why we do it, you know?"

All eight episodes of Strife are available to stream on Binge now.

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