An Australian TV network has pulled funding from a BBC/Sundance Channel miniseries — because its lead actress, Elisabeth Moss, isn’t Australian.
Moss was cast last week in “Top of the Lake,” a BBC miniseries in which she plays a detective investigating the disappearance of a young pregnant girl who’s also the daughter of a drug kingpin. (Sundance is co-producing it and will air it in the U.S.) Holly Hunter and Peter Mullan (“Trainspotting,” “Red Riding”) also star.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. initially kicked in some money for the project as well, but has now withdrawn that commitment after the casting of “Mad Men” star Moss. (The miniseries is set and will film in New Zealand.)
“We went into this with the understanding the lead actor would be an Australian. But when that could not happen, we removed ourselves from the deal,” a network spokesperson tells Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper. “We love Elisabeth Moss, but she’s not an Australian. We have a fine caliber of Australian actors available and we would have preferred to see one of them in the role.”
Another co-producer, UKTV, has stepped in to fill the funding gap, the paper reports.
Oscar winner Jane Campion (“The Piano”) is directing “Top of the Lake” and co-wrote it with Gerard Lee.