Madeleine's star continues to rise with Mystery Road
MADELEINE Madden knew she was in safe hands on the set of Mystery Road.
The new six-part drama centres on gruff Detective Jay Swan, made famous in director Ivan Sen's award-winning 2013 film of the same name starring Aaron Pedersen.
Sen, who serves as an executive producer on the seires, is a close family friend of Madden and her aunt Rachel Perkins directs.
She plays Crystal, the estranged daughter of Detective Swan (Pedersen).
"Aaron is also a family friend and he used to babysit me when I was five or six," Madden says.
"He was very much a part of our lives then, but it wasn't until Mystery Road that I spent a lot of time with him again. It's quite funny how life is imitating art. Crystal is quite distant from her father and they reconcile when she's 18.
"It felt like I was working with family. My Aunty Rachel created such a wonderful vibe on set. You can go to a vulnerable place and feel protected."
Set in between the events of the original film and its 2016 sequel Goldstone, Mystery Road the series follows Detective Swan's investigation into a mysterious disappearance on an outback cattle station.
Working with local cop Emma James (Judy Davis), his investigation uncovers a past injustice that threatens the fabric of the whole community.
He's also saddled with the arrival of Crystal, who's run away from home, and his wife Mary (Tasma Walton) arrives in pursuit.
"Crystal's very feisty, smart and stubborn," she says.
"She doesn't know what she's running to, so she's taking a massive chance. Her dad's been really absent in her life, so it's a big moment for her to try to put her trust in him.
"She's always been in the way, secondary to his work. It was incredible for me to jump into this world Tasma and Aaron already filmed the movies."
Mystery Road follows Madden's international breakthrough in Foxtel's Picnic at Hanging Rock remake and viewers can expect to see more of her.
She's currently working on Netflix's first Australian TV series, the supernatural drama Tidelands, and recently wrapped filming on the political drama Pine Gap.
"I got the request to play Crystal at the end of filming Picnic and I was excited to jump on board because it was something so different," she says.
"The interest Picnic gained overseas has opened up some doors internationally for me. It's exciting to be a part of this new wave of television that has really strong female protagonists."
Mystery Road premieres on Sunday at 8.30pm on ABC-TV.