The chance to explore the complexities of the mother-child relationship in new movie Blessed was too much to pass up for mothers Miranda Otto, Deborra-lee Furness and Frances O'Connor.
The Australian actresses join forces in director Ana Kokkinos's film, adapted from the play Who's Afraid of the Working Class?
Furness plays Tanya, a married mother of a teenage boy and the family's sole breadwinner. Otto is Bianca, who is more like a sister than a mother to teenage Katrina. O'Connor is Rhonda, a welfare-dependent woman whose three children have different fathers.
Speaking before the world premiere of Blessed at the Melbourne International Film Festival yesterday, the four women said they were drawn to the project because of the powerful bond between mother and child.
"It's about mothers and children and I think that's something we probably all relate to," O'Connor said. "It's the first relationship you have and it's a very intimate relationship and it's something that influences you for the rest of your life in all your other relationships. So it's very powerful because of that."
Otto, Furness and O'Connor all have four-year-old children.
"It's a huge responsibility," Furness, wife of Hollywood star Hugh Jackman, said. "Because, if there's something dysfunctional that's going on, you are going to hand it on to that child and that child's going to hand it on.
"You look at the characters in this film, like Frances's character - you can see obviously her mother would have handed on not a very positive message."
Haralabidou is pregnant with her first child, and said she found it fascinating watching the finished film and taking notes. She found out she was pregnant at the time.