interview by JANA LETONJA

Australian actress Marlo Kelly starred in the successful Netflix series ‘3 Body Problem’, which was just renewed for a second season. Marlo got her start playing ‘Skye Peters’ on the Australian series ‘Home and Away’, and quickly broke out in the US starring on the series ‘Dare Me’. 

Marlo, we’ve just been able to watch you in Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’, a thrilling story based on the international bestseller. How did you get cast on the series and what attracted you to the script?
I was cast through a self tape from Sydney, Australia. I filmed two scenes and then was asked to get on a Zoom call with showrunners David, Dan and Alex, which typically, at that stage for a big project, would be a session where they give you notes for the next round of auditions. I signed onto the call with my script in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other, ready to do the scenes, but then they started talking about when I’d commence filming and asking me what accent Tatiana should have and I slowly realised I had the job. It was equally unexpected and wonderful. I immediately fell in love with the scope of the story they were trying to tell. ‘3 Body Problem’ touches on every aspect of humanity and it doesn’t hold back. That was really exciting and refreshing to me. 

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gloves ERDEM

What made you connect with your character Tatiana the most?
Tatiana is an enigma of continuous contradictions. One minute she’s smiling sweetly, eyes filled with tears of love, and the next she’s ruthlessly killing someone. And sometimes she’s doing both those things at once. She completely fascinates me and I love the challenge of grounding her, making her real. I connected with her through her drive, which I definitely have a piece of, and how she feels everything really intensely. We’re similar there too, except I have healthier ways of managing my emotions.

How was it working with such an amazing cast and crew?
It was really inspiring. My goal for the year I booked ‘3 Body Problem’ was to work with people who challenged me and I found it in the best way possible with this team. Everyone is always working at such a high level and then continuing to push further. I really couldn’t have asked for a better group. 

top & skirt TOD’S

What was your favourite scene and storyline from the first season of ‘3 Body Problem’?
For me, Ye Wenjie’s arc is the heart of the story. Early into filming, I remember being on set watching Zine Tseng film the scene where a bucket of ice water is thrown on Ye in prison and being stunned, not only by her performance, but by the reality of that story. This isn’t just sci-fi, it’s history too. And I think the character of Ye Wenjie and the intelligence with which Zine Tseng and Rosalind Chao portray her perfectly marries those elements together. 

The series has just been renewed for a second season. How exciting was hearing the news and what are you most looking forward to for the second season?
It was incredible. I was back home in Sydney when David, Dan and Alex told me and I’m really grateful I got to be with my family when I found out. It made it so special. I’m curious to see what extremes Tatiana will go to now. She’s lost everything but her faith, and her connection to the San Ti is closer than ever. I want her to let loose. 

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You started your acting career in your homeland Australia. How did your career develop outside of Australia?
From virtually the day I signed with my Australian agent, I started working with a dialect coach on US and British accents. I always knew I wanted that to be a part of my career so I pursued it very intentionally. After I finished my contract on ‘Home and Away’, an Australian soap opera, I went over to the US and signed with a manager there. I then got incredibly lucky and the series ‘Dare Me’ came along. 

Working now on US productions, what do you miss the most about Australian projects?
There’s a very specific and quirky Australian humour that I miss, a la ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, that I don’t think can be replicated anywhere else. While at the other end of the spectrum, ‘Animal Kingdom’, ‘Somersault’, ‘Snowtown’, ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ are some of my all time favourite films. I love Australian cinema and I think we’ve only scratched the surface of the stories we have to tell. I’m itching to get back there and be a part of more Australian projects. 


What kind of projects do you look most forward to for the future of your career?
I genuinely look forward to the unknown. I’m always drawn to work that pushes the needle and explores new territories of storytelling. I’m looking forward to projects that terrify me and grow my craft. 

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earrings TORY BURCH
socks & pumps GIVENCHY

How do you enjoy spending your free days? What are some of your favourite free time activities and hobbies?
I’m a big reader and spend a lot of free days in bookstores. But when I’m not working or contractually obligated to be in one piece, I love skiing. I’m always hunting for a day on the slopes. Recently, I’ve started learning how to rollerblade, sew and play piano. I’m an absolute beginner at them all, but I like things that require a lot of focus. 

Where will we be seeing you in next? What can you share with us about your upcoming projects?
I can’t share much, but everyone turn your Netflix notifications on for Season 2 of ‘3 Body Problem’. 

full look GIVENCHY

stylist NATA BOCHA
styling assistant ALENA ALIFIRUK
photography assistant HYNING GAN
editor-in-chief TIMOTEJ LETONJA
editorial director & interview JANA LETONJA