The Land Down Under has certainly become a hotbed of filming activity as of late. As The Guardian notes, “Generous government financial incentives and a comparatively virus-free environment turned Australia into one of the world’s busiest film-making hubs.” Just a few of the productions to recently make use of the country’s gorgeous landscape include the 2021 Hulu drama “Nine Perfect Strangers,” NBCUniversal’s upcoming “Joe Exotic” series, Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated “Elvis” film and the new Netflix show “Pieces of Her.”
The latter, which hit the streamer in early March, is based upon best-selling author Karin Slaughter’s 2018 thriller of the same name and tells the story of Andy Oliver (Bella Heathcote), a 911 operator whose life changes while out to lunch one afternoon when her mild-mannered speech therapist mother, Laura (Toni Collette), thwarts a mass shooting at a local eatery by dramatically slitting the killer’s throat. The chilling event turns Andy’s normal existence upside-down as she begins to realize that her mother isn’t who she has purported to be, setting her off on a dangerous path to piece together the mystery of her life.
Initially quite scintillating, “Pieces of Her” soon starts to ebb and flow, resulting in a storyline that limps rather draggingly through its final acts. As such, it wasn’t exactly well-received by audiences, with one Redditor commenting, “The first episode, to be fair, was what hooked me; the rest just about killed my will to live.” Viewers especially took umbrage with Andy, with practically the entire internet grumbling over her increasingly infuriating actions.
At least the show’s locations are pretty! Set mainly in the fictional seaside town of Belle Isle, Georgia, the production team followed a circuitous route before eventually deciding to set up shop in Australia. As detailed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The series was originally going to shoot for three months in Vancouver after Georgia was ruled out in part because the producers were upset by a strict anti-abortion bill passed by the state legislature in 2019 that was later struck down by a federal judge. Then the pandemic happened. The producers pivoted and landed in Australia instead, where key actors like Heathcote and Collette are from.”
Though quite a few scenes did end up being lensed in the Peach State, the series’ primary locales, including the main houses, can all be found in the Land Down Under. The stunning Gothic Revival estate belonging to the wealthy Queller family is actually The Swifts, an 1882 manse located just steps from the southern edge of Sydney Harbor in Darling Point. The modern monolith where the U.S. Marshals take Laura mid-series, a masterpiece of concrete and glass known as the Harry & Penelope Seidler House, is situated just 10 miles away in the suburb of Killara.