#ToTheFront: Yael Stone

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After the first half of the SBS miniseries Deep Water premiered this week, it is turning out to be an interesting and thought provoking show. The premise of Deep Water surrounds the gay-hate crimes that happened in the 80s and 90s. Thousands of assaults, even resulting in 80 murders of young gay men happened in this time, 30 of which still remain unsolved murder cases. Deep Water reopens the lack of investigation taken in this dark period, taking place in the modern day; Deep Water explores the prevalent hate that is still around for the LGBTI community.

Essential to the story telling process of Deep Water is the importance of character and acting. Australian actor Yael Stone is an amazing lead surrounded by a very highly concentrated cast of males. Stone’s character, Tori Lustigman, is a detective returning to Sydney with her son. Stone depicts a strong female lead that is tough, has a strong moral compass, and displays compassion and empathy all at once. Stone’s character essentially drives the detective solving show through personal connection to her case.

What I found interesting about Stone’s performance in Deep Water is that she is the only Female character to have development. For most part Stone’s interaction in the show is very male dominated. Danielle Cormack (Star of Australian show Wentworth) has a supporting role in the show, with very minimal lines. There is potential to see her growth in the second half of the series though.

Stone is originally from Sydney attending both Newtown High School of Performing Arts, and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). Her education in performing arts led her into theatre performing, and eventually into Australian Television where she had roles in All Saints and Spirited.

Additionally to Stone’s work on Deep Water, she is most commonly recognised for her work as Lorna Morello on the HBO show Orange Is The New Black in the US. Set in a female prison, Stone portrays the opposite to the detective in Deep Water – as an inmate. Her convincing Jersey accent and loveable charm on the show has made her a fan favourite to many.

Returning to Australian production for Deep Water is a nice way of connecting back to the industry Stone started her career in. Stone’s performance is extremely strong in the miniseries and demonstrates the seamless nature of the depiction of a strong female role in Australian media.


Deep Water picks up at 8:30 this Wednesday on SBS.


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