Elsa Pataky, centre, in a scene from the TV series Tidelands.
Elsa Pataky, centre, in a scene from the TV series Tidelands. Jasin Boland/Netflix

Elsa Pataky makes a splash in first Aussie TV role

NETFLIX'S first original Australian production is a "no scales and no tails" take on the supernatural genre, set in a seaside town home to a community of half siren/half humans known as Tidelanders.

That made star Elsa Pataky's job of explaining her character to her three children - daughter India Rose and twin sons Sasha and Tristan - with Aussie husband Chris Hemsworth a bit tricky.

"They know I'm playing a character who is like a mermaid. They asked about a tail and I said 'They don't have tails' and they are like 'Why?' and I said 'It's not like The Little Mermaid'," she says during a visit to the show's set on Tamborine Mountain.

"They're interested about it, but they're also like 'whatever'. Their dad is Thor so the fact that I can say I am a mermaid is interesting for them."

Tidelands follows former criminal Cal (Charlotte Best) as she returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay. When the body of a local fisherman washes ashore, she must uncover the town's secrets while investigating its strange inhabitants.

Pataky's character Adrielle is the leader of the Tidelanders, who have special abilities but their half-breed nature also means they can never have children.

"They have these supernatural aspects to them which are interesting to build a character (around) and to play with," she says.

"They're very strong, they move differently, they're very confident with their physique and they're very free with their bodies. They have no shame or inhibitions. You don't have to be real all the time, which is very fun.

Aaron Jakubenko and Elsa Pataky in a scene from Tidelands.
Aaron Jakubenko and Elsa Pataky in a scene from Tidelands. Jasin Boland

"Adrielle sees herself as the mother of the people with no mothers. She tries to teach them and show them what's good for them, even when they don't know what's good for them.

"There's so much history in her, which is amazing. She's seen everything; she knows human beings and what they've done."

The eight-part fantasy crime drama, produced for Netflix by Brisbane-based Hoodlum Entertainment, was filmed earlier this year in South-east Queensland, with North Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast hinterland providing stunning backdrops.

Elsa Pataky in a scene from Tidelands.
Elsa Pataky in a scene from Tidelands. Jasin Boland/Netflix

The proximity of the sets to Pataky's Byron Bay home meant she could balance filming with school pick-ups.

"That was one of the reasons I was really excited to do this project; usually you have to leave your family," she says.

"To be working and be a mum at the same time is great."

Tidelands is available to stream on Netflix from tomorrow.