And while that person is the hilarious Magda, Lawrence isn’t the only one surprised by her appointment. Top industry experts condemned the casting decision earlier this year.
“I don’t think the same effect is there,” says Lawrence. “It’s like replacing the lead character in a film, it’s going to be hard for viewers to see anyone other than mum.”
Certainly, Cornelia – who had starring roles in many famed Aussie sitcoms, including Kingswood Country – had the stern persona of the presenter down pat.
On the flip side, Magda’s struggled to win over viewers in the mean role, with the premiere episode attracting less-than-stellar numbers.
“Magda has a lot of humour, but I don’t think she has the persona to be of equal standard to Cornelia. But I would always say that because she’s my mum,” says Lawrence. “Cornelia would be rolling her eyes from heaven.”
A defiant Magda has since revealed she is not trying to emulate the late actress, who sadly died in 2018, insisting she will be sticking to her humorous strengths.
“It’s different to how it was before, and frankly I wouldn’t have done it if they still wanted those sorts of brutal take-downs,” she said last week. “In this version, there is much more humour applied than just being nasty.”
But despite Magda attempting to tone down Cornelia’s famous fierceness and approach to the role, the 60-year-old has not strayed away from getting critical in her real life.
The actress was widely condemned last month for her tweets comparing the prime minister’s wife, Jenny Morrison, to a character from dystopian TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale.
The show’s premiere was later delayed, but Magda has since put rumours to bed that the network bumped the show due her comments.
“It was an unthought-of mistake,” says Lawrence. “I watched her interview where she backtracked. I thought her response was quite weak.”
Despite staunch pride for his mother, Lawrence wishes nothing but the best for Magda – and says it was wise she went with a blonde bob over recreating his mum’s signature flaming locks.
“No-one can pretend to be a redhead – they are a breed of their own!”
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