Kitty Flanagan, Julia Zemiro and what happens when friends battle it out for a Logie

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When a producer approached comedian Kitty Flanagan with the idea of doing a show set in the world of probate, she agreed immediately. “Then I went, ‘What’s probate?’” she quips.

Probate is the area of law that concerns death, and it’s the setting for the ABC’s award-winning Fisk, which Flanagan stars in, co-writes with her sister Penny, and co-directs with Tom Peterson. Rounding out the cast are Julia Zemiro, Marty Sheargold and Aaron Chen.

Both Flanagan and Zemiro have been nominated for a Silver Logie this year for most popular actress, which Flanagan won last year. This year’s winners will be revealed on Sunday night. The two realised a long-held dream of working together in the show, playing Helen Tudor-Fisk and Roz Gruber in the suburban law firm Gruber and Associates.

Finding the laughs in probate law: Flanagan plays Helen Tudor-Fisk with Zemiro as Roz Gruber.

“We wanted to make sure it was a really low-rent law show, not a glamorous, everyone-in-heels kind of show, you know, Meghan Markle in Spanx,” Flanagan says. “The real law is done in offices with files piled high and people walking around acting like normal people do in an office.”

Although the show is tightly scripted, there are moments of ad-libbing, usually once the official scene is shot. “We learnt in the first season not to call cut too soon. When the script runs out the comedians don’t just stop … everyone just keeps going, and Julia is the worst/the best,” says Flanagan.

Kitty Flanagan: “I would be so happy if Julia took home a silver man.”Credit: Rebecca Bana

“Improvisation is her stock-in-trade, the rest of us will stop and Julia will just keep going. We don’t have any outtakes with Julia in them unless it’s someone else cracking up at what Julia is saying, because she just Rozzes on. We’ve had so many good bits, with Marty, Aaron and Julia adding their own little buttons at the end.”

“I love that you’ve turned Roz into a verb,” Zemiro laughs.

Already airing in the UK and in France – where it won best series in the comedy section of the Series Mania TV Festival in 2021 – Fisk will be available onNetflix on August 1. Right now the Flanagan sisters are currently writing series three.

At Sunday night’s Logies, the sitcom is nominated for four awards in total, including most popular comedy program and most outstanding comedy program, as well as the dual most popular actress nominations.

Going head to head with a good friend and cast mate for an award seems potentially awkward but for these two, it’s joyous.

With Zemiro playing Roz Gruber, the makers of Fisk hold off on calling ‘cut’.

“If one of us wins, I’ll be absolutely delighted, if not, [I’m] thrilled to be nominated. I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s so nice of people to vote, especially when we’ve wanted to work together for ages, we’re really good friends,” says Flanagan. “I would be so happy if Julia took home a silver man, or whatever that thing is.”

Attached to the show from the beginning, Zemiro was nervous about tackling her first straight acting role in decades.

“I tend to be a little bit 10 out of 10 in performance,” the Rockwiz co-host says. “I said [to Kitty], ‘Feel free at any point in the day to say, lower that volume and make it a 3 out of 10 – or even a six out of ten.’”

Flanagan is touring her live show in Adelaide this week, so will miss Australian TV’s so-called night of nights.

Zemiro is at the ready to collect the silverware should their names be called – and convinced she’ll appear on any subsequent Worst Dressed Lists, as she did some years ago. “I’ll be on it, you watch,” she says.

Held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and aired on channel Seven for the first time since 1995, voting is open now and closes on the day of the ceremony, while Gold Logie voting will remain open throughout the telecast until 10.30pm.

Follow our live coverage of the 63rd Logie Awards this Sunday, with the red carpet arrivals from 3.30pm.

The Logies will air at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.

Fisk airs at 9pm on Wednesdays on ABC TV and ABC iView.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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