Laura Gordon plays the mysterious Cal in Secret City: Under the Eagle.
Laura Gordon plays the mysterious Cal in Secret City: Under the Eagle. Tony Mott

Strap in for twists and turns in political thriller's return

LAURA Gordon doesn't like being vague about her role in Secret City, but it's a necessity.

The actor, best known for her roles in Winners & Losers and the short-lived Syfy series Hunters, is one of a handful of actors joining the award-winning political thriller's already stellar cast.

Logie-winner Anna Torv, Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver and Sacha Horler all return in season two, titled Under the Eagle, which continues to peel back the mask to expose the true face of political power in Canberra.

"I saw the first two episodes on a plane when it first came out and then I ended up catching up with the rest of it before I shot season two," Gordon says.

"It's very, very strong television and it was so fun knowing I was about to jump in and be a part of it. It's a tight, taut script with so many twists and turns."

Danielle Cormack, left, joins returning stars Anna Torv and Jacki Weaver in season two of Secret City.
Danielle Cormack, left, joins returning stars Anna Torv and Jacki Weaver in season two of Secret City. Tony Mott

Secret City: Under the Eagle begins several years after series one, with Harriet Dunkley (Torv) out on parole after doing time in prison courtesy of the all-powerful Catriona Bailey (Weaver) and her draconian free speech legislation.

Gordon plays Caroline 'Cal' Treloar, a woman who had a promising career as a pilot with the RAAF.

"She served in Afghanistan and something traumatic happened there which lead to her developing PTSD," she says.

"She's not in the military anymore and when we find her in episode one she has been captured. We don't know what's happened but she's having this panic attack in the back of this van. She escapes and is on the run, and a lot of people are interested in where she is. You don't know if she's bad or a victim.

"It feels like everybody else is in House of Cards and I'm in a Jason Bourne movie."

Laura Gordon in a scene from Secret City: Under the Eagle.
Laura Gordon in a scene from Secret City: Under the Eagle. Tony Mott

As part of her preparation for the role, Gordon spoke with Australian and American veterans to get a sense of what it's like living with PTSD.

"Getting first-hand accounts on what it's like living day-to-day with PTSD was really helpful," she says.

"It absolutely was my way in (to the character). Then it was just a matter of, on the day, thinking about what's really going on underneath for Cal. She's trying to keep a lid on it as best she can, but she has these really specific tasks she needs to achieve. It's something that's always ever present underneath."

Viewers will have to tune in to see how Cal fits into the wider story and what leads to her crossing paths with ex-journo Harriet.

"I feel like I'm on a first date and I'm being really coy (laughs) but it's for the good of the audience," Gordon says.

"She's obviously in possession of some knowledge or information that a lot of people are very interested in getting off her. There are a lot of quite shady, shadowy characters hunting her down. It's a question of how high up in the government does this go?"

Secret City: Under the Eagle premieres on Monday at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW on Fox Showcase.