Why does Lucky drive, and not fly, across the country? Because he’s travelling with an upright piano. Why is Lucky travelling with an upright piano? In his words, he doesn’t have a choice. Finding out the real answer to that question is one of Upright’s mysteries, like the question of why Meg is really running away, and what they’ve both been running from.
Meg is tough, resourceful and one of the most entertainingly foul-mouthed characters you’ll meet on TV. Alcock is terrific in the role. Her comic timing is spot-on, and she gives her character the perfect balance of stay-away grit and flashes of I’m-hurting vulnerability. As the miles clock up, her story starts to unravel and both characters learn about the unspoken secrets in each other’s pasts. It’s a tightly written, very well-acted tragicomedy that brims with ambition for the future of Australian TV on an international scale.
The producers saw many, many young actors for the role, but Alcock nailed it from her first audition. As well as being able to match Minchin’s timing in the rapid-fire dialogue in the cab of Meg’s ute, Alcock “just gobbles up those dramatic moments” says creator-producer Chris Taylor.
As one of Upright’s two lost souls, Meg’s unpredictability is what drives much of the plot. From picking fights in biker bars to showing her steel and damage in every encounter she and Lucky have along the way, Meg is certainly no cutesy sidekick there only to develop Lucky’s sense of nurturing. She’s a lead in her own right. As Alcock jokes to Tim Minchin in this behind the scenes video, “People are going to watch it because of you, but they’re going to stay because of me.” He cracks up as intended, but she’s not wrong. It’s no wonder House of the Dragon‘s creators looked at Alcock and saw a royal dragonrider.