Comedian and media personality Celeste Barber is set to lead and executive produce Netflix series Wellmania, an Australian dramedy to be shot in Sydney.
Inspired by the book Wellmania: Misadventures in the Search for Wellness by author and journalist Brigid Delaney, the eight-episode half-hour series will have Barber playing human tornado Liv, who finds herself forced to rethink her ‘live fast die young’ attitude after a major health crisis. Liv decides to embark on a wellness journey, trying everything from the benign to the bizarre as she endeavours to get well quick and reclaim her old life.
“I’m so excited about this project, the whole team is awesome,” Barber said in a statement. “We’ve been working on it for a while and I’ve been busting to tell everyone about it. I’m drawn to projects that centre around interesting, dynamic and complex lead female characters and that’s exactly what Wellmania is. I’m stoked to be working with Netflix and tell this Australian story to an international audience, and to also be an executive producer so I can boss people around.”
Belinda King (Cleopatra in Space) and Benjamin Law (The Family Law) are on board as co-executive producers and lead the writing team. Romina Accurso (The Heights, Spreadsheet) is attached as script producer and writer, and Nick Coyle (Sarah’s Channel) and Amy Stewart (Hardball) are among the writers. The overall series is being produced by Fremantle Australia (Executive Producers: Chris Oliver-Taylor and Warren Clarke, Producer: Bree-Anne Sykes).
Said Que Minh Luu, Netflix’s Director of Content in Australia and New Zealand: “Celeste embodies exactly what Netflix ANZ is striving for – sparking global love for being our quintessentially Australian and funny selves. The search for wellness and meaning is a fundamentally human drive, and in a post-pandemic world this quest carries for us more weight than ever. To have an artist with Celeste’s warmth and comedic talent guide us through the extremes, triumphs and revelations of self-improvement and understanding is an absolute delight, and one we know our members will love.”
This marks Barber’s second role in a Netflix project. Before you see her in Wellmania, you can hear Barber as the voice of Skylar the koala in Netflix’s animated feature Back to the Outback, now streaming.