Megan Hajjar in ‘M4M’

Since graduating from WAAPA in 2016 Megan Hajjar has built an impressive resume with roles in Breath, Love Child, The Secret Daughter, Harrow and the upcoming movies M4M and The Naked Wanderer.

You may not recognise the name because, until recently, she was known as Megan Smart. The actor has decided to use Hajjar, her mother’s maiden name, to more closely identify with her Lebanese heritage.

“I wasn’t being considered for some Middle Eastern roles because the producers did not recognise my heritage,” she tells IF.

While she does play a Lebanese woman in Paul Ireland’s M4M, she mostly portrays characters whose nationality is incidental. For example, she had fun playing a serial killer named Charlotte in the ABC/Hoodlum Entertainment’s Harrow and troublemaker Anna Hennessy in Screentime/Seven’s The Secret Daughter.

In Alan Lindsay’s romantic comedy The Naked Wanderer she is cast as the former girlfriend of Angus McLaren’s Jake, who decides to walk nude 4,000 km up the coast of Western Australia, ostensibly for charity but with the secret goal of winning her back.

John Cleese has a key supporting role but he filmed all his scenes in the UK so did not interact with Megan. Umbrella Entertainment will release the film scripted by Callan Durlik.

In Umbrella Entertainment’s M4M, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, she plays Jaiwara, a Lebanese Muslim whose romance with loner musician Claudio (Harrison Gilbertson) causes tensions with her gangster brother Farouk (Fayssal Bazzi) and her mother (Doris Younane).

Hugo Weaving stars as Duke, a Melbourne crime boss, with Mark Winter, Daniel Henshall, Mal Kennard and John Brumpton as members of Duke’s gang. Winter took on the role of Angelo following the sudden death of Damian Hill and Henshall stepped in to play Winter’s character.

Megan describes watching Weaving at work as “pretty special” and found him down-to-earth and very supportive.

Currently she is working on Between Two Worlds, the Seven Studios drama created by Bevan Lee. Cold Feet’s Hermione Norris is the lead, Cate Walford, whose husband Phillip (Philip Quast) is a vicious, philandering business tycoon.

Through a shocking twist of fate, her world collides with the seemingly disconnected, warm and loving world of widow Sophia Grey (Sara Wiseman) and her footy star son and daughter.

Hajjar is Sophia’s daughter Bella, a musician, with Alex Cubis as her brother Danny, Tom Dalzell as the Walford’s son Bart and Melanie Jarnson as Bart’s girlfriend.

The cast members playing the Grey family gathered for dinner before shooting started to get to know each other. It is her first time working with the directors Kriv Stenders, Lynn Hegarty, Caroline Bell-Booth, Beck Cole and Michael Hurst.

Pleased with the progression of her career, she says: “It’s been pretty good. You prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

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