Miracle Workers' Geraldine Viswanathan Is Challenging Stereotypes (and No Longer Afraid of Harry Potter)

Australian actor Geraldine Viswanathan is breaking out in Hollywood with a series of complex, stereotype-busting roles in Blockers, Hala and Miracle Workers

By Ashley Spencer Feb 13, 2019 1:57 AMTags
Watch: How Daniel Radcliffe Put Geraldine Viswanathan At Ease on "Miracle Workers"

Geraldine Viswanathan is one of Australia's fastest rising stars—and she's doing it on her own terms.

The 23-year-old actor got her start in the Sydney comedy scene and broke out playing John Cena's daughter in 2018's Blockers. Now, she's back with a starring role in Stan's new series Miracle Workers where she plays an angel answering prayers alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi (as God).

"I just read the script and fell in love with it," she told E! News of the comedy series. "[Daniel] is so lovely, really funny and just immediately put me at ease. Even when we had our chemistry read together, he was just so nice when I was so scared. He's really funny too, so it's just great to bounce off of him."

But Newcastle-born-and-raised Viswanathan didn't always have such an appreciation for the Harry Potter star.

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"I've told him this—I watched the first Harry Potter when I was 8, and I had to leave the theatre because I got scared," she said. "There was a scene where the troll puts wands up his nose and, I don't know, I just couldn't handle it and I had to leave. I was clearly a big wuss."

One thing she's not afraid of: fighting for complex roles that challenge Hollywood's traditional ethnic and gender stereotypes.

"I've definitely always been aware of [being stereotyped] and knew that I didn't want to do that," said Viswanathan, who's of Swiss and Indian descent. "I've always wanted a broad range of options and to not get pigeonholed. So I've definitely been selective in what I think is appropriate for me and standing [my] ground in that way."

From playing Cena and Sarayu Blue's sporty, illicit substance-imbibing daughter in Blockers to starring as a skateboarding Muslim teen in Sundance hit Hala, the former Home and Away guest star is carving her own path in Hollywood. Notably, both of those films also have female directors, and 65 percent of Hala's key crew are women.

"It means everything… I think it makes all the difference," Viswanathan says of having female representation behind the camera. As for the roles she's being offered: "It's such an exciting time. The scripts have been amazing and I think female roles are getting more interesting and diverse and creative. I think creatives and showrunners are now thinking outside the box more. I feel very lucky to play these well-rounded characters."


Miracle Workers premieres Feb. 13 on Stan with new episodes weekly.

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