Dorothèe Doutey is beautiful, mercurial and seventeen. She comes to Pine Hollow to straighten herself out. Six months before she arrived in Australia, she was Junior European Eventing Champion but her career underwent a huge setback when she had a serious fall while competing at Badminton. She broke her pelvis and spent eight weeks in hospital but she suffered an even bigger psychological trauma. There was a feeling on the part of the judges that she pushed her young horse Hugo too hard and this is what occasioned the accident.
She has completely lost her self-confidence and seems to be in denial about her whole horseriding life. She has become withdrawn and solitary. Her worried parents decide to send her to Pine Hollow hoping that the change of scenery might jog her out of her despondency and, as an added bonus, they send her beloved horse, Hugo, onto Pine Hollow to be waiting for her when she arrives.
The Saddle Club is intrigued by this enigmatic young woman and is determined to get to the bottom of her mystery.
One certainly has to give Matylda an A+ for ingenuity. When she learned the night before her audition that the character was French, a language she doesn’t speak, she jumped on the internet, found a site with French phrases and learned them. “It was a miracle that I found a website which had recordings of different accents, and during the audition, I kept apologizing profusely for my accent but tried to imitate the phrasing which I had learned. It must have been O.K. because here I am playing Dorothèe,” she says.
Actually, with Polish as her first language and three years tuition in German, Matylda’s skill with accents is above average. The daughter of Polish parents who came to Australia before she was born, Matylda has always been encouraged in her love of acting. “I was three when I started to appear in advertisements and from the time I was really young, I remember thinking acting was something I would do. I grew up in an atmosphere where my mother and I would be watching (say) British comedies and she would encourage me to talk with that accent and I got my love of acting out parts from that time,” Matylda explains.
A good horse rider, Matylda rides the hero horse Hugo in the series. There is some good-natured envy around the cast and crew that Matylda gets to ride him. “I learned riding for about eight years and I’m not scared of horses but it was necessary to spend time with Hugo, bonding with him, before I first rode him. He is just beautiful,” she says.
The camaraderie on set is making Matylda feel very welcome. “It’s awesome; you really couldn’t call it work. It doesn’t take long to feel part of the family. By the end of the second day, I was hugging the girls goodbye and exchanging phone numbers. It’s not surprising, I suppose, that when you spend ten hours a day with people, you bond very quickly. Since filming started, I see more of the crew and spend more time with them than I do with my mum,” Matylda tells us.
She is at first wrongly seen as cold-hearted and mean. But she has just arrived from France, where she was their National Junior champion. She probably pushed her horse too hard and had a fall while in a competition and she now has a limp. Dorothèe is traumatized by this and is sent to Pine Hollow to recuperate. Once she lets her defenses down, she is seen to be really compassionate and warm.
The Saddle Club™ series stars three heroines, Stevie, Carole and Lisa, who form The Saddle Club™ at the Pine Hollow Stables. Each character has a distinctly different personality but all share an equal love of horses and a strong loyalty to each other.
Copyright Crawford Productions Pty Ltd and Protocol Entertainment Inc 2010