July 26th, 2013       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments


Real character: Toni Collette in Sydney recently. Photo: Marco Del Grande

For many in Australia, Toni Collette is, and always will be, Muriel Heslop. It’s a role that has stuck with the prominent Australian actor as much for its own durability as for her capacity to elude stereotyping since. Playing a ”terrible” girl from Porpoise Spit shot Collette to international acclaim, laying the foundations for the array of extraordinary characters she has delivered on screen and stage since. Collette is the first to admit the ”profoundly life-changing experience” of Muriel’s Wedding (1994) gave her an ”unexpected career”.

In short, Collette is an enigma. The same can be said of her onscreen persona. The greatest theme to her roles might well be their lack of a theme. ”I’ve never been boxed in,” she says. ”After Muriel’s Wedding, I first went to America and I was sent all these scripts about fat girls overcoming hurdles. Something in me knew not to go down that road, even if it was a good script. I just never want to repeat myself. I also don’t want to be bored in life. The great luxury of being an actor is you get to be different people, and I would hate to be repetitive.” Her latest film, The Way Way Back, is no exception. The coming-of-age film is about a boy, Duncan, with a crippling lack of self-confidence and a divorcee mother (Collette) in a bad relationship, and who finds solace in a job at Water Wizz water park. The complete interview can be read at the Syndey Morning Herald’s official website and in the magazines archive.




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