Posted on April 22nd, 2011 by Frederik

On showtime’s United States of Tara, Toni Collette, 38, plays a peculiar suburban mom who inhabits seven other identities, including a gun-toting guy. We checked in with the eighth version of Collette, the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress herself, pregnant (at press time) with her second child and due in late April, from her home in Sydney.

How did you hide your pregnancy on the show?

By “standing behind large objects. So I’m stirring lots of large pots and carrying lots of plants and books.”

How do you and your husband divide parenting?

Collette and her husband, musician Dave Galafassi, who have recorded an album together, “share everything. My husband is supportive, handsome, a useful human being. He’s a miraculous man. They do exist.”

What misconceptions do we Americans have about Australians?

“We live in the outback with kangaroos and don’t have cosmopolitan cities and lives.”

Posted on March 28th, 2011 by Frederik

Promotion for the third season of “United States of Tara”, which premieres tonight on Showtime, has been quiet – probably due to Toni Collette’s pregnancy. However, USA Today has put together a nice piece on the show including an interview with Toni: It’s one thing to nail an American accent as an Australian. It’s another to master seven of them. And it’s yet something else to do so from more than 7,000 miles away, as Sydney native Toni Collette has done in her role as Tara Gregson, the Kansas housewife and mother with dissociative identity disorder at the heart of Showtime’s United States of Tara. The series returns for a third season Monday night (10:30 ET/PT). No matter that Collette lives Down Under. On Tara, she talks as though she lives down South (as beer-swilling, motorcycle-cruising, Y-chromosome-owning Buck), downtown (as Noo Yawk feminist therapist Shoshana Schoenbaum) and down in some Midwestern basement (as gum-snapping, ponytailed, teenage T). And those are only three of Tara’s alter egos. Collette, 38, has never worked with a dialect coach on the show. She credits her uncanny — and Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning — ability to inhabit thoroughly Yankee characters so convincingly to “a misspent youth watching too much American television.” But her talent for drawling twangs and nasally honks aside, “I’m attracted to roles that have a sense of truth to them and a sense of universality to the story,” regardless of geography and demography, Collette says.

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Posted on February 25th, 2011 by Frederik

The Australian has recently interviewed Toni Collette in their 10 questions section.

Many scenes from your films are indelible. Your character Lynn in The Sixth Sense bursting into tears in the car as her son (Haley Joel Osment) says he has spoken to her dead mother. Muriel’s Wedding, in which you joyously stride down the aisle with that fantastic Cheshire cat grin on your face. That powerful scene in The Hours, in which Kitty’s bubbly façade momentarily drops away and she falls into the arms of Laura (Julianne Moore). Are scenes like this all about instinct – or burn-the-midnight oil rehearsal? I prefer less rehearsal and more thought before a scene. I’m open to rehearsing if my collaborators are that way inclined. But most people waste the time playing stupid and fruitless games. Literally. I have only worked with a couple of directors who really use the rehearsal period in a beneficial way. Generally, if I am truly meant to play a character I have an instant alignment with the scene and the way it’s to be played as soon as I read it. I can see and feel it as I read it for the first time. It gets me all stirred up and excited. So rehearsing can feel like it gets in the way of an honest moment one might want to save for the camera.

The Academy Awards are on this weekend. Do you enjoy the big award shows like the Oscars and the Emmys? Yes, from home. I always have. But most are too long, wouldn’t you say? They’re also fun in reality but too nerve-wracking to be entirely enjoyable.

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Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Frederik

Article courtesy USA Today. Americans know all about the impressive acting chops of Oscar nominees (and past winners) Nicole Kidman and Geoffrey Rush. Which is why fellow Aussie Toni Collette is happy that another countrywoman, 63-year-old supporting actress nominee Jacki Weaver, is getting her due stateside.

She is an Australian legend and no one’s really known her outside Australia, so I’m absolutely thrilled for her,” Collette, 38, tells USA TODAY’s Olivia Barker. “It’s really encouraging for older actors also to know that this can happen at a later stage in your career.

The very pregnant Collette was “bummed” to have missed this year’s Globes. She was up again for the best TV series actress, musical or comedy award for her role on Showtime’s United States of Tara, whose third season premieres March 28 (Collette lost out to Laura Linney). Her bursting belly – she’s due this spring – was only part of the reason for her absence. “I could not foresee myself gathering the energy and getting back on a plane for 14 hours,” says Collette, who already has a daughter, Sage, 3. Her character Tara Gregson, however, won’t be adding to her brood of two: The pregnancy wasn’t written into the show. “It’s just a matter of standing behind large objects,” says Collette, who was about five months along by the time shooting wrapped. And like with many second pregnancies, she started showing sooner. “So I’m stirring lots of large pots in the kitchen and carrying lots of plants and books.” As for the alleged Hollywood baby boom she’s a part of, Collette chalks some of it up to media hype. Still,

Perhaps it is a sign of the time we are living in,” she says. “It used to be common for women to become stay-at-home mums, forced to make a decision between motherhood and the workplace. These days women can actually do it all, so younger female actors are more present in all states of womanhood.

Posted on June 25th, 2009 by Frederik

The Australian Women’s Weekly has an article on Toni in its July issue: Toni Collette has come a long way from her difficult 20s. Today, she is a successful actress with a loving husband and beautiful daughter, who has found her true path, as she tells Michael Sheather. Toni Collette’s smile is practically incandescent. In the grey and shadowy confines of a rooftop office, not far from Sydney’s CBD, Toni, the 36-year-old actress and star of such international hits as Muriel’s Wedding, The Sixth Sense and Little Miss Sunshine, radiates a welcome warmth and brightness on a cold winter’s morning. The full article can be read here.

Posted on January 17th, 2009 by Frederik

The Los Angeles Times’ Envelope dishes on “United States of Tara”‘s future possible victory at the awards circuit, pointing out how award voters welcome these kind of split-personality roles: Looks like United States of Tara” – written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and starring Oscar and Emmy nominee Toni Collette as a woman besieged by multiple personalities – will be a formidable force at the Emmys, Golden Globes and other awards ahead. The parent network of “The United States of Tara,” Showtime, has emerged as a major player at the Emmys and Golden Globes in recent years. Voters of showbiz awards are suckers for these kind of split-personality roles we see in “Tara.” Maybe they feel like they’re getting a real bargain – several performances for the price of one vote? The full article can be read here.

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