BBC Online (2002)
Interview with Toni Collette
April 23, 2002 | Written by Sian Kirwan
How did you get involved with the film?

I had no idea the project was happening. I was at home in Australia having a very relaxing time lying under a tree, when the phone rang and I was told that I'd been offered this part opposite Hugh Grant! I couldn't believe my ears and I just went, "Oh my God, Happy Saturday!" I hadn't read or heard of Nick Hornby's book previously, so when they sent me the script, I realised how potentially great it could be and immediately accepted. The reason I like it so much is that it's so realistic, quite poignant, and deals with serious issues. But at the same time it's also incredibly funny. You've worked with two child leads now, Haley Joel Osment for "The Sixth Sense" and Nicholas Hoult. Do you enjoy working with children? I love kids, so working with them wasn't a problem. They were both very different, though. Nick is a sweet, beautiful, innocent, talented little kid who is still new to the business. Haley was completely different. He's been working for a long time, was very clear about everything, and a complete professional - he knew the business inside out.

In "About a Boy" you play a depressed single mother. How did you get into the mindset of the character?

When I got offered the role, I'd been working pretty much non-stop since "Muriel's Wedding" and hadn't had a break for ages, so maybe that helped contribute to the film, I don't know. I also have to cry a lot, so perhaps the fact that I was exhausted helped! But, I think depression hits everyone at some stage of their lives.

What was it like working with Hugh Grant?

Great. He's very funny, very witty, very smart, and a generous actor. I'd work again with him in a flash.

Are you planning to stick with making Hollywood movies?

No, not necessarily. I'm going back to Australia to shoot a film called "The Japanese Story". We're filming in the middle of the desert so it's going to be lots of open space, silence, and red dirt. I can't wait. But I tend to just go with the flow, whatever comes up and feels right. I don't mind where I work, it's really nice to be able to travel around and taste the flavours of different countries.