The Advertiser (2004)
Toni's star turn in the City
December 2004 | Written by Elizabeth Rowe
Acclaimed Australian actor Toni Collette has arrived on the Adelaide set of her new film in footwear that would make Muriel Heslop very proud. In ugg boots, Collette, star of the 1994 hit film Muriel's Wedding, cut a low profile at the University of Adelaide yesterday where filming continued on the psychological thriller Like Minds. Writer Gregory Read's feature debut, the film is set against the backdrop of a privileged private boarding school. It centres on the story of 17-year-olds Alex Bennett and Nigel Colby, who develop a bizarre symbiotic relationship which ends with one of them dead.

Collette plays forensic psychologist Sally Rowe, who must determine if there is enough evidence to find Alex guilty of Nigel's murder. The film, which also stars renowned actor Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge and Van Helsing ), mostly will be shot in the UK. However, some scenes have been filmed in South Australia at locations including Port Adelaide and the Norton Summit cemetery. Collette was yesterday flanked by about 50 extras from SA Casting at the university's Barr Smith Library where a lecture room scene was shot. No attention to detail was spared to create a British feel on the set.

Telephone boxes in the university grounds were covered with British Telecom-coloured signs and only foreign-made vehicles were permitted to be parked nearby. Like Minds is being produced by Jonathan Shteinman, who was executive producer of Rabbit-Proof Fence , which was shot in the SA Outback. The film, partly financed by the SA Film Corporation, comes on the back of other SA-based features including the $11.4 million Pobby & Dingan , recently shot in Adelaide and Coober Pedy. Figures provided by the Australian Film Corporation show production spending, including film and television drama, in SA totalled more than $16 million in 2003-04.

Since her debut performance in Spotswood, Collette has appeared in 27 films, including The Sixth Sense, for which she won an Academy Award nomination in 2000, and Muriel's Wedding, which garnered her an AFI award and a Golden Globe nomination. Notoriously media shy, Collette has not spoken publicly in Adelaide about her role in Like Minds.