The Courier Mail (2007)
Collette's new role is motherhood
July 14 2007 | Written by Alyssa Braithwaite
Australian Academy Award-nominated actress Toni Collette is about to take on a part which might be her best fit yet - motherhood. The 34-year-old, best known for her work in The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine and Muriel's Wedding, this week revealed she is expecting her first child with husband Dave Galafassi. "We're very happy. We are completely over the moon," Collette said. The Sydney-born actress said it was a bit of a case of life imitating art, as she has played pregnant women in her recent films. "It is strange the last three films I've done I have been pregnant," Collette said. "I'm just like, what is the universe trying to tell me? But I think everything happens when it's meant to."

Her latest movie, Evening, is all about family, and the relationships between mothers, daughters and sisters. The film tells the tale of dying woman Ann, who reminisces about her life as a young woman and her one true love. In Evening, Collette has been cast alongside some of the greatest actresses of this generation: Glenn Close, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Claire Danes. The cast includes two sets of real-life mothers and daughters, Redgrave and Richardson, and Streep with her daughter Mamie Gummer. "It's an amazing line-up, isn't it?" Collette said.

"It was such an honour to work with all those amazing people. "I think there are very few films where women can really go for it and to have so many amazing parts in one story was just really brilliant." Despite the stellar cast, Collette said it was the story that attracted her to the film. "I read (the script) and by the end I was sobbing and I just found it to be so true and so beautiful and so moving," she said. Collette plays Nina, who is dealing with her mother's impending death, and grappling with some of her own life decisions at the same time.

The themes of love, loss and what is important in life are ones that are universally relatable, Collette says. "I think the one thing that everyone faces at some point in their life is losing someone that they love," she said. "I just think it's an incredible story because here's this woman who's come to the end of her life and the one person that she's thinking about is someone that she met years and years and years ago, and she's still living with that love and that want. "A lot of my work, I kind of gravitate toward stories that are about loss and about recovering from loss." These days the Academy Award-nominated actress splits her time between movies and music, having formed her band, Toni Collette and The Finish, with Galafassi on drums, last year. She says it's not difficult to find a balance for the two in her busy life.

"They're both really important to me," Collette said. "I think because of that you find time for each of them, so it's really not that difficult." Something else she had no trouble finding time for was participating in the Sydney Live Earth concert, which attracted a crowd of 50,000 as part of a round-the-globe series of shows designed to raise awareness of climate change. "That was such an amazing day," she said. "I was nervous leading up to it. I was having the pounding heart and the churning stomach, and then as soon as I got there I just calmed down. "But it's an amazing feeling to stand up there in front of so many people, especially knowing why everyone was there."

Collette said she was now looking forward to some down time. "I've been working nonstop since April of last year . . . and I think I'm going to take a little bit of time off," Collette said. "It's really nice to be able to do that."