Life's a beach
After more than 10 years of working flat-out, Toni Collette has decided to slow down and smell the roses. In WA to make her latest film, she took time out for some recreation – and campaigning.
Toni Collette has decided enough is enough. After right years travelling the world, she reckons there’s more to life than living out of hotels and spouting someone elses lines. Goodbye to a nomadic existence, hello to a quieter life in her home town of Sydney and smelling the roses. “I know it’s a very luxurious statement to make, but I really, seriously don’t want to work,” she says. “I find acting very exhausting, its nothing I can do half-hearted. It just somehow pursues me even when I don’t want to. I’m much more aware about slowing down, simplifying, taking things easy and appreciating them – trying to give something else back other than an hour and a half on screen.”
Giving something back explains, perhaps, why Collette has chosen to join the Save Ningaloo Reef campaign against the proposal for a marina, and explains how the comes to be sitting down on small boat on the turquoise waters of Coral Bay. She’s just been snorkeling with boyfriend Dave Galafassi and novelist Tim Winton, and she’s excitedly recounting her underwater adventures – the snapper which nibbled her fingers, the shark below her and the four manta rays busy in a courtship ritual. “They were literally this close – a hand’s distance away! They were massive, huge and I swam with a shark! It wasn’t scary, it was just like another fish. It was quite beautiful and graceful and I can now say I’ve done it.” Collette is equally exuberant when describing the Pilbars where she spent two months filming Japanese Story this year, and the tall timber country of the South-West where she later took a holiday. “My jaw was literally dropping. I think it’s the best thing about Western Australia – there an all these rarities, that unique spots of absolute diversity. It’s totally awe-inspiring. On the drive between Millstream-Chichester National Perk and the Auski Roadhouse, I literally had tears streaming down my face- It’s just beautiful, it really does something to your soul… it somehow made me feel more Australian. I don’t know how to expand on that, but it really made me feel so proud of this country we are in.”
If the State Government is planning another marketing drive to promote eco-tourism, clearly it could do worse than consider bottling Collette s enthusiasm and giving it away at holiday expos around the world. Of course, if the Government gives the green light to the marina, Collette may not feel inching to cooperate. Nothing, she argues, should be done to endanger the marine life at Ningbo and the marina plan should be jettisoned. “I believe we should be living with the Earth and not merely upon it. This is the Earth that provides us with our life. Why do we feel we have to impose all these ridiculous ideas on it?” This is the first campaign to which she’s lent her celebrity weight. Her helter-skelter career has precluded such diversions to date. But as she gets older (she’ll be 30 next month) she’s more appreciative of what’s around her and is taking time to become more involved. “Life is bigger than f…cking making movies, let’s face it,” the earthy earth woman declares with a laugh. “Sometimes it can be very satisfying, sometimes it can be incredibly ditheartening. This makes me feel more creative than sitting around and waiting for someone to light a set”. [Article is not complete]