Collette ready for biggest role
Toni Collette deserves a rest. Not only is she juggling a thriving acting career, building a reputation as the lead singer of her band The Finish, and publicly committed to saving the planet, but she’s also just embarked on her biggest project yet: getting ready to be a mum.
“We’re over the moon,” says Collette, 34.
She confirmed to Insider that she and her musician husband, Dave Galafassi, will become first-time parents in a few months.
Having worked solidly since April last year, Collette has pledged to start taking it a bit easier.
Her last major commitment was at last weekend’s Live Earth concert in Sydney, which she says she found nerve-racking and amazing.
“I was so caught up in my own nerves about going on stage that it wasn’t until I went out and sat in the audience and became a part of that crowd that I felt the full force of what was going on. It was really moving.”
Having always had environmental concerns, she admits her commitment to the cause will be more pronounced now with a baby on the way.
Despite a hectic schedule over the past 12 months, which has included six films, a couple of music tours, an album release and performances at music festivals, Collette laughs at the suggestion that her life has been about little other than work.
“I am human – what are you saying?
I hang out with friends and we have dinner parties, explore Sydney, go walking, see family, read books, surf the Net. I do all the things that everybody does.”
That doesn’t include structured workouts. “I don’t go to gyms,” she says.
On the eve of the release of her latest Hollywood foray, the ensemble drama Evening, Collette spoke to Insider from the comfort of her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, snuggled up on the couch with her two dogs as the rain poured down.
Fittingly, Evening is a film about the relationship between a mother and her (grown up) child, and as soon as Collette read the script, she instinctively knew she had to commit to it.
“When the script was sent to me I just loved it so much. My parents were here and I remember when I finished reading it I couldn’t stop crying. And they were like, ‘What’s the matter?’ and I said, ‘I’ve read the most beautiful story; I have to do it. I just think it’s gorgeous’.”
Despite a remarkable cast which includes Hollywood heavyweights Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes and Glenn Close, Collette was one of the first to sign on to do the project on the strength of the script alone.
She admits it was a bonus to work with such an impressive array which includes two sets of real-life mother and daughter teams with Redgrave and Richardson working alongside Streep and daughter Mamie Gummer.
Making Evening was an enjoyable experience for Collette who not only loved the project but also enjoyed socialising with her famous cast members.
“All of the actors were staying in the same hotel and we’d all hang out in the dining room and have dinner and drinks at night. It was a really fabulous group of people.”
Working with Streep proved a high point although Collette admits that it wasn’t something that occupied her thoughts while she was shooting the film.
Now that she’s back at home in Australia, Collette’s winding down by writing music, and plugging away on developing Isobel The Navigator, the film she’s hoping to produce one day.
She is also eagerly awaiting the release of two new Aussie films she has worked on over the past year: The Black Balloon and Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger.
It looks like Collette’s got a lot to look forward to.