Posted on November 17th, 2019 by Frederik

It’s a crisp, sunny autumn morning in Los Angeles, and Toni Collette is sitting in a dark corner of the Sunset Tower Hotel cafe, fretting over her croaky voice and fussing over a pot of camomile tea with lemon. She’s caught a cold on her whirlwind trip from Sydney to attend the Toronto Film Festival premiere of her new film, Knives Out, and she’s determined to recover in time for tonight’s 25th anniversary screening of Muriel’s Wedding, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “It’s been a packed trip,” Toni acknowledges between sips. “I started in Sydney a week ago, flew to LA for a day to try and get over the jet lag and then I went to Toronto. After that, I flew to New York to do two days of press for [Netflix miniseries] Unbelievable, then had a day off to have a foot massage and do a bit of shopping before catching a cold and flying to LA. And now I’m here!” Cold or no cold, the 47-year-old Sydney native can’t be restrained from talking passionately about both Knives Out and the P.J. Hogan-directed Muriel’s Wedding. “If I’d known 25 years ago that the Academy – the most well-known organisation celebrating film and film achievement in the world – was going to screen Muriel’s Wedding and have a party celebrating it, well, that’s just amazing to me,” she says. “People often think famous people have been that way forever, but no, the contrast is huge and I’m still so grateful for Muriel’s Wedding. It gave me a life I could never have dreamed of.” At another anniversary screening in New York earlier this year, Toni says she watched the movie for the first time since its release and sobbed unabashedly from beginning to end. “It was incredibly overwhelming and joyous and I had the sense of something coming full circle,” she says, still sounding emotional. The former NIDA student was virtually unknown outside of the Sydney theatre scene when she shot to international fame at age 22 as an overweight, Abba-loving misfit who gets her revenge in the 1994 classic, also starring Rachel Griffiths. It was the beginning of a career full of physical and psychological transformations that constantly surprised audiences, who found it hard to believe she was the same actress. The complete article can be read over at The Sydney Morning Herald. This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale November 17.

Posted on September 21st, 2019 by Frederik

Upon its Netflix premiere last week, “Unbelievable” has been featured in various magazines to promote its release. Scans from five magazines have been added to the photo gallery. Many thanks to Jess for the Entertainment Weekly scans.

Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – OK! Magazine (Australia, September 23, 2019)
Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – Woman’s Day (Australia, September 16, 2019)
Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – Entertainment Weekly (USA, September 16, 2019)
Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – TV & Satellite Week (United Kingdom, September 07, 2019)
Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – Time Magazine (USA, February 04, 2019)

Posted on September 14th, 2019 by Frederik

Merrit Wever and Toni Collette are interviewed by Oprah Magazine: If you watch Unbelievable, the Netflix limited series starring Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, and Merritt Wever, and find yourself dream-casting Collette and Wever’s characters in True Detective season 4, you’re not alone. “Oh my God, everybody keeps saying that!” Collette tells OprahMag.com. “Given the darkness of this show, maybe that’s why they’re enjoying Merritt and I so much. They’re kind of an odd couple, and it’s entertaining.” Collette and Wever play Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall, detectives from two Colorado towns who merge investigations upon realizing they’re looking for the same rape suspect. Inspired by true events, Unbelievable is both a gripping narrative and an incisive look at the way American rape survivors are treated—and, too often, mistreated. Any viewer who cares to self-examine will be left considering the myth that false claims of rape are a pervasive problem: In reality, only about 2 percent of rape and sexual assault claims are found to be false, per FBI statistics. Meanwhile, RAINN estimates that only 1 in 4 rapes are reported, with fear of retaliation and belief that the police can’t or won’t help them cited as reasons many survivors say they didn’t. But what happens to Marie (played by Dever) is proof that long-held cultural biases leave little room for facts. The show interweaves Marie’s story in 2008 with the 2011 search for a serial rapist in Colorado, mirroring the structure of the Pulitzer Prize-winning article that inspired it, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.” Journalists T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong’s storytelling choice is even more effective onscreen; just as Marie faces yet another infuriating setback from one of the many people who failed her in the wake of her rape, the action shifts to the forward momentum of Detectives Rasmussen and Duvall’s investigation (thus saving the viewer from sinking into the depths alongside Marie).

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Posted on June 30th, 2019 by Frederik

It seemed like a recipe for a disaster. An out of work and virtually broke director, who couldn’t keep a job, decided to make a film based (loosely) on the true story of his sister stealing money from their father. There was no real romance, no pat, happy ending and everybody who read the script thought the main fictionalised character not very likeable. Muriel Heslop was dowdy, listened to daggy music, betrayed a friend and married for revenge. The story was “denounced” by Film Australia which refused to fund it. But when it finally premiered in September 1994, 25 years ago this year, Muriel’s Wedding was on its way to becoming a huge, but unlikely, hit. The story of how this small, independent film made it to the screen could be a film in itself. The enduring tale was later turned into a stage musical, which also became a hit, and is being revived in a new production returning to the Sydney stage on July 4 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. The director, Paul John “P.J.” Hogan and his wife, screenwriter and director Jocelyn Moorehouse, said that before Muriel he was “broke” and since graduating from film school in 1984 had found only “consistent unemployment”. “We wanted to make feature films, but could only get TV jobs. I got less work than Jocelyn did, because she’s a much nicer person,” Hogan tells The Saturday Telegraph. In 1991 Moorehouse directed the critically acclaimed film Proof starring Hugo Weaving, with Hogan as an assistant director. But after that, work was hard to find and in the late 1980s and early ’90s Hogan began to think seriously about whether he should be “thinking of another career”. Then inspiration came from an unlikely source – his family. The complete article can be read in the press library.

Posted on December 5th, 2018 by Frederik

Great article by The Hollywood Reporter about Toni’s upcoming Netflix series: When the article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” was published in 2015, it didn’t get much attention in Hollywood. But times have changed, and the now-newsy story (by ProPublica’s T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project) will soon be available on Netflix as an eight-part series. The story centers on a woman who reported being raped at knifepoint only to end up being prosecuted for lying. Two female detectives then look into the case and come to a surprising conclusion. Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, pursued an adaptation shortly after the article was published but had a hard time getting traction. “Nobody wanted to talk about rape,” Waldman (joined by Chabon at the Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden earlier this fall) told THR of the piece, which won a 2016 Pulitzer Prize in the Explanatory Reporting category. Enter Netflix, which picked it up at the start of the year, ordering it to series and gathering a team that also included Susannah Grant, Katie Couric, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (who had also been pursuing it independently). The limited series, which recently wrapped production, stars Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever. “History caught up,” adds Waldman. “It’s a show about believing women, and we couldn’t have a better moment to show America what happens when you don’t believe women.”

Posted on September 22nd, 2018 by Frederik

The Sydney Morning Herald has a great lengthy interview with Toni Collette on the upcoming release of “Wanderlust” in Australia: In the 20-plus years that she’s been on our screens, Toni Collette has tended to avoid playing characters she has much in common with. That, she reasons, would be boring. It means she wasn’t ever like the awkward Muriel Heslop in her breakout film, P.J. Hogan’s 1994 classic Muriel’s Wedding. Nor has she been a suicidal hippie like Fiona in the 2002 British rom-com About a Boy. And (as far as she knows) neither of her children sees dead people, as her character’s son did in Hollywood’s 1999 supernatural flick The Sixth Sense. But Collette’s latest role is as a therapist. And within a few minutes of her relaxing into a chair in the restaurant in London’s West End where we meet, I suspect she’s fairly good at giving profound advice. “Life is long,” she says, scanning the menu and casting it aside in one smooth motion. “Some people stick to the rules, some people question who made them. And those people then pave their own way, which is a braver, more satisfying path, yes, but it’s also a scarier one, you know?” I think so. To be fair to Collette, we are talking about the themes of Wanderlust, a new drama co-produced by the BBC and Netflix, in which she plays Joy, a counsellor who tries to resuscitate her own marriage after a cycling accident. But gentle wisdom, smoothed by travel, seems to pour from her. The interview can be read in its entirety on their website: