Aussie actress Toni Collette had serious misgivings about playing such an emotionally raw and damaged character as Sandy, the geologist in Japanese Story. She was ready to pull out altogether "when the director broke her foot, and everything was being pushed back, so it was about to mess with my schedule."
The beautiful 34-year old British-born Aussie has come a long way since Mulholland Drive brought her international notice, and she is milking her success for all it’s worth, even if it means working virtually non-stop in the process.
"I think the panic of not working for ten years is still very much alive in me, and I’m now starting to trust it a little bit and thinking, ‘okay, I’ve got a little bit of a shot at this.’"
There is an unassuming quality about Paul Giamatti. Although busy, he seems something of a rarity in Hollywood: a character actor. In American Splendor, which won the Grand Jury prize winner at Sundance Film Festival and was winner of Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Giamatti excels at playing the brooding, working-class loser, the anti-hero of underground comic strip creator’s Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor.
Audiences will recognise Anthony LaPaglia as Daphne Moon’s slobbish, drunken brother Simon, from the long-running sitcom Frasier, the man responsible for one of the worst English accents since Dick Van Dyke cleaned chimneys in Mary Poppins.
It seems like a typical example of American indifference to geographical nuances that they would give the role to an American. But LaPaglia is full of surprises.
Paul Fischer: Will this movie be a challenge for the market? For the market or for me?
Ang Lee: I know it was for me.
Do you think people will be surprised by this movie?
Stage 12 at Universal Studios is a long way from Melbourne, but sitting in this soundstage, Aussie Eric Bana is feeling relaxed. Sporting a slight beard and longish hair for the epic film Troy, which he is in the middle of shooting, the 34-year-old actor remains unconcerned at the level of stardom he may attain following the release of Hulk, this year’s anticipated Ang Lee - directed take on the classically dark comic strip.
After Columbine, I just kind of had it. It seemed like back then there was like a school shooting a week, and I just thought: Oh, gees! I've got to do something with this!
Thus bombastic, talkative 48-year old Michael Moore started his investigation into America's dangerous obsession with guns.
Moore, who reveals in the feature-length documentary that he is a card-carrying member of the NRA, recalls starting off "with a sort of typical liberal view point, in that if only we had less guns and more gun control laws, we'd have