On the promotional trail for the newest Aussie flick were the glamboyant female stars of “Any Questions for Ben” and we were lucky enough to sit down one on one with the divine trio Rachael Taylor, Jodi Gordon and Felicity Ward to talk all things movies, the Aussie film industry and anything else that we thought was important!
Brooke: Morning Ladies, how’s today going for you all?
Jodi: Good fun, meeting lots of interesting people!
Felicity: Â It\’s wonderful, I\’ve had a great time, it\’s like hanging out with a good friend; we were worried this morning we weren\’t being terribly professional because we were having too much fun. Puts on funny voice… must be serious actors!
Brooke: Rachael enters room, Hello Rachael lovely to meet you, (Rachael munching on muesli-nut bar)
Rachael: And you! Sorry, I\’m so hungry, do you mind if I munch?
Brooke: Goodness No! Go for it!
Rachael: Yum…yummmmm laughing. (Felicity makes eating sounds too and laughs)
Rachael: Sorry Brooke (laughs!)
Felicity: Sorry, we\’re sounding like children (laughs!)
Brooke: No it\’s fine, you\’ve got a packed day with interviews, completely understand (laughs)
Rachael: You know what Felicity; you bring out my “Tassie”. There\’s something a bit dangerous about doing an interview with a good friend, because you forget that this is going into print. Anyway, back to the interview, we\’ve talked about all sorts of stuff today, which has been great!
Felicity: Â What\’s good about that is the fact that you\’re not going to get two people saying the same boring thing!
Rachael: The worst one â€“ the worthy actress routine, (puts on posh English voice) well what I found challenging about the role was…(laughs)
Brooke: Speaking of roles… Jodi what drew you to the role of Kelly?
Jodi: Horses (laughs!) Both my film roles so far have revolved around horses. I don\’t know what\’s going on (laughs!) I thought after playing Trish in “The Cup” she was the perfect wife, a very simple woman. To go from that and play a young, fun, crazy character like Kelly who was at the core pretty damn annoying, I thought could be really fun, I got to unleash my inner dingbat (laughs!)
Brooke: How important do you think a soundtrack is to the telling of a story in a film?
Felicity: I think the good thing about the soundtrack is that it is consistently good throughout the film. It\’s like a character in itself. It pumps you up.
Rachael: I think the other reason why they put so much thought into the soundtrack is, that we all have moments in life which we associate with songs and this film is about growing up, falling in love and questioning life and I have my own moments where I\’ve fallen in love and I have a song attached to that. So I think it\’s really important that this film had that element.
Jodi: The other thing is that it has you feeling what the character is feeling, so you have that other connection too. It just worked perfectly.
Brooke: Just on music, what\’s on your iPod at the moment?
Jodi: Damien Rice, Temper Trap and I\’ve indulged in a bit of Ri-Ri (Rihanna!) (Laughs all round!)
Brooke: Did you take anything from the set as a memento?
Felicity: Photos, lots of them. There\’s one particular one that I love, which is me at 5am in the morning; where I have this beautiful, expensive, incredible gown on.
(Rachel asks Â – Was it an Alex Perry gown? Â Felicity: I think it was Rachael: I\’m a huge Alex Perry fan, I think I spotted that gown!)
So yes, I had this gown on and a blue dressing gown over the top and a cigarette and there\’s a photo of me like that, this is one of my treasured items that I took from the set.
Rachael: Yes, photos for me too, there\’s one from one of the night shoots with Josh, actually just going off on a different tangent – his stamina is incredible in terms of work ethic. Every morning he was on time, knew his lines, and was always chirpy and greeting everyone brightly (puts on bright voice) “Good Morning everyone”, he was like a real movie star. George Clooney is known for being amazing with people and professional and Josh has that quality too.
Felicity: Just adding to that, as an actor I quickly realised that you want to bring to the set, the minimum of whatever the lead actor brings. Josh\’s preparedness made me realise that. That\’s the bare minimum you can bring.
Rachael: He does â€“ he connects, if you will, the bat with the ball straight away. I was quite competitive about it at one point, I was like well I can do this too! If there\’s one thing I hate about actors or industry types is that they act as if they\’re too cool to care.
Brooke: Rachael, what was it like working in the outback for Red Dog compared to Yemen?
Rachael: I didn\’t go to Yemen…I had to go and start another job and couldn\’t go. So they shot my scene in Melbourne and edited it seamlessly. I feel disappointed I\’m telling the truth, because the fact that people think that I\’m in Yemen, just illustrates how good a director Rob Sitch is. Not once, has anyone said …hang on that doesn\’t look like Yemen.
Brooke: Jodi, the fascinator and frock in the racing day scene- talk me through that.
Jodi: Ahh, we called that the Kelly special on set! It couldn\’t have been anything else, because Kelly is so over-the-top her outfit for race day had to reflect that. It was completely OTT! (Laughs!)
Brooke: What are your thoughts on Australia’s fascination with dressing up for the races as you\’ve been an ambassador for Spring Racing Carnival?
Jodi: Well Kelly\’s perception of race wear was, as I\’ve mentioned, just over-the-top. I think Australians â€“ give or take a handful of people- generally do race-wear very well. What I do admire is how well everyone adheres to the dress codes and puts in Â the effort Â to look good. Â
Brooke: Felicity, how did you find your first feature film experience?
Felicity: Fabulous!Â It\’s given me a false dawn about what filming is like, that everyone is going to get along, with the people you love, that it might be successful, it\’s heaps of fun and you never want it to end because that was my experience. I feel likeÂ – I hope they haven\’t set the bar too high.
Rachael: This is the best I\’ve ever worked on.
Rachael: They\’ve all been great, but this one felt special to me.
Felicity: Yes it did feel special.
Rachael: Red Dog was special, but the subject matter of “Any Questions for Ben” is very near and dear to my heart, being young and confronted by these choices and realising that maybe Â you have a lot but maybe don\’t have it all and that\’s a moving idea to me. Working with Working Dog is a dream come true for me. I remember watching “The Castle” and thinking who made that? They\’re very talented people.
Brooke: Did you enjoy working with them?
Jodi: It\’s an overused word, but it was incredible. (Laughs!) Australians have been watching their movies or television shows for years now and they work so well as a team and I think that translates onto the screen.
Felicity: They\’re the ones that I lay in bed watching on my mum\’s television as a kid, watching the late show thinking, “I don\’t know what this is, but it is the best thing I\’ve ever seen!” All this time later and they choose me to be in one of three films that they\’ve made is just emotional it\’s so good.
Rachael: I have that sometimes, when I see the poster around town and think, “That\’s pretty good isn\’t it!” I went to work every day giggling like a school-girl. These are and Felicity you\’re in this bunch, some of the funniest and most talented comedians in Australia and their brain to mouth connection is so fast and so impressive I was so star-struck and dazzled by it.
Completely impressed by what Rob, Josh, Felicity, Lachie (Hulme), Christian â€“ what they were able to do with comedy, I was like whoa.
Felicity: Then you watch the scenes you weren\’t in like David James and Rob Carlton, I think one of the many great things about “Any Questions for Ben” is the depth of character each character has. No one is token in it, like the guys get the good lines and girls get what\’s left-over.
Rachael: Oh and Jodi\’s really funny.
Felicity: So funny!
Rachael: I\’m not funny, I\’m the straight, serious lawyer girl. Where\’d I get the bum-steer on that (laughs)
Felicity: Yes but you were learning Arabic while we were being funny (both laugh)
Brooke: Do you still know any Arabic?
Rachael: Oh a little bit, two words.
Brooke: So couldn\’t order in a restaurant like your character Alex?
Rachael: God no! I think you should know how to say thank-you in five or six languages, as a life skill. They\’re easy. How many do you have Felicity?
Felicity: Â Ahh…English (laughs!) French, German, Spanish, Italian
Rachael: You beat me babe â€“ big time! I\’ve got three..
Felicity: Ooh Japanese â€“ both start speaking in Japanese and laughing!
Rachael: Remembered Russian
Brooke: One of my dearest friends knows Russian â€“ she lived there for nine months.
Rachael: Did she? Wow, good for her, I was only there for four months, it\’s a tough language!
Brooke: Jodi, is there anyone you find inspirational in the film and television landscape?
Jodi: I don\’t think I can pin-point one person, if I had to, it would be Rachael Taylor. For inspiration I love indulging in a bit of people watching, not just people walking by but absorbing what\’s going on, on the set. The Working Dog team and the way the worked with everyone was an eye-opening experience in itself.
Brooke: What do you love about the Australian film and television industry?
Rachael: I think the fact that it\’s relating our cultural stories â€“ to sound serious for a second â€“ we\’re our own unique culture here. We\’re not the same as UK or America or anywhere else. We have our specific stories to tell and film and television allows us to relate and share those stories. That is something I\’d protect with my life if I could. I take it that seriously. I will always come back and make films in this country because it\’s where I was born and I love my friends and my family here and I think we should celebrate it by putting it on film. Everywhere else does it; india does it, America does it, why can\’t we do it? We should make lot of films and go and see them. Start the revolution with this one.
Jodi: I think it\’s important as well that as actors we support each other and the industry itself. There\’s not always a lot of that. Sometimes that tall poppy syndrome can rear its ugly head. So yes start by supporting the industry by seeing our own works.
Brooke: I\’m going to see this again with my friends!
Rachael: Yay! Yes definitely take some girlfriends! it\’s such a good film to take anyone to see.
Felicity: I saw it in Newcastle with my Dad and my best friend and then my mum and my sister are coming to the Sydney premiere. I\’m going to watch it again and again, I won\’t be sneaking off for dinner while they show it.
Rachael: No no. I\’ve done that before, but this film â€“ I\’m interested in and want to see it.
Brooke: I think that has a lot to do with the directors as well
Rachael: Rob (Sitch) is so talented; he is the most talented directors I\’ve worked with
Felicity: He\’s one of the smartest people I know.
Rachael: He used to be a doctor and he\’s funny I mean come on.
Felicity: Come on! (laughs!)
Rachael: I\’m a sucker for a man that can make me laugh. Ooh..too much? Â Blushes and grins!
Brooke: No no! That\’s sweet!
Just finally Jodi, do you think you\’ll join your Home and Away alumni over in the US?
Jodi: I\’ve always been of two minds about this. I keep saying I\’m grounded here in Australia. I love our country and I think we make some great films and television shows and I want to keep doing that. In saying that, if an audition came up and by some sort of miracle I landed a role, then I\’ll follow that path, when it shows itself. You have to go where the work is and I\’ve been grateful that I\’ve worked on two great films here in Australia.
Thank you so much girls â€“ had a great time chatting with you
Rachael, Felicity and Jodi: Thank you.
Any Questions for Ben is in cinemas now, in case you missed it, check out our interview with Josh Lawson, Christian Clark & Daniel Henshall here and our Movie Review here.
Category: Film & TV