JURASSIC PARK (1993) “Out of all the movies that I watched as a kid, this had the biggest impact. We had only been in Australia for three years, and everything was still so new to me, so even going to the cinemas here – which we still referred to as ‘bioscope’ like we did in Zimbabwe – was a whole new adventure. But to add to that, I had also never seen so many people line up for tickets before. It seemed like the entire world had come to the cinemas in Parramatta just to watch Jurassic Park! When we finally got to the ticket counter, we were told that there weren’t enough tickets for the five of us, and that we would have to come back the following day. My late father, Mervin, was a huge sci-fi fan, and I will never forget how excited he was that day. He insisted that he could not wait another day, and that he would take any seats available, even if it meant sitting on the stairs! He managed to convince the staff, and we ended up sitting on each other’s laps. When I think of this movie, I connect immediately with my dad and his love and appreciation for movies, and also with what it meant for us as a family to have shared in the excitement and terror and thrill of such a deeply moving and extraordinary film. All I wanted was to go to Jurassic Park, even if it meant being chased by dinosaurs! Although I didn’t realise the meaning of this at the time, this was the moment when I developed the need to be a part of something that had the potential to bring so much joy to a family. It was the moment that sparked in me what would one day become an unshakeable love for the craft and joy of acting.”
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) “My love for this movie is a bit ridiculous. I even regularly listen to the soundtrack, or at least the main theme song, no matter what mood I’m in. I saw this with my younger brother, Devon, and we both got scared of The Beast, but we also cried our eyes out when he died. I still do when I watch it these days, even though I know that he comes back to life! When I think about all the Disney movies that I love, this one stands out the most. As a kid, I loved that Belle was so pretty, and that I could sing along to all the songs. It also affected me deeply for reasons that I only became aware of as I grew older. I know that all fairytales are generally love stories, and with this one, the whole point is to look beyond appearances. But what gets me about this movie is the fight that Belle and The Beast put up to protect each other, and the many sacrifices in the name of love that are a constant throughout the movie. It’s the one thing that Devon, my sister, Lavinia, and I were very blessed to have had: a real life example through our parents, of how powerful truly loving someone can be. I’m not saying that the characters remind me of my parents – far, far from it – but I just get a similar feeling from this movie that I do when I think of my parents. If you truly do love someone, it will always be enough…it will always be what triumphs over anything.”
SUPERMAN (1978) “All of the Christopher Reeve Superman films had a big impact on me as a kid, and my excitement for Superman movies has stayed with me all my life. Devon and I watched these movies over and over again, wishing that we were superman (although I never admitted this out loud). At first, it wasn’t really about me wanting to be a hero or anything…I just wished that I could fly around. As I grew older, I used to love how he would slowly descend onto Lois Lane’s balcony and give her that superhero smile. This may all sound a bit silly, but these movies always lifted my spirits, and I truly feel like there is something in believing in superheroes, or at least what they represent. When I imagined that I was Superman as a kid, I felt cool and sometimes invincible, and as I grew older, I used to instantly feel the need to be a better person to everyone and to think of others first. I used to feel like I was suddenly taller and stronger and more capable of things that seemed almost impossible. Having these movies to watch as I grew up was, at certain times, the difference between making choices to live an ordinary life and making choices to live an extraordinary life.”
FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991) “Firstly, I don’t remember laughing as much with any other movie growing up as I did with this one. And laughing is by far my favourite thing to do. Steve Martin just made my whole family laugh, and even though I don’t think I actually got what the movie was about when I first watched it, it stuck with me. As I grew up, Lavinia and I would watch this together a lot. Whenever we didn’t know what to do on a Friday or Saturday night, this is what we would watch. I’m not sure what it is about this movie for her, but I suspect it may be similar to how this movie impacted my life. Dad passed a few years after this movie came out, and I’m sure that I was not the only girl who secretly wanted her Dad to fight with her right up until her wedding day because he loved her so much that he was afraid of letting her go. And I definitely was not alone in wanting my Dad to walk me down the aisle someday. But although this movie did and does make me sad in a way, it somehow was a comfort for my sister and I throughout the years, and it somehow connected us. It made me feel warm, and it reminded me that Dad was always going to have a huge place in our hearts. He was always going to be around, even if he wasn’t physically there in front of us.”
PRETTY WOMAN (1990) “I didn’t watch this when it first came out because I was too young, but when I did watch it, something about the type of actress that I wanted to be really clicked with me…although I don’t think I knew exactly what that was until later on. At first it was simply just wanting to be like Julia Roberts…at least that’s the only thing that made logical sense to me at the time. I didn’t actually know anything about acting, and I generally have never been the type to watch movies because of the performances. I watched movies and still do really, because of the stories, relationships and the characters, and growing up, I never used to even think about whether someone was a good actor or not. Even later on when I started acting classes, I still watched movies in the same way. If I believed the stories and the characters to be real, then that was all that mattered. I loved anything that had Julia Roberts in it because I just believed her all the time. I always wanted to play her characters, more because to me, she was the one who made the movies that she was in so enjoyable, and I wanted to give people that same joy. I wanted to be able to be that type of actress for people. It was watching Pretty Woman that inspired me to actually move forward with the dream of being in the movies…the dream that was sparked initially when I watched Jurassic Park.”
Look Back In Anger is playing at The Old Fitz Theatre in Sydney from August 16-September 10. For all ticketing and session information, head to the official site.