The Aussies Take Hollywood
Clifton, Tony, Horn, John, Newsweek International
They are, after all, officially known as the awards of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But when the Oscars are presented Sunday, many of the tearful acceptance speeches could have a distinct Australian twang. Twenty-one Australians have been nominated for prizes, from best-acting candidates Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman to more-anonymous toilers in makeup, special effects, sound and other categories. Less than 40 years ago, an Australian film industry barely existed. But as Baz Luhrmann, the Aussie director of "Moulin Rouge" (nominated for eight Oscars), told NEWSWEEK, "Right now, you could cast a movie only with Australians, and you'd have the top stars in the world."
It's a tantalizing prospect: a film featuring Oscar winners like Mel Gibson, Crowe and Geoffrey Rush--along with muscular young hunks Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana--playing against female leads Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Judy Davis and the newest girl on Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts. And there is no shortage of Down Under-trained, Hollywood-hardened heavyweights to direct them: Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford, Philip Noyce, Jane Campion and Luhrmann.
What is it about the Aussies that so captivates Hollywood? For one thing, they've got that healthy, Outback-reared, flesh-and-blood lustiness that American stars had before they started dieting. "It's really strange in Hollywood today," says Noyce, who directed "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games." "If you call in locals to cast any sort of action movie, you get what looks like the result of some weird experiment in …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The Aussies Take Hollywood. Contributors: Clifton, Tony - Author, Horn, John - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Publication date: March 25, 2002. Page number: 66. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.