Toni Is Cam's Sole Sister; Mike Davies Gets Instep with Toni Collette

The Birmingham Post (England), November 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Toni Is Cam's Sole Sister; Mike Davies Gets Instep with Toni Collette


Byline: Mike Davies

Like fellow Australian Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette is something of a chameleon, completely disappearing inside the characters she plays. It's something that has seen her convincingly portray everything from an emotionally repressed geologist in Japanese Story to a woman pretending to be a male cross-dresser in Connie and Carla to stressed out single mothers in both The Sixth Sense and About A Boy, roles which respectively earned her Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

There's every chance that she'll find her name elevated to the Best Actress category for her latest transformation, that of Rose, the dowdy, insecure, footware obsessed lawyer sister to Cameron Diaz's statuesque Maggie in Curtis Hanson's In Her Shoes.

A five tissue upmarket chick flick tale of sibling love and rivalry, it required Collette to pile on some 28lbs and although she'd previously vowed not to do another film that involved gaining weight, the role was too good to resist.

And those extra pounds were integral to the character.

"The way Rose feels about herself is reflected in her physical appearance," explains a now slimmed down Collette.

"Her body represents the ignored part of her life. She's very confident and capable in the work place because that's where she feels she has control, but it's almost like she doesn't have a personal life.

"She spends her down time taking care of everybody in her family and I think it's the relationships you have with your parents and siblings that shape who you are or how you see yourself."

It's the falling out between Maggie, who suffers from her own lack of self-esteem and uses her sexuality to manipulate people into getting what she wants, that prompts Rose to address her thoughts about her life and re-evaluate what she wants.

"But while that's going on, the one person she loves the most, Maggie, is not there," Collette continues.

"That relationship has to be resolved for both of them to be able to get on happily in their lives, but they also need that time apart to be able to figure out who they are as individuals."

Although the film doesn't labour the point, the sisters' sense of self-worth is very much tied up with the pressures of believing they have to conform to a prescribed image. …

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