Agents Wrestle over Aussie Goods; Australian Actor Jacki Weaver Has Hollywood Kingdom at Her Feet

News Mail Bundaberg Qld., January 29, 2011 | Go to article overview

Agents Wrestle over Aussie Goods; Australian Actor Jacki Weaver Has Hollywood Kingdom at Her Feet


AFTER 63 years on the planet and almost half a century in Australian show business, Jacki Weaver is in the odd position of being an overnight sensation in Hollywood.

Tinseltown's top talent agencies and management firms have spent the past week fighting to sign her as a client.

Hollywood studios and directors have been throwing scripts, including a big action film, and fat pay cheques at the chirpy, blonde, blue-eyed, five-time married actress who has been a constant presence on Australian TV, stage and film, but never on the American movie industry's radar until 12 months ago when the Australian drama Animal Kingdom screened at Utah's Sundance Film Festival.

Animal Kingdom won the Sundance world cinema dramatic grand jury prize and instantly Weaver, who brilliantly plays the sociopathic matriarch of a Melbourne family of gangsters in the David Michod-directed drama, was touted as a potential best supporting Oscar nominee.

On Tuesday, almost a year-to-the-day of the Sundance win, Weaver fulfilled her destiny with an Oscar nomination.

C[pounds sterling]My emotion was first of all relief when I heard and then I had a little cry,C[yen] Weaver, who was worried she would let Australia down if she was not nominated, said from her Beverly Hills hotel suite.

Weaver can thank ex-husband and radio shock jock Derryn Hinch, half a world away in Australia, for breaking the news that she was an Oscar nominee.

Weaver was so excited about the prospect of earning an Academy Award nomination she couldn't sleep the night before, tossing and turning in the suite in one of Beverly Hills' finest hotels.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations at 5.30am Los Angeles time, so as the clock ticked and Weaver failed to fall asleep she turned the TV on and decided to stay awake, but then she fell into a deep sleep.

C[pounds sterling]I nodded off just before they announced my nomination so I didn't know until I got the text,C[yen] Weaver laughed.

Hinch was awake in Australia and sent Weaver a congratulatory text and the beep on her phone woke her up.

Michod also fired off an excited text and soon after a publicist from the US distributor of Animal Kingdom, Sony Classic Pictures, called confirming the career-topping news and unveiling a busy day ahead jammed with interviews with more than 20 of America's top media organisations, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter.

With Weaver's husband, Sean Taylor in Swaziland, the first person Weaver spoke to face-to-face after the Oscar news was a make-up artist dispatched by Sony to prepare Weaver for the arduous day of interviews. …

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