Radha Mitchell has called Los Angeles home for a while now -- not because Australia isn’t too -- it’s just, that’s where she spends most of her time. Her performance in Sue Brooks’ new film, Looking For Grace however, will show you Mitchell hasn’t forgotten her roots.
The film tells the story of suburban parents Dan and Denise (played by Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell) who are struggling to come to terms with the disappearance of their daughter, Grace (Odessa Young) who flees the family’s Perth home for the Eastern seaboard.
Dan and Denise enlist the help of an elderly detective (Terry Norris) in an effort to bring Grace home however as they retrace her steps, secrets begin to emerge that will redefine each character’s relationship with one another and the family as a whole.
The Huffington Post Australia spoke with Radha Mitchell about her latest work.
What attracted you to the character of suburban mum, Denise?
“Well, I guess I just wanted to say ‘Denise’ [Mitchell puts on her best Aussie slang before bursting into laughter]. No, it’s always the script, the director and the other actors that draws me to a film. Reading the script I felt there was something very original about it. It’s rare that you read something that has that kind of poetry and isn’t super obsessed with its commercial value -- it still has its integrity.”
It’s a distinctively Australian film. Growing up what inspired you to get into acting?
“The experience of cinema itself was very influential. We had a screening for this film at the Astor theatre in Melbourne which is where I discovered cinema. I think the first movie I saw was E.T. -- it was so magical and emotive. As a young person I was obsessed with Shirley Temple. I wanted to be her. And then I moved on to movies that felt cinematic like, Room with a View and movies that were mind opening like A Clockwork Orange.”
You’ve worked with the likes of Denzel Washington (Man on Fire) and Colin Farrell (Phone Booth) how soon do you know in the casting process that you’re set to be working with names like these?
“Generally they get cast first. I think the most excited person would be my mum though. She came to the set of Finding Neverland and she got a photograph with everybody. She’s got this funny photo album with photos of her and all these actors -- from Johnny Depp to Vin Diesel.”
Can you tell us something you’ve done recently that you found challenging?
“I’ve done a 10-day silent meditation retreat in California -- it was freezing. I’d recommend doing it somewhere warm like Thailand. It was certainly challenging. You spend so much of your time talking and when you’re not doing that you have a lot of time to reflect. Day Five was like a tragedy! And then by the end you realise a lot of what comes out of your mouth is just blabber.”
Looking For Grace is in cinemas Australia Day (Jan 26).