Bella Heathcote on Pieces of Her, Toni Collette, arduous work, and hairstyles
But given Bella’s unimaginable efficiency in Pieces of Her, it’s extremely unlikely her new haircut will cease her from touchdown additional roles. The eight-part drama relies on the 2018 novel of the identical identify by Karin Slaughter. It follows 30-year-old Andy (Bella) and her mom, Laura (Toni Collette), who witness a random act of violence that units Andy off on a journey throughout America looking for the reality behind her mysterious household.
“I would watch this show if I wasn’t in it,” Bella says, laughing. “I know every actor is like, ‘It was my dream job,’ but it really was my dream job. I just loved going to work every day, which is saying something because it’s not like they were easy scenes to shoot. It wasn’t like I was doing a romcom. But it was fun and I loved every aspect.”
It’s a outstanding feat that the collection even managed to get made. It was initially slated to be shot in Canada in March 2020, however like so many productions that yr, the COVID-19 pandemic bought in the best way. Production finally relocated to Sydney at the beginning of 2021. A transfer made much more handy as each Bella and Toni had been already right here in Australia.
“I’m based in LA but my husband [architect Richard Stampton] and I have a house in Phillip Island [in Victoria], so we go between the two,” Bella explains. “So when I was in Vancouver ready to start shooting, he was here for work. Then the shit hit the fan, so I jumped on the plane thinking I’ll be back in a few weeks. I never anticipated we would end up shooting in Australia.”
Although set within the quiet seaside village of Belle Isle in Georgia, US, it’s the three Australian faces within the lead roles (David Wenham additionally stars within the collection) which is able to ring a bell with native viewers, even whether it is arduous to get previous 49-year-old Toni taking part in 34-year-old Bella’s mom.
“I’ve been cast down a few years, and she’s been aged up a little,” explains Bella. When it involves working with the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actor, Bella can’t communicate extremely sufficient of her. “She’s such a powerhouse,” she says. “She’s so prolific in the work she does. It was like an acting masterclass. She’s so good and she’s so generous with her offscreen work, which people of her calibre sometimes aren’t.”
“Offscreen work” isn’t a well-recognized time period for these outdoors of the business, so Bella explains what she means. “When the camera turns around to me and we’re doing my coverage and she’s not on camera, she’s still in the scene feeding me lines. I’ve been in situations before where that actor has just pissed off and there’s just a stand-in.”
“[Toni Collette is such a powerhouse. She’s so prolific in the work she does. It was like an acting masterclass. She’s so good and she’s so generous with her offscreen work, which people of her calibre sometimes aren’t.”
Seriously? “You should ask actors about that! I’ve had friends who have been in a scene and the other actor is on their phone. Then there will be people who will be in the scene with you but they will hold back because they don’t want to waste their energy when they’re not on camera. But Toni is not like that at all. She gives it everything even if she’s not on camera. It’s rare and it’s awesome, and it obviously really helps you in your performance.”
Bella first moved to the US again in 2010, after showing in a handful of episodes of Neighbours in 2009 and the Australian movie Beneath Hill 60 in 2010. As a recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, doorways had been opened in LA and she or he shortly landed an element in one other age-defying position as Amanda Seyfried’s mom in 2011’s In Time. “It was based in the future when no one ages,” she says, explaining how she performed a mom to the now 36-year-old.
Within just a few months she booked roles in David Chase’s Not Fade Away and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, each out in 2012. Then the work dried up.
“I was just a bit too picky at the time, so I picked myself out of work,” she remembers. “I remember somebody at the time saying you shape your career with your ‘yeses’. But I remember thinking, ‘Maybe I just like to work.’ ”
She quickly discovered a extra beneficial formulation to go by when making selections about accepting tasks. “My friend talks about the top three: there’s money, there’s the calibre of the project and there’s location. And if you’ve got two out of three, then go for it.”
The subsequent position Bella accepted ticked two of the packing containers and it’s straightforward to work out which one didn’t fairly hit the mark. “It was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” she laughs, recalling the 2016 comedy-horror movie. “I had an absolute blast!”
So is Bella hoping her subsequent position will meet the placement standards and be shot right here in Australia? “LA is definitely my main base as I’ve been there since 2010,” she says. “But I guess it might be because of COVID or getting older, I’m realising Australia is a part of me. I grew up in Melbourne and my dad’s here. My husband is Australian. He grew up on the coast here down in Mount Eliza. He’s very much a surfer and he’d like to be near the beach.”
For now, what’s drawing Bella again to the US is extra gruelling than any position she may tackle. “We plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail – basically from where Mexico and California meet, then up to Canada,” she says. “It takes months and months. My husband is taking a sabbatical and has been working towards this for years. I definitely want to do as much of it as I can.”
But Bella is aware of planning a visit of this scale can deliver surprising penalties. “As soon as I book a flight or book a trip, then the job will come,” she laughs, including: “Hopefully season two of Pieces of Her.”
Pieces of Her is out now on Netflix.
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