Mia Wasikowska wants to work with Sarah Polley. Let’s make that happen.
TRACKS directed by John Curran, written by Marion Nelson from the book by Robyn Davidson, with Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. 112 minutes. A Mongrel release. Opens Friday (June 6). For venues and times, see Movies.
Mia Wasikowska's Tracks shoot should have been one of the most gruelling she's ever experienced. To play Robyn Davidson, the Australian adventurer who spent a year crossing the desert, she spent months enduring blistering heat and getting up close and personal with a quartet of camels.
But comfort wasn't an issue.
"Credit makeup and wardrobe for making sure I never got sunburnt," she says in her charming Aussie accent during the film's TIFF premiere. "They kept me covered."
Good thing she was wearing loosely draped clothing, too.
"It would have been more painful if I had to wear period dresses and keep clean. This way, I could just walk into makeup and they'd dump dirt on me and kick me outside."
The camels, she says, were a gas.
"They're the most obliging film animals, which is a shame because they're so seldom needed," she deadpans. "I spent three days in the desert learning to work with them. I was able to get Robyn's perspective on working with the camels. Cameliers" - yes, that's a word - "sometimes have an aggressive approach, but she was quite sensitive."
It's not exactly common practice for a woman to head into the torrid wilds alone, but Wasikowska could relate to the material, especially the camels and her character's struggle with Rick, the photographer who keeps interrupting Robyn's journey and the isolation she craves. His employer, National Geographic, was a key funder for her trek.
"It's a constant struggle in so many fields that the thing that enables you to do something ends up taking away from the reason why you're doing it," she says.
"That's a struggle for people in the arts. It's expensive to make films, and people will invest in them if they can get something from them. So there's give and take, and it's hard to get the freedom to do what you want to do."
Compared with the days before she broke out in the TV series In Treatment and in the pic The Kids Are All Right, she herself is finding more freedom when it comes to choosing work.
"When you're an actor you're very much a warm prop. When you start young you're so thrilled to be there you'd do anything, but as you get older you have to learn how to say no."
So will she say no to an Alice In Wonderland sequel?
"I'm contractually obligated, but it's hard to say. Everything changes every three days," she says carefully. Then she jokes, "I'll read the script and then decide if I want to get pregnant or not."
If she had her choice, she'd work with Werner Herzog, Jane Campion, Wim Wenders or one of our own homegrown talents.
"I'd love to collaborate with Sarah Polley. She's amazing."
I'm sure Polley doesn't mind her name being said in the same breath as those three.