The always-forthright Noni Hazlehurst has spoken up in defence of actors at a breakfast organised by arts interest group Currency House.
She believes actors deserve more respect and discerns them from those personalities who are deemed celebrities (Deni Hines and Polly Porter, we’re lookin’ at you….).
In the wake of criticism of Cate Blanchett’s stance on climate change, the former City Homicide actress also said “Cate [was] defined as a non-voter and not a person of Australia, and she was described in one media outlet as ‘just an actor,’
”I can’t remember who wrote that but I suspect it was just a columnist.”
She recently defended Blanchett when she appeared on Q & A.
She also commented on the government’s plan to raise quotas for foreign actors to work in Australia.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an import if it’s justifiable in the script, and if that person is genuinely going to enable the production to be made,” she says of the foreign performers scheme.”
Hazlehurst herself nearly lost a role on Little Fish to “some very high-profile” names.
“It would have been nonsensical to have had someone American or British,” she says.
The focus on celebrity meant that many people believed that if actors were not on TV, they had retired.
”If you only act in television dramas (and if you are an actor, that will kill you) most of the time you are only called on to act as yourself. You are cast according to your look – not necessarily your intelligence or ability,” Hazlehurst said.
”This is particularly true for young actors, many of whom get away with doing minimal work to develop and prepare themselves, and whose major preoccupation is more likely to be self-promotion. And there’s no one to disavow them of this approach.”
Of course, in the words of that US storytime book she has read, she could have also just told the audience “Go The F*** to Sleep.”