Interview : The Girls from Wolf Creek

Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi drop by


She’s one of the most familiar young actresses from the tube, having starred in such series as “SeaChange” and “Shock Jock”, and she’s one of today’s most popular young Australian film actresses, with credits including “Dirty Deeds”, “Strange Bedfellows” and “The Illustrated Family Doctor”. Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi tell CLINT MORRIS how they ended up in “Wolf Creek”.

Clint : Is today your first day of flogging the film?
Kestie : Yeah, we just got back from London, doing promotion there. We did do a bit on Friday though – a bit here and there.

Clint : How was London?
Kestie : It was Sunny!
Cassandra : It was Sunny! I got a tan!

Clint : Yeah, Alright. To “Wolf Creek”. How did you both get involved?
Kestie : Auditioned
Cassandra : Yep, just auditioned.

Clint : And seems you were the right people for the roles!
Cassandra : Apparently so [Laughs]

Clint : You had to show them your British accents first though, right? John [Jarratt] was saying he was initially a bit worried about a couple of Australians playing Poms.
Kestie : [Putting on English accent] I actually find an English accent really easy to do. It just comes out.

Clint : Are you doing it now? [Laughs]
Kestie : [continuing with accent] Yeah. Screw You! [Laughs] – I’m a bit out of practice! [Laughs]
Cassandra : It’s like the American accent. We grew up with Television, so it’s easy, well not easy, but it’s not difficult to recreate.

Clint : You both do great British accents. It’s always a bit of a worry when you’ve got Australian actors putting on accents. I remember Alan Dale, when he was first in the states, and his American accent was pretty so-so – it’s good now – and Jack Thompson’s is a bit iffy. But you nailed the British accent on the head.
Kestie : I hate movies where the accent just doesn’t ring true. If the accent doesn’t ring true, then the whole movie just doesn’t ring true.
Cassandra : I just didn’t want the whole country to hate me!

Clint : No, you obviously did a good job. Someone said to me [about Cassandra] ‘She looks like the girl from SeaChange, but it can’t be – this girl’s British’.
Cassandra : You mightn’t have picked it up, but I picked up a couple of Australian twangs coming out in my accent. For instance, ‘Hours’. But, when we were in England, they thought we were British actresses, and were surprised when they found out we weren’t, so that’s a good seal of approval.

Clint : Are you at all surprised by the film’s success?
Kestie : Definitely…well, yes and no.
Cassandra : yes and no. I knew we had a shot at greatness, but you’re just never one hundred percent sure.

Clint : Tell me about working with John [Jarratt]
Kestie : Amazing, he’s brilliant.
Cassandra : [Sarcastic] He’s OK. He’s All-right. First movie isn’t it?
Kestie : Nah, he’s wicked.
Cassandra : I watched him in “Picnic at Hanging Rock” the other day. He was cute! I just had no idea that he was that young. It was just really interesting to see him [pause] be like a boy. He was hot.

Clint : Have you seen him in “All Men are Liars” with Toni Pearen?
Cassandra : No. Oh I love Toni Pearen!….He’s Quentin Tarantino’s golden-boy. We all want to stick around with him.

Clint : Did you guys do any research into your roles? Just Scream?
Kestie : I kind of followed the real-life cases when they were in the paper and stuff, but I don’t like to get too heavy into details when creating a character. I like to have a bit of background on the character – where they’ve been, we’re they’re at at that time in their lives – but I like to just feel the moment. I find that a lot easier. Some actors have a different technique – the more information they have about the characters, the more rich and beneficial for their performance. Maybe I should be doing more of that.
Cassandra : [Laughs]
Kestie : I like to keep it really simple when creating a character. It’s about being in the moment for me.

Clint : It’s a very physical role though.
Kestie : Yeah it is. I’ve been hanging for a physical role like that. I want to be action chick.
Cassandra : I want to be in a Tim Burton fantasy – dragons, horses…or a wicked independent film.
Kestie : She’ll probably end up being the action chick, and I’ll be the independent movie star.

Clint : Yeah, but that’s you running on the poster Kestie. You could be in the next “Tomb Raider”.
Kestie : True, that’s my fat ass up there [Laughs]. Widescreen!.

Clint : Have you seen the U.S poster yet? Is it the same?
Kestie : I don’t know. Is it the same?
Cassandra : I have no idea. I believe it is. That one there is the London one.
Kestie : I thought the Australian one was going to be the one of me on the road with the bloody face – but this [the current poster] is probably it now. I reckon the American one will be like [this one]. The bloody one on the road was a bit too full on.

Clint : How stoked were you when you found out that the film had been picked up by the Weinstein’s?
Kestie : Amazing. Cool.
Cassandra : [Sarcastic] It was alright. A bit overrated. What’s wrong with me today? [Laughs] Give me a couple of hours in a Crown hotel room and I think I’m bloody Princess Mary!
Kestie : I’m just grateful to have a job, let alone have it go to Cannes and so on..
Cassandra : So many perks, it just keeps giving.

Clint : Have you been to the states with it, yet?
Kestie : Yeah, we went to Sundance. Then we went to L.A, scored some awesome agents, and Cass went to Cannes.
Cassandra : love the French. I’ve got to move to Europe at some point. I could see myself living there for about ten years. Absolutely loved it. Don’t know how I could possibly afford to live there, but what an amazing race the French is – I adore them. I think they’ve got the right idea. They sound good too.

Clint : Have you watched “Wolf Creek” with a local Aussie audience yet?
Cassandra : It’s been shown to festivals, critics and people that just know everything about movies – but I can’t wait to see how it is with just a general audience. I’m really excited about the film getting out into cinemas. Then, it’s not people comparing the film to all these other films that I’ve never heard of, and talking about it in all these magical ways just folks asking one another ‘Whaddya reckon?’. It’s really exciting. All my friends are going to see it tonight. Some have seen it, and I was worried that they wouldn’t think it was scary enough, especially because it was me in it. But they were totally sucked into it and said me being in the film didn’t take them away from it at all.

Clint : Kestie, you had some success last year too – “Strange Bedfellows”, a film from director Dean Murphy, which was the most profitable Aussie film of 2004.
Kestie : That was an awesome experience. It was wonderful.
Cassandra : So you’re the reason! This year’s big winner, last year’s big winner!
Kestie : [Laughs] Dean’s a beautiful man. Gorgeous. Michael Caton was wonderful. Great to work with him. It was the first role I didn’t have to audition for – it was cool, really cool.