I love the beach and the best cure for jet lag is to hit the ocean. The north end of Bondi Beach is a beautiful spot for a swim. The southern end of Bronte I love. The Maroubra baths are also a really refreshing seaside swim. That’s always a great spot to hit. And, you know, there’s so many wonderful places to eat. Bill’s Café is a kind of stalwart Australian institution, and there are a few of them. There’s one in Double Bay, there’s one in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, and they all have incredible breakfasts, incredible coffee.
Ricotta hotcakes and a great coffee.
You came up in the Australian entertainment industry. What’s the theatre scene in Australia like?
It’s really vibrant. We have some world-class actors, performers, stage designers, costume designers, and artistic directors in Australia, and more and more up-and-coming young people and independent theater. I’ve had a long relationship with the Sydney Theatre Company. I’ve done many shows there and I was hoping to get back to perform soon. COVID has obviously thrown a spanner in the works, but the Belvoir Street Theatre is another fantastic leader in Australia that’s got a long, rich, really great history. It’s definitely, I think, still finding its feet after COVID. I still remember my first mainstage production and the adrenaline and being a young actor feeling so unbelievably lucky to be performing.
What was your first mainstage performance?
It was a play called La Dispute with Benedict Andrews directing. I didn’t graduate from drama school. I certainly didn’t think that I would be getting a play at the Sydney Theatre Company when I was cast—it was very, very overwhelming and surreal.
What is one thing that you loved about growing up in Australia?
There’s a sense of laidbackness that is very core to who I am. I think there’s a sense of calm and not taking oneself too seriously. And I think that can come in handy in the life experiences we have. Yeah, it’s a strong thing. And Australians have a wonderful sense of the irreverent, a wonderful sense of humor. We also have the ability to fit in a lot of places; I think we can be chameleons. And there’s a great curiosity in Australia because we’re so far away–a genuine interest in visiting other places. There’s a great tradition of—after you finish high school—just going overseas for a year; you take a gap year, work for six months in a bar, and then you save up and travel around for a year. And that’s something that I cherished and loved, and that I did myself and so did my my sisters and my brothers. So yeah, there’s a down-to-earth quality in Australia that I definitely feel when I’m there, and that I miss.
How does your lifestyle in Australia compare to your lifestyle in New York?
New York is at a different pace; it’s just a different density, you know—living so close together changes your physiological makeup. It’s a different kind of living, and look, I love the city. I’m a city girl. I grew up in a city and I love Brooklyn.
Moving out of Australia, what is the coolest place that you’ve ever shot on location?
Uluru in Australia! it was extraordinary. And the second most interesting place I ever shot on Earth—on Earth [laughs]—on my job was Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I did this tiny movie that Matt Dillon directed and wrote, called City of Ghosts. And we shot there for six weeks. I was 22 and it was amazing.
What about the best vacation you went on recently?
We haven’t done one for a long time. [Journalist] Laura Brown got married, and she had been planning this wedding for years. But because of it, it was so fun; we went to Kauai, Hawaii, where I’ve never been. And I was just delighted. It was so lush, I felt like I wasn’t in America; it felt like a totally different country. The people were so warm and beautiful.