On AACTA red carpet, Nicole Kidman begs audiences to look past blockbusters
Nicole Kidman attended the AACTA awards to represent Joel Edgerton’s movie Boy Erased. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
Some of the biggest names in Australian screen have used the red carpet of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards to send subtle messages to politicians and the wider industry, but Nicole Kidman had a message for moviegoers.
- Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards are being held in Sydney
- Nicole Kidman urges audiences to make time for smaller, important films
- The Australian actor stars in Boy Erased, a nominee for Best Film
The Australian actor took home the AACTA for her supporting role in Boy Erased, moments after urging audiences to look past the blockbusters.
Boy Erased is nominated for best film and is based on the true story of a teenager put through conversion therapy in the United States not that many years ago.
It was directed by Joel Edgerton, who appears beside Kidman and Russell Crowe in the film.
“These films are hard right now. They’re hard to get audiences for. They’re hard to get made,” Kidman said.
“You know, I’m also in Aquaman. That is not hard to get made. It’s a whole different thing and it’s nice to be fun.
“But this is where you go ‘please go and see these movies’ because otherwise we won’t have the chance to make them anymore.”
The film was made in the US, but is nominated in the Australian AACTA awards because its director, Edgerton, is a local.
“I don’t know about bending the rules, I’m just grateful the film is being seen,” Kidman said.
Stars use red carpet to talk gender and immigration
A year after revelations about Harvey Weinstein and in the shadows of allegations of sexual harassment by Australian star Geoffrey Rush, several stars insisted times were changing for women in the industry.
On the red carpet, the sentiment on female participation was one of cautious optimism despite the categories for best director, screenplay, cinematographer, editor, sound and original Score featuring only male nominees.
Kidman said women in the industry were “trying to carve paths that should have been carved years ago”.
“We’re all really uniting as women and as a culture and there are so many supportive men and we’re trying to make massive changes for the next generation as well.”
Janet King star Marta Dusseldorp said representation was “the only thing anyone is talking about right now”.
“I think it’s going the right way for my daughters,” she said.
“I don’t think it’ll be easy. I’m not going ‘hey it’s done, it’s great’, but … I have faith. I really do. I know it’ll be hard.
“I know they’re not used to it, but they’ll get used to it.”
Packed to the Rafters star Erik Thomson said change was happening.
“I sense in any writers room, in any situation I’ve been in in the last year or so, it’s always at the forefront of the discussions we have,” he said.
“It’s about having that conversation at the foundational point as opposed to an afterthought or not even thinking about it at all, which was the case for quite a long time.”
Simon Baker wears a blue ribbon as a subtle protest against Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
As expected, many stars wore blue ribbons to protest against Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and to send a message to politicians.
“People don’t like it when you make noise. But you’re supposed to. You’re supposed to make noise,” Julia Zemiro said.
“Get everyone off Manus. They shouldn’t be there.”
Australian actor Simon Baker is nominated for his directorial debut for the movie Breath.
He wore a blue ribbon on the red carpet, saying it was about both public awareness and pushing for political change.
“I guess in a lot of ways it’s to galvanise the politicians in this country to make a conscience decision as opposed to a political decision,” he said.
Bryan Brown given industry’s highest honour
Veteran actor Bryan Brown was being honoured with the Screen Industry’s highest accolade — the Longford Lyell Award — in a ceremony in Sydney today in recognition of his career spanning more than 40 years and 91 roles.
Mr Brown made his screen debut with a bit part as a policeman in the 1975 movie Scobie Malone.
He was worked consistently in Australia and the US, and he has roles in two 2018 AACTA-nominated films.
He voiced Peter’s father in the part-animated Peter Rabbit, shot on location in Sydney’s Centennial Park, and he played a tough constable in one of the favourites to win best picture, the gritty Indigenous western, Sweet Country.
On the red carpet, he told the ABC:
“I still remember my first day and my first movie really,” he said.
“One foot in front of the other really. I hope there are another few feet.”