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In Her Shoes - Toni Collette interview



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Does tidiness go along with an obsession for shoes in some women?
A.
An anal shoe keeper? I think in Rose's case it really represents the kind of fantasy life that she's hoping to partake in at some point in the near future. I guess what I loved about Rose is that she went from being a shoe-stroker by night to a shoe-strutter by day in maybe only half a year.

Q. Did you ever coax Shirley MacLaine into giving you any advice about how to enjoy a career as long-lived as hers?
A
. I don't think she'd be so condescending, you know? I think she was there to tell the story the same way that we were.
But she's a very strong woman and you can kind of sense certain things without her being so direct. She told some great old stories. And I think that the honesty that she lives her life with also comes across in her work and that's probably what's given her such longevity.
I mean you look at performances in films she's done decades ago and they're such contemporary performances. Other people in the films kind of seem wooden compared to her. You could take her out of the film then and put her in a film now and it's completely applicable.
I think just watching her, you absorb from everyone you encounter in life.

Q. What was it like working with such an elderly cast in the retirement community? Was it inspirational to see them still working?
A.
I literally found it to be such a breath of fresh air because I think our society is so obsessed with youth and clearly people who have lived that long have more experience and more knowledge and I actually laugh the most and get the most out of watching them have a ball. When we were shooting down in Florida at the retirement community for active seniors I was just trying to find out how to check myself in in 30 years' time. They have such full social lives, they're all bonking each other... But you don't just fade out. I think there's this huge misconception about life and the older we get you just kind of switch off and fade out. That's so not true. We're still confronted with issues in life and are able to experience great joy as well and I really loved working with all of them.

Q. What did you do to establish the sisterly bonds between you and did you discover that in real-life you had much in common?
A.
We really had a great foundation. The script was so incredibly brilliant. I heard that these guys wanted me for the movie for about six months and I just thought that people were lying. I expected someone else to get the part.
Eventually I came over to LA and met up in a room, read some scenes and talked about the characters and life and things that were important and things that weren't. There just seemed to be a real ease and a sense that it was meant to be.
Cameron's a very easygoing, open-hearted, beautiful, genuine person so it was very easy. We never felt we had to manipulate any kind of sisterly appearance. We just get on really well. We're basically the same age, we have the same kind of cultural references - even though she grew up in California and I grew up in Australia.

Q. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A.
I don't know how many pairs of shoes I own which is probably quite telling.

Related stories: Read our review

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