Toni Collette/The Last Shot Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.Toni Collette laughs when asked if she has a strong reaction to her latestcharacter, a blonde, big-boobed, self-absorbed movie star in the Hollywoodsatire The Last Shot, in which she stars opposite Matthew Broderick and AlecBaldwin. "I see them everywhere, and I wanted to make it as much fun aspossible," says the good-humoured Collette in a Los Angeles hotel room.Collette denies that her latest screen character is based on any "onespecific person", but rather "a general idea of the egocentric notion ofcelebrity."
In a diverse career spanning over a decade, Collette is philosophical as towhether a film such as The Last Shot remains an accurate reflection ofHollywood based on her own experiences. "I've been really lucky. I haven'thad the dodgy career that I know is out there looming, but I think it's anindustry that's very fickle But for this film, I was gleefully coming towork every day, being able to make fun of that type of person, like she'sthe perfect package, a uniform of the blonde, and the tan and the big titsand the perfect smile and all that stuff, while underneath she's just anightmare, and a total mess. She's just come out of rehab, totallymanipulative, narcissistic, self-absorbed, can't see beyond her own breastsand just kind of manipulates people because she's highly ambitious and wantsto get her own way in everything."
One's impression of Collette is that no matter what the role, she has noqualms about physically preparing for a role and keeping fit at the sametime. Looking in great shape, Collette says that she has learned to exercisemore. "It doesn't feel like punishment, but feels like it's good for me, andI actually enjoy it. So I've kind of made it more of a part of my everydaylife and I eat really well. I work out, do cardio, like 45 minutes a day, Ihave a trainer and I've always wanted a bike, one with a back. I don't knowabout that hard core stuff, but it's the equivalent of V cram yoga whereit's so intense they just force you into feeling like you're doing somethingthat's good for you because you're sweating." Collette says that it's easyfor her to gain and lose weight, depending on her role, "which is reallyweird," and as for gaining weight, as she did for her latest film In HerShoes, "I eat everything, like a lot of fatty, cheesy, creamy stuff, and Iwas having shakes every day, even though I don't even eat dairy regularly.I was having lots of pizza, lots of pasta, lots of cheese and lots of wine,"she says laughingly. During filming of In Her Shoes, Collette gained "about24 pounds and then I had to lose it during the shoot, so initially I hadabout 14 days off where, I did a lot of Pilates as well, on and off, andyoga."
The perennially busy actress, who still calls Sydney's Bondi home, has hadto learn how to balance a busy career with her relatively recent marriage tomusician Dave Galafassi. "I'm very good with time management now because Irealised that the down time is important," says Collette. "I guess in my20's I was just roaming around the planet, working back-to-back on films andI didn't have anyone to answer to, or didn't have any responsibility toanyone else, but when you're in a relationship, you know, there's two ofyou. I also just needed to slow down, so it's just been really great to beable to say 'no'. I've kind of realised that work isn't going to go awayand I'm allowed to say no to jobs and take some time off and have a reallife."
Yet she still plans to record an album with her husband, but is keepingtight-lipped on what exactly we will expect from her, musically. "Well,we're kind of just starting to record at the moment, so I don't even want tosay what kind of album it is. I want to leave it open to be able to evolvewith some kind of organic natural quality. This is my thing, no-one else ispointing the finger, no-one else is in control, no-one is giving me anymoney to do anything, so we're just doing it because we need to do it, andit's fun."
Collette also admits that she has finally learned to take herself lessseriously these days. "I realise that I didn't laugh for a very long time,not only on screen. and it does feel like it's all coming back."
THE LAST SHOT OPENS SEPTEMBER.