Q: Was there ever a question of who - between your husband
or your brother - would make the film? Did Bruce . .
A: He never read the script. He said he was going to, and at
one point he read the first ten pages and stopped. But I decided
itís better he didnít. It wouldíve been very
difficult for me to cope if he didnít like it!
Q: What event or idea triggered this screenplay for you?
A: Iím always interested in contemporary morays and the
merry go round of peopleís emotional life. I got the idea
that you could hire someone to come in and sort of cause the
other person to fall in love with them.
Q: A sort of Ďlove to orderí . . .
A: Thatís how it started. And Iím also interested in
the Faustian legend, that in life a certain key decision can lead
to major, unexpected changes.
Q: It is set in London, but it wasnít originally, was
A: I wrote the first draft with money from the Womenís Film
Fund and it was set in Sydney. Then an American producer read it
and liked it and suggested changing the setting, so I rewrote it
with a New York setting. The film nearly got off the ground -
several times actually, but then when John (Duigan) came in, we
agreed that London was the best location for it.
Q: Did the character of Robin Grange change in these
A: He was always an American, and his character remained
constant. He was complete from the start, a manipulative and
adaptable and ambitious man Ö
Q: What was your relationship to this character . . . how
did you feel about him?
A: Thatís a very interesting question; thereís a side
of me that likes the audacity and the ability to put his own
interests first. He is a man with exceptional charm which can win
people over and seduce them. On the other hand, he can wreak
havoc - Iíve seen people like that operating and for the
innocent, they can be catastrophic.
Q: The character of Elena, played by Anna Galiena, is
interesting because she changes so much . . .
A: Yes, she probably changed the most in various drafts, too. She
has the biggest journey and sheís the one who comes out the
best in a way. I didnít want her to be a victim and
sheís ended up bigger and stronger. From the beginning I
felt that all the characters had to be likeable and recognisable
- the Americans had a bit of trouble with this notion - and that
they are simply caught up in the circumstances, doing things they
normally wouldnít. And I think John has been lucky with his
cast - or should I say, he has chosen his cast shrewdly.
Q: And whatís next on the keyboard?
A: Iím chewing on an idea about a group of Sydney people who
go off on a Puccini and Verdi tour to Europe. Theyíre all
middle aged or a bit older, and havinmg their mid life crises . .
. it was inspired by a friend of mine who takes these tours and
her stories of what happens. There are lots of opportunities to
play the human dramas out against a backdrop of these grand old
European buildings, and of course, the music. Itís
tentatively titled The Time of Our Lives.
Felix Webb (Lambert Wilson), a successful English playwright with a new
play in rehearsal, The Hit Man, is dithering whether to desert
his perfect wife Elena (Anna Galiena) and family, for Hilary (Thandie Newton)
a beautiful feisty young actress, who has just been cast as the
star of his play. He loves both of them and his decency holds him
back from walking out. The director, Humphrey Beal (Barry Humphries)
has also cast a better known American star, Robin Grange (Jon Bon
Jovi), in the co-starring role. Grange is a charismatic but
dangerous young man, who quickly exploits the situation by
offering to seduce Elena, as a kind of love therapy. But if that
werenít enough, Grange proves to be an expert manipulator
who insinuates himself into all their lives, like some corrupting