by on March 3,2011

In the latest screen version of Charlotte Brontë’s 164-year-old novel “Jane Eyre,” 21-year-old Mia Wasikowska plays the title role. The filmmakers had sought a lead actress close in age to the young heroine, part of an effort to freshen a work that’s been fodder for countless film, TV and stage adaptations. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) emphasized the story’s spooky elements, in some scenes flirting with the horror genre, and screenwriter Moira Buffini reordered the novel’s narrative structure, making use of flashbacks to ratchet up the drama.

Co-starring with Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester, Ms. Wasikowska creates the governess who transcends a lowly station—”poor, obscure, plain and little”—and continues a rapid cinematic rise. After landing in a recurring role in HBO’s “In Treatment,” last year she appeared in the title role of Tim Burton’s box-office smash “Alice in Wonderland,” and in the Oscar-nominated “The Kids Are All Right” as a pensive teen who seeks out her sperm-donor father. In her native Australia (where she lives with her parents in Canberra when she’s not working), Ms. Wasikowska spent years studying ballet before abandoning dance for the less rigid discipline of acting. Future projects, she says, include films by Gus Van Sant and Park Chan-wook. For the Korean director’s “Stoker,” Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are in talks to play her parents.

The Wall Street Journal: The first scene you filmed was Jane fleeing Rochester’s Thornfield estate, where you’re stumbling and crying and soaking wet. How did you ramp up to that intensity?

Ms. Wasikowska: Ah yes, stumbling through the moors. I think that was day two. That’s the thing about films—you can never choose when you do anything. You have to be ready at any moment to turn on a certain emotion. It would suck to do those scenes against a [special effects] green screen. Out there, it was windy and cold and I could at least imagine what it would be like.

Were there passages of the book that especially helped you unlock the character?

By the time I’d finished rereading it I’d underlined pretty much the whole book. From start to finish it’s Jane’s inner monologue, but the big key to understanding Jane is Rochester. Almost everything he says unlocks who she actually is.

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Jane Eyre isn’t some stuffy old book you are assigned to read at school. It’s the story of a teenager, a rebellious young woman back in the day when girls were supposed to sit in the corner, look pretty and shut up!

Young Jane, a badly-treated orphan, isn’t about to conform to all that. She speaks out, does what she thinks is right and, ultimately, wins personal freedom and the guy of her dreams. What’s not to like? The tale also has a spooky mystery in addition to the hot love story.

Petite blonde Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska who played Alice in the recent Alice in Wonderland film, was so hooked on the story of Jane after reading the book that she went looking for a film version so she could star as the character.

We’re chatting with Mia about what makes Jane tick, how Jane is cool as a role model for young girls today, how she almost froze to death making the film, how she felt about the love story in the movie and how much she loves to take photos with her old-fashioned film camera.

Picture Mia in a classy silk beige and black dress topped with an oversized fuzzy sweater and wearing black tights. No tall shoes for this girl; comfy flats.

TeenHollywood: How do you think the film and Jane relate to teens and kids today? I guess the feelings are the same throughout the ages.

Mia: Yes. I think it’s a very modern story and also a very universal story. When you take away the costumes and the setting, at the core of it is a story of a young girl who is trying to find love and a family and connection in a very dislocated world. I feel like that has transcended. It continues to connect with people. It’s a very universal theme and something almost everybody experiences to a different degree in their life.

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by on January 1,2011

Mia Wasikowska’s 2011 could get curiously busy.

The “Alice in Wonderland” thesp is circling both John Hillcoat’s “The Wettest County in the World” and Fox Searchlight’s “Stoker.” She may do both – but as of now, a scheduling conflict stands in the way. Negotiations are on hold while her reps and the studios try to work out a sked. Both projects have received a fair share of buzz in recent months.

Prohibition pic “The Wettest County in the World,” based on Matt Bondurant’s tome and starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, is a long-gestating passion project for helmer Hillcoat. After struggling to find financing last year, pic got an early 2011 start date after Megan Ellison’s Annapurna shingle jumped aboard. Nick Cave penned the adaptation, and Ellison, Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick are producing via Fisher and Wick’s Red Wagon Entertainment banner.

“Stoker” was on the 2010 “Black List” of best unproduced screenplays. Carey Mulligan and Jodie Foster star and Ridley and Tony Scott produce via their Scott Free Prods. Pic, penned by Ted Foulke, revolves around a teen who, while mourning the death of her father, suddenly must deal with an uncle who mysteriously appears.

Wasikowska had a busy 2010 as Alice in “Alice in Wonderland,” which went on to make more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, and as the teenage daughter in “The Kids are All Right.” She can be seen next in Focus’ “Jane Eyre,” which bows in March.

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by on January 1,2011

After winning a Tony Award for his performance as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s play A View from the Bridge, Anthony LaPaglia is taking the not uncustomary route of reprising the role for a film adaptation. And now Variety (via FirstShowing) tells us that joining him for the film are actresses Vera Farmiga and Mia Wasikowska. The former you probably know from work like The Departed and Up in the Air, while the latter starred in last year’s Alice in Wonderland, along with (only thing I’ve seen her in) the resoundingly OK The Kids Are All Right.

As previously mentioned, it’s based on the Arthur Miller play of the same name, centered around Eddie Carbone and his wife Beatrice (Farmiga), who have raised their niece Catherine (Wasikowska) since she was a child. But the arrival of Beatrice’s European cousins enchants the niece, filling Eddie with both jealousy and obsession, which leads to tragedy.

Also jumping on board are Sam Neill and Sebastian Stan, who has the fairly large role of Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s sidekick in the upcoming film adaptation. The story sounds like it could work as a small dramatic piece, and the cast certainly doesn’t hurt its chances. Production is slated to being in June in New York and Melbourne, so I wouldn’t expect to wait long for a release.

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by on December 12,2010

Finally some photos! Mia has a 10 page spread in ELLE US January issue along with her co-star Henry Hopper. I’ve added both HQ scans and outtakes, so enjoy!





RELATED LINKS
Magazine Scans > Magazine Scans 2011 > January – Elle US
Photoshoots > 017

by on December 12,2010

The year 2010 has been a year chock-full of fresh, young faces vying to overthrow the Hollywood’s mainstays — and they’re playing to win. Whether it was the youngest billionaire in history taking over the internet (“The Social Network”), kids beating up adults (“Kick-Ass”) or kids beating up each other (“The Karate Kid”), it’s clear this new batch of rising stars is not a group to mess with.

6. Mia Wasikowsa
Seen In: “Alice in Wonderland” “The Kids are All Right”
NextFactor: Whether portraying the title role in Tim Burton’s billion dollar-grossing version of “Alice in Wonderland” or shining brightly in the more modestly budgeted indie hit “Kids Are All Right,” no working actress quite embodies that all-American girl quite like Mia. If you’ve seen the wonderful “Kids,” you know what we mean. Of course, she’s Australian but… whatever.

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