Sapphires Round Table At The Crosby Street Hotel 3/14/2013

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Q & A with writer Tony Briggs and mom Laurel Robinson (original Sapphire)

What gave you guys the idea that this story would be a movie?
Tony – It was a dream from a conversation that I had with my mom.  I was living in Sydney at the time, and Mom kept mentioning Vietnam.  I also never knew that Mom (who was on tour with The Sapphires ) was shot while she was on a helicopter, so I wanted to know more about Vietnam.  I was documenting a part of Australian history that was never told.  Then it occurred to me as an actor, and I decided to write a play about it.
Was it tough to get through the politics involved to make this film?
We had to be clever on how we did it.  I believe that the honesty would come through it.  I started writing it as a film, but it was a play before that.
Do you feel that the Aboriginal situation has changed since making this film?
I think it has improved the situation.
Were you listening to Soul music growing up?
I grew up in 1967 .  In Australia, country & western music was always big. We dug soul music, but the Australian government did not allow black people into the country.  But we had a youth club in the church where celebrities showed up and we started hearing soul music.
What were your feelings about the war?
One day I saw planes dropping napalm and I felt sick about it.  My dad had friends that served.  The character Robbie in the film is based after my uncle Freddie.
How is the film doing in Australia?
It’s the highest grossing film right now and it’s doing well all over the country. It’s been something I had hoped for but never thought it would be this big.
Have you met the Aboriginal community?
Yes, and it’s been positive. It sheds light for all of us.
Were The Sapphires inspired by the group The Supremes?
No, it’s an original idea from my mom’s experience. I have my own stories to tell. I’m interested in talking about my people and their interests, and telling their stories.

Q& A with Chris O ‘Dowd and director Wayne Blair

Did you ever imagine that you would be doing a movie in Australia about Vietnam with Aboriginals?
Chris – That was always on my mind to have done an Aboriginal musical.  I have never been to Australia.  My sister just migrated there, so I just wanted to hang out with her.
How do you relate to your character? Are there any traits that you relate to?
Chris- I used the same tighty whitey( joking), sleeping in a car or on a sofa and living like these people makes you feel connected to the character.
Wayne, how did you decide on Chris for the part of Dave Lovelace?
Wayne -I flew to L.A. after watching the movie Bridesmaids and thought that Chris would be right for the part.  We needed a great leading actor and he gave a great audition.  The role was originally for an English actor, but when Chris came on board his Irish sensibilities just felt right.  The Irish and The Australians have close relations between the two cultures.
Chris – We are very similar. We like to ridicule and drink.
What music did you grow up listen to?
Chris- I was going through a phase listening to Sam Cooke.  I’m a loud singer .
Have you seen the movie The Commitments?
Chris- If you were 13 or 14 years old when The Commitments came out in Ireland, soul music was the only music that mattered.
Did you have your dance moves?
Chris- I could bop my head. I have a good head of hair for swaying.
Will this lead to making music for you?
No, but I want to do musicals like Rent.
Do you see yourself writing and directing?
Chris–Yes, I’m writing a TV show called “Boiled in West Common Ireland.”  The first series is already on TV.  As times goes by I will spend a lot more time removed from the camera its a lot easier.
What’s the next project that you are working on?
Chris- A film called Family Tree and I shot the new series called Moon Boy.
Do you see a Sapphires 2 movie?
Chris – Well, The Sapphires Go To Korea (joking).
Wayne- It takes place in the 70’s and they go to The Apollo.

Q & A with The Sapphire girls– Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens.

How did you all get the parts?
It was a long audition process. We were at casting workshops and it was an eight month audition process. We are the same type of girls and we all clicked.  By the time that the camera rolled we all knew each other cared about this film so much that we didn’t want our egos to get in the way. We also thought that the writing was great and that it was our story. It’s very rare to have four female leads in a movie.
.Did you find that you were not familiar with this 60’s time period ?
When we did this we had no idea about that time.
What about the music from that time?
We grew up with this music.  Our parents listened to it and played guitars.
Can you talk about the stolen generation?
It was one of the most devastating things in Australian history. The Aboriginal cultures has been fragmented.  The movie bonds you with the whole culture.  The Aboriginal culture was seen mostly for domestic volence.  Seeing these empowering women that wanted something bigger and break out of their mundane culture, we planted the seed and our history is being discussed. We have taken control over our destiny.
Are you girls writing any new material ?
Jessica is (writing new material).  She is the singer and songwriter; we are actresses.

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