Toni Collette gives the lowdown on joining BBC1's upcoming comedy drama Wanderlust alongside Steven Mackintosh
Australian star Toni Collette has been in major Hollywood films from Muriel’s Wedding to Connie & Carla, and now she’s starring alongside Steven Mackintosh in BBC1 drama Wanderlust. Full of angst and humour the six-parter follows married couple Joy and Alan who can’t seem to connect sexually.
At a recent screening of Wanderlust, Toni Collette was on hand to tell What’s On TV much more including how she felt about the sex scenes!
WOTV: What was it about Joy in Wanderlust that brought you to a British TV drama?
Toni Collette: “Well it’s an amazing story and so lifelike. All the characters are so complex, warm and likeable, even when they’re messing things up. I loved playing a therapist who’s just all over the shop at this point in her life. I know there is a focus on sex but I really love that sex is actually that’s the by-product of something much deeper of what Joy’s going through.”
WOTV: How does Joy’s life play out?
Toni Collette: “She’s a woman who’s basically had a near death experience in a cycling accident and suddenly she thinks about what she wants to do with her time now and makes all these new decisions. She’s questioning the structure of her life as a mum and wife, and what she really wants.”
WOTV: Did you immediately connect with the story?
Toni Collette: “This is pretty much the best writing I’ve ever worked with and one of the best jobs of my entire career. I’m a 45-year-old woman and I was like a pig in muck working with this script! I couldn’t believe my luck, even through the winter rain in Manchester made filming a challenge…”
Did you have reservations about doing a drama with so much sex in it?
Toni Collette: “I had no reservations about sex scenes! I mean it’s a part of life and it’s a very lifelike show. I got quite used to sex scenes! You can’t half heartedly act a sexual scene, you have to kind of make it feel real because viewers can tell if they’re watching something that’s not energetically right. The character’s sex lives are part of a larger journey, it’s not the entire focus, so it’s not done in a gratuitous in any way, it’s very much part of what they’re exploring. It seemed quite natural, as it should.”
Do you think the drama might encourage people to go to therapists or put them off?
Toni Collette: “Therapy’s a great thing. I suppose this drama will be enlightening and might encourage someone to check it out. I mean it only makes your life deeper and more connected, that’s a great thing.”
* Wanderlust comes to BBC1 soon