The State Theatre in Sydney hosted a premiere for the second night in a row when The Sapphires (in cinemas now) debuted last night. After events in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, stars Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman and Miranda Tapsell, as well as director Wayne Blair, walked the red carpet with producers, writers and more Australian talent such as Reece Mastin, Stan Walker, Timomatic, and the original Sapphires who inspired the movie.
We spoke to the cast and crew as they made their way inside the theatre, and while two of the stars were absent — Shari Sebbens was working on a play — Irish actor Chris O’Dowd sent his love via a hilarious text message that was read out to the audience before the screening, saying he “wanted the Sapphires back!” Following the movie, Jessica hit the stage in a sparkly silver gown and wowed the crowd with her spectacular vocals.
- Miranda on taking in all the positive buzz: “I think I’m just really enjoying the ride at the moment. I’m just so blessed that all these people are coming together — indigenous and non-indigenous — and together we’re really uniting on this story about how much we love it. It’s lovely.”
- Wayne on whether he’s worried people will come in with super high expectations: “Oh, totally! It’s just a beautiful film that we’ve made altogether, and to get this kind of buzz, sometimes it feels a bit too much. We just made a nice little story in 100 minutes. But we want everyone to share it. It’s just one of those things where you want to make a story everyone sees, so hopefully everyone will see it. But look, push comes to shove, one day at a time.”
- Deborah on working with Chris O’Dowd: “I love working with Chris O’Dowd. He’s such a wonderful, incredible man, fantastic actor, and bringing him on board and being part of the story was perfect. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role. He brought so much intelligence, fun and heart to this role, and we had a ball making this. To be standing opposite him when the cameras were rolling, I was like, ‘OK, sh*t, I’m with Chris O’Dowd right now.’ We played really well together.”
- Jessica on watching the movie: “This will probably be my fifth or sixth time. And I don’t get sick of it. Every time I watch it back there’s something new that I latch on to, that I didn’t see before, so that’s always kind of interesting! And surprising.”