Last night’s Helpmann Awards drew Australia’s top players in theatre and the arts to the Sydney Opera House. Eddie Perfect and Christie Whelan Browne hosted the glamorous event, which handed out 43 awards. A brunette Lucy Durack won best female actor in a musical for her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, which went on to pick up another four awards, including best musical. The Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Secret River was the night’s biggest winner, with six honours, while Melbourne’s new stage extravaganza King Kong took home five awards in design categories. Stars such as Sarah Murdoch, Baz Luhrmann, Hugh Sheridan and Elizabeth Debicki were also on hand to present some of the awards. Click through for all the red carpet snaps — you can find the full list of winners here.
They’ve taken their joyful musical to Cannes, Toronto, London and all around Australia, and last night the stars of The Sapphires debuted their award-winning movie to an American audience. Leading man Chris O’Dowd was reunited with Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and director Wayne Blair at a screening in NYC last night that was hosted by Harvey Weinstein — his Weinstein Company is distributing the crowd pleasing film in the US on Mar. 29. Following the screening, the stars put on a cute performance to further entertain the guests. At the end of the night Jessica posted on Instagram, “Thanks and much love to #theweinsteincompany for giving this film life to the world love from all #thesapphires team!”
Aussie stars braved the rain in Sydney yesterday to attend the second annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) luncheon at The Star. Held two days before the main ceremony on Wednesday night, yesterday’s event celebrated the first lot of awards for TV and film, focusing more on behind-the-scenes categories. The Sapphires got off to a great start and picked up five awards for best cinematography, best editing, best sound, best production design and best costume design — the musical picked up the most nominations for the AACTAs overall and is expecting a successful night tomorrow. Light entertainment, short film and documentary honours were also handed out at the luncheon (check out the full list of winners here). The Sapphires stars Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens were in attendance to celebrate their movie, while others who walked the black carpet included Rob Carlton, Felicity Price and Alyssa McClelland.
The blue carpet at Odeon West End in London belonged to the cast and director of The Sapphires last night when they premiered their film at the BFI London Film Festival. It was a reunion for Australian actors Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and Jessica Mauboy, and director Wayne Blair, with Irish funnyman Chris O’Dowd, who brought his new wife Dawn Porter to the event. Deborah, Shari, Miranda, Jess and Wayne promoted The Sapphires in Australia but Chris couldn’t make it down for the trip. They did, however, debut the musical at the Cannes Film Festival together back in May.
After watching a string of blockbuster releases in recent months, The Sapphires, the Australian film that wowed critics at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and earned a 10-minute standing ovation, is a breath of fresh air. Combining music, comedy, history and a touch of drama, The Sapphires delivers 103 minutes of feel-good entertainment, backed by a soul soundtrack that will have you wanting to dance in your seat.
Loosely based on a true story, The Sapphires is about three indigenous Australian sisters (Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Jessica Mauboy) who are discovered at a talent contest held at their local pub by a soul-loving Irishman, Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd). Dave thinks they’ve got the musical chops to be the Australian version of The Supremes, and using his connections he takes them and their cousin (Shari Sebbens) to perform for troops in South Vietnam in 1968. What ensues is a singing tour that involves high-risk situations, romantic dramas, and relationship issues within the group.
To find out why I loved The Sapphires, keep reading.
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.”
The State Theatre played host to the Sydney premiere of The Sapphires last night, and according to our girl on the ground Pop the grand surrounds setting a glamorous tone for the evening's red carpet arrivals. Leading ladies Jessica Mauboy — who shimmered in a sequinned Montique gown — Deborah Mailman and Miranda Tapsell got seriously glam for the event, as did the Sydney celeb-set. Carissa Walford worked a pair of sequinned skinnies, Sarah Snook looked delightful in a lace prom-style dress and Sacha Horler was elegant in a streamlined LBD. Step inside to see all of the red carpet looks from last night's opulent premiere!
It's the little film that could, and the Australian stars of The Sapphires looked beautiful on the red carpet for the Sydney premiere last night. Jessica Mauboy heads-up a cast including Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens (who wasn't in attendance at the premiere) in a heart-warming and funny film about four Australian Aboriginal women who form an musical act called The Sapphires. Jessica had her signature long, dark hair out with a centre part, and Deborah looked polished with a cute pixie 'do. The women kept in minimal in the hair and makeup department, letting their gorgeous dresses and inspiring film do all the talking. Click through to see Jessica, Deborah and Miranda looking their best.
The Sapphires premiered last night at the opening night of the Melbourne Film Festival, which means one thing for us: red carpet snooping! Local stars Deborah Mailman, Kat Stewart and Jade Macrae frocked up for the glama-a-rama event, as did Winners and Loosers' co-stars Zoe Tuckwell-Smith and Melissa Bergland, but we have to admit it was Jessica Mauboy who stole the show for us. The pop star-cum-actress donned a sizzling scarlet gown by Yeojin Bae; flattering her figure and separating her from the pack. Jessica slipped into another Yeojin creation for the afterparty and well as appearing in Yeojin Bae earlier in the week in the Herald Sun. We smell a muse! Get a closer look at what the local celeb contingent wore last night. . .
After months of positive buzz thanks to a successful debut at the Cannes Film Festival that included a 10-minute standing ovation, the leading ladies of The Sapphires finally had the opportunity to screen the Australian film for family and friends when it opened the Melbourne International Film Festival last night. Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell frocked up for the red carpet event and posed for some photos with the women they portray in the movie. Jessica said they were more nervous about showing the musical to loved ones than an international audience: “I guess for us four girls, too, we’re just really waiting to see the reaction of our family, their faces.” Inside the cinema, the girls took front row seats. Other guests at the opening night of MIFF included Geoffrey Rush, Matt Preston and Melissa Bergland. The Sapphires opens Aug. 9.