Geraldine Viswanathan Says Australia Is on the Cusp of Something Exciting in Terms of Representation
In new rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery, Australian actor Geraldine Viswanathan plays Lucy, a lovestruck millennial living her dream working in an art gallery in New York. But when the person she's dating, gallery director Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), appears to reconnect with his ex at a work event, Lucy's once-perfect life quickly unravels, and she retreats to her bedroom to mourn a broken heart and muse over the hoarded debris of the relationship (and all the ones before), like shoelaces, doorknobs and even crab cake.
Her classic rom-com meet-cute with Nick (fellow Aussie Stranger Things' Dacre Montgomery), the owner of a half-renovated hotel, happens on the way home from that disastrous night at the gallery, setting both of them up to change their lives — for Lucy to set up a gallery of her own telling the stories of those former relationships, and for Nick to finally open up emotionally and finish setting up his hotel.
The 25-year-old Australian who loves classic rom-coms like Bridget Jones's Diary ("Renée Zellweger is so charming and relatable and Hugh Grant is just so dreamy") isn't exactly like her character — she doesn't hoard the remnants of past relationships to anywhere near the degree that Lucy does. She keeps letters, birthday cards, gifts and ticket stubs in a shoebox under her bed. "I don't hold onto anything perishable," she laughs, over the phone from the US a week out from the movie's Australian premiere. "[Lucy] has that crab cake in her room for a long time."
While she doesn't keep all the relics from her past relationships, Geraldine identified with Lucy's "sentimental world view and her love of life". "I share that. I've always felt so lucky in my life and I've had so many good experiences that I just want to hold on to everything as long as I can, with the fear that it might be taken away from me," she explains. "That's when it maybe becomes a little unhealthy. That's a lot of Lucy's journey — she has to trust herself and trust her future." The movie shows us the distinction between the experiences that help us grow as people, and what ephemera we need to leave behind in order to move forward with our lives.