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Actress Toni Collette: 'It's really normal to have sadness in your life'
By SP_COP on March 20, 2014 | From metro.co.uk
Actress Toni Collette: 'It's really normal to have sadness in your life' A Long Way Down star Toni Collette, 41, used to find acting scary Ė now making music is more likely to give her butterflies.

Was A Long Way Down, based on Nick Hornbyís novel about four suicidal strangers, tough? It was an absolute joy. This is what you want: something to sink your teeth into, people who are likeminded, brilliant material and a most supportive director.

Was it hard to balance the storyís comic and dramatic elements? Nick Hornby is so good at writing in that tone. Itís the type of movie I love to make because I think they go hand in hand. I get a bit bored if they donít exist together. There were a few moments where we tried different ways so there would be options in the editing roomÖ but, generally, it was very clear in the script.

Are you a Hornby fan? I love his writing. I did About A Boy, so Iíve been familiar with him for a while. I think heís so relatable. He gets life in a very real way and the people feel whole. Theyíre messy and f***ed up and kind of great.

Can you understand how someone such as your character, Maureen, could reach a point where death is preferable to life? Iíve thought about it a lot because of this movie. However, I canít imagine getting to that point. Iím just too scared of death and the older I get, the more I realise itís really normal to have sadness in your life. Depression is something else, itís an illness. What everyone wants is happiness, right? But youíre not going to feel happiness unless you feel everything. And happiness is just one of the emotions and itís just as fleeting as everything else. It just keeps changing. So as long as you know that, I think itís quite comforting. If you have a sad moment, you know itís going to shift because nothing lasts forever.

Youíve played a lot of women with real problems. Are those parts hard to find? I feel really lucky. When Murielís Wedding came out I spent some time in LA and I was being offered characters that were similar to Muriel, and even though I wanted to work, there was something in me that knew not to do that. Because once you start doing it, they will keep you there. The great thing about being an actor is you get to explore so many different people and how they live. So I feel quite satisfied in what I am doing.

In general is there a dearth of complex roles for women? There is a great imbalance. I think it comes down to where the financing comes from and what those men want to see on screen. I could go on a big feminist rant but I think what I am going to do instead is just start producing my own stuff and thatís the only way I can chip away and fight against it.

Did you know early on that you wanted to act? I always loved acting. It makes me feel alive. People think actors just get up and do it but most actors feel vulnerable doing it. So, initially, although I had an absolute compulsion to do it, thereís also a real vulnerability to it. But itís good to feel scared. And then when you move beyond it, itís like climbing a mountain. Itís like, yeah!...
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