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lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
Why should we see Around The Block?
In the world of screenwriting and direct-
ing, a lot of it’s done by men. So when you
get [writer-director Sarah Spillane] with a
really great script, it’s just wonderful. More
specifically for LOTL readers, there’s a twist
in it that involves sexuality, something
great that we got to include in the film.
It’s an indigenous-based story, it’s a whole
lot of minorities put together to create this
really amazing experience.
Your character Hannah doesn’t have much
screen time, yet she’s one of the most
My role is particularly important because
it’s an existentialist film that really shows
we make our own choices. The main char-
acter Liam—the indigenous boy—makes
certain decisions about his life, and Dino
(Christina Ricci’s character) has a choice to
be happy or to live how she thinks society
and friends and family want her to live.
She starts the film with a male partner, and
the gateway through this choice is in the
scene with me. It’s also the only intimate
scene in the film. There’s a wow factor, and
it’s not that it’s some sort of sensationalised
lesbian scene that takes away from the
What’s the most interesting thing about
She’s comfortable with who she is. Han-
nah’s like, I totally know who I am, I’m
totally gay, I totally think you’re hot!
And what was it like to work with
(Sighs) I feel blessed! She’s been in gazil-
lions of films, some arty, which have kept
her credible. For most of my friends in
film, the worst thing for them are the sex
scenes—it’s clumsy. But with Christina
it was just fluid and we had a really good
The cast and crew worked a lot with the
Aboriginal community— how important
Imperative. We shot at ‘The Block’ and
Sarah’s lived in Redfern for a lot of her
life—this film was her baby. The most
beautiful moment for me was being
welcomed to the land by one of the Elders
and told about Redfern, what it was like
10 years ago during the riots. To sit there
and be told.
You’ve talked about being bullied and
reclaiming your body through tattoos.
Could you see similarities between your
younger self and Liam?
Yeah, a lot. Liam’s a product of his envi-
ronment. He has a dad in jail; he’s fearful
of him and doesn’t want to turn out like
him. I guess I had a lot of that growing
up. And at the same time, there are always
going to be parts of me and parts of Liam
that come from our fathers. Liam finds a
teacher who believes in him and I had a
similar experience, which is why I stayed in
school and didn’t just disappear in a slump
of drugs or depression.
You’ve said, “Being a model, there is
always something they want to change.”
Was it then hard for you to be a guest
judge on Australia’s Next Top Model?
It was. When I was judging I was just giv-
ing them advice on how to be savvier, so I
was lucky. I really didn’t want to be judg-
ing their appearances or anything else they
can’t change. But yeah, I think that would
be a difficult role for me to do under any
Can you tell us a bit about the latest Jag
campaign featuring your ‘female’ and ‘male’
Ha! Ruby and Reuben! Reuben’s my alter
ego. I dress like a tomboy in my day-to-
day life; we wanted to explore that. It was
heaven. I like being able to play myself.
Do you think your ‘she’ and ‘he,’ side-by-
side, look like a lesbian couple?
I think it does. It looks like a feminine
woman with a more androgynous female.
Then what do you think of the idea of Jag
advertising in lesbian magazines such as
Yeah, great! I know that Jag sales have gone
up by 30 or 40%, which is amazing. I’m
sure that a lot of those people buying are
gay and lesbian.
And I’m sure I’ll be hunted down if I don’t
I wish! About 4 months ago, I was definite-
ly not dating ‘coz I’d hit this massive low
in my depression. I’m one of those people
who won’t be with someone unless I think
I’m the best person I can be at that time.
So whenever I’ve had problems with ad-
diction, whenever I’ve been depressed, I’ve
taken myself off the market.
It’s not original, but you only live once. As
Dino puts it: We don’t choose to be born, but
we choose to live. I’ve always wondered if it’s
the same with freedom.
Around The Block will be in Australian
cinemas November 7
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