Interview: Maya Stange
Review by By Clint Morris
Interview with Maya Stange
Actor from Garage Days and XX/XY films.
Young Person's Express-Guide to Becoming a Rock Star: While
most people would cut a demo, take some classes, heck
learn to sing or play
Actress Maya Stange decided the
quickest way to become a rock star was to star in a movie
about the profession.
Thankfully, hot film director Alex Proyas was casting a new
movie called Garage Days, and the role of Kate had
Stange's name written all over it. The movie, due for release
later this year, is quite a departure for the Fremantle-raised
starlet, whose previous films include Bill Bennett's In
A Savage Land, Head On and Russell Crowe starrer
Love in Limbo. Clint Morris caught up with the promising
local newcomer, in between re-fitting her strings on the Garage
Alex Proyas is going for something diverse with Garage
Days. It's more of a personal project, and a bona fide
human story, in contrast to his previous directing efforts,
the last of which was the shadowy science fiction movie Dark
"It's about a band in Newtown trying to make it happen,
trying to score that first gig. It's also a love story. And
a lot of other stuff happens along the way," Stange tells.
"I play Kate, a young designer, who's a pretty funky
chick, though she's probably the most straight of the group.
I mean, she has her life pretty much together (at the beginning
of the story) but things aren't going too well with them and
she realises she actually has a thing for the lead
singer, Freddy (Kick Gurry).
"It sends everything into a spin when she and Freddy
have to work out whether to act on their feelings and risk
f*cking up things with the band," she adds.
Stange, also a familiar face on Australian TV, jumped at
the chance to star in Garage Days, mainly because she
knew what the director was trying to say with the film.
"The really fun thing about Alex is that he is open
to input, so I guess there was a feeling that we were doing
"There is a great balance with Alex between clarity
- he knows exactly what he wants - and openness - he is willing
to check out anything we suggested and give it a go. For me,
this is the key thing in a director," explains Stange.
"Plus, I just think he's a genius. I mean, there is all
this crazy stuff in the movie that is pure Alex, and we can't
really take any credit for it. His vision with the camera,
his way of expressing directly through images just blow me
away. Really I was just happy to be in his movie, to be a
part of it."
Garage Days also stars Pia Miranda and Kick Gurry,
and luckily for Stange, they do the singing and the playing.
"Kick sings, Pia plays the bass guitar. Homebake was
the most adrenaline filled, outrageously fun day of filming
ever," she says. "We had such a brilliant time,
we didn't want it to end. The cast and crew were unreal, and
the nature of the project - comedy, rock and roll, and all
that - made it a great world to inhabit, the characters are
all so vivid, Alex was amazing, I just fell in love with the
whole thing basically." Says a besotted Stange.
How do you
say - jamming?
"We had a month of rehearsals which made a huge difference.
It meant that by the time we were shooting we had laid all
the foundations, we were so solid as a group, and the characters
had really come into their own, the
rest was really just about enjoying the ride."
Stange still remains down to earth despite her sudden surge
on the Aussie power list and she's ever so thankful to those
who have helped out along the way. "I worked with Russell
Crowe when I was sixteen, and he definitely had an impact
on me and the way I thought about acting as a career. And
you know, he's not a bad actor! That was my first job. Actually
the person who has probably taught me the most as an actor
is Richard Roxburgh, who I was in Closer with at the
Sydney theatre company. He also directed me in Twelfth
night at Belvoir St. theatre last year. He is my mentor,
and just a hero to me." Next up for Stange is a Hollywood
production called XX/XY.
XX/XY is about three people in New York who meet at
a party and attempt to have a threesome that doesn't go so
well. It's about the relationships that arise out of that
night, and all the issues of trust and love and basically
how screwed up and confused we are in relationships, how we
can be so brutal each other.
"My character and Mark Ruffalo's character get into
this relationship but there is not a lot of trust or communication
between them because of the way the whole thing started. It's
a pretty cool movie, I think the director, Austin Chick, has
done a great job. I think it comes out in the states around
September this year, and hopefully it will come out in Australia
after that," says Stange, who is also full of praise
for co-star Mark Ruffalo (You Can Count On Me).
"He blew me away. That was a really intense experience
because of the nature of the project, and because I think
mark is one of the best actors around at the moment - he is
seriously good. And it was such a pleasure working with him
also, because of who he is as a person. I would love to do
From rock star to raunchy romancer, Maya Stange is on an
express ticket to stardom.
Garage Days Opens Late 2002
XX/XY opens Late 2002
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