June 13, 2007

Soap to Star: Part 30384

It seems that everywhere you look these days there is another Aussie female soap star making it big overseas. We all know about the musical ones - There's been Kylie Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia and Natalie Bassingthwaighte (of the Rogue Traders) who all started out on Neighbours. There was even Holly Valance for a while there, and Radha Mitchell had a stint on Neighbours too in 1994. From Home & Away we received Dannii Minogue (singer and now frequent television talent contest judge), occasional Heroes co-star Lisa Lackey (she plays Greg Grunberg's wife), plus prominant up-and-coming Hollywood gals Melissa George (The Amityville Horror) and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers). And let's not forget that Oscar winner Naomi Watts* appeared on Home & Away briefly.

Even Rachael Carpani from McLeod's Daughters (probably the apex of absurd australian soap operas, which is mighty impressive) was in a pilot for a new American series called Law Dogs with Janeane Garofalo and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, but I don't think it was picked up for series.

Anyway. After all of those I guess it's no surprise that Rachael Taylor should be about to "explode" onto the international stage. However, it does surprise me. It surprises me because she used to be on the tragic HeadLand - an incredibly expensive soap that Channel 7 produced thinking it would be a huge hit. And then it premiered and it went nowhere fast before swiftly getting the axe.

So, yes, it was with surprise that I found out a few weeks ago that not only is this Rachael Taylor girl in the upcoming Michael Bay-directed July 4 sure-to-be blockbuster Transformers. She's not just one of the background character if IMDb is to be believed. Over on Transformer's main page she is credited fourth under Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox and Josh Duhamel. She's credited above Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson and John Turturro. Pretty good work for a no-name who couldn't even win the Best New Talent Logie Award.

Apart from Transformers she has a part in the upcoming Hugh Jackman-Ewan McGregor thriller The Tourist as well as the lead in a horror film called Shutter. Is there enough room in Hollywood for her? We'll see. I hope she can prove me wrong, but I didn't exactly see "STAR MATERIAL" in, admittedly, the one episode of HeadLand that I watched (the first episode).

*Naomi Watts won the Oscar for Mulholland Drive. Don't you remember? Halle Berry lost and Naomi won on a write-in vote.

That was also the movie in which fellow Home & Away stars Melissa George and Lisa Lackey played rival actresses. Crazy, huh? I know David Lynch has said he deliberated cast soap opera actresses but did he intentionally cast three from the same one?


Paxton Hernandez said...

It's really cool Aussies soap ladies have become major and talented stars now. Unlike Mexican ones, hehe, uh... does Salma counts?

And yep, Watts is an Oscar winner. All the way.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I knew people would agree with me on that last bit. It just makes perfect sense!

I wish we got Mexican soaps here. As ridiculous as our soaps are, I don't think we have pregnant nuns and sex addicted priests and barely anyone ever gets pushed down staircases!

(well, that's the image I have of Mexican soaps. If I'm wrong then American TV made me that way)

Paxton Hernandez said...

I don't think we have pregnant nuns and sex addicted priests and barely anyone ever gets pushed down staircases!

Hahaha, back in the good ol' days Mexican soap operas USED to be like that! Man, those were the days. Now, everything is toned down. Yikes.

Unfortunately the avant-garde has moved now to Argentina and Colombia.

The newest Colombian soap opera is called "There's No Paradise without Boobs" if you can believe it. It's a mega-smash there, and it's a smash in cable here.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Umm.... surely that has the Emmy for Best Drama locked, right?

Paxton Hernandez said...

LOl! Damn right!

At least the International Emmy.

Marius said...

I'd like to add something to your pretentious, preposterous wanking (i.e., your blog). :)

In the states, soap opera stars are rarely taken seriously. Back in the day, while the big screen celebrated the awkward anti-hero who was usually portrayed by an actor with decent to outstanding acting abilities (e.g., Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, and others), soap opera producers never got the memo. They continued hiring ridiculously attractive people with little to no talent. I’m not complaining; who doesn’t like looking at attractive people. I’m just sayin’. I don’t know what the situation is like in Australia, but if the Aussie actresses you’re talking about are just like their American counterparts, then I’ll have to ask that they stay in Australia.

Comparing Latin-American Soap operas to U.S. ones is like comparing apples to oranges. In the States, soap operas usually air in the morning and/or early afternoon; in Mexico and most Latin American countries, they air in primetime. I also think soap actors in Latin America are on average more talented than U.S. soap stars. Mexico has some real talent in actors like Angelica Aragon and Diana Bracho. The same can be said of other South American actors.

Paxt, I think it’s interesting that you mentioned that Colombian and Argentine soaps are more avant-garde than other Latin-American soaps. I agree to some extent. Some South American soaps are certainly more sexually provocative. However, most of these would be considered conservative if you consider that they all objective women. I don’t find that very progressive; it’s just raunchier. Mexican soaps aren’t as bold, but I think Televisa does that intentionally. They know what it takes to achieve international success. Their soaps are often considered less provocative than South American soaps, but their success is quite impressive.

Marius said...


Kamikaze Camel said...

Hah, that Without Breasts There Is No Paradise is being adapted for American TV.


Amazing. If it wins an Emmy I am staking claim!

In Australia soaps are aired in prime time too. We get American ones during the day, althought we only have Days of our Lives and Bold and the Beautiful these days as Young and the Restless and General Hospital and all the rest are on pay tv.

Thing is, Australian soaps are, at times, the only programs popular enough both here and overseas (Neighbours is particularly popular overseas) and are seen a legit career platformers. Let us remember that Neighbours also gave us Russell Crowe (who was on it briefly) and Guy Pearce (who was a major cast member in the late '80s). There's also Alan Dale (24, The OC and Ugly Betty), Jesse Spencer (House) and briefly famous Craig McLachlan and Jason Donovan.


rural juror said...

Now all the Mexican soap operas are about either cowboys, magical children, or 30 year old teenagers in boarding schools.

Yeah for Melissa George! (make a good movie, hon...I love ya)