Meet the Cast of "Australia"
The Drover (Hugh Jackman) and Sarah (Nicole Kidman) are plunged into upheaval, adventure and romance beyond their wildest imaginations. Photo Credit: James Fisher
NICOLE KIDMAN (Lady Sarah Ashley) first came to the attention of American audiences with her critically acclaimed performance in Phillip Noyce's riveting 1989 psychological thriller "Dead Calm." She has since become an internationally recognized, award-winning actress known for her range and versatility.
In 2003, Kidman won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe® Award, a BAFTA Award and a Berlin Silver Bear for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry's "The Hours." In 2002, she was honored with her first Oscar nomination for her performance in Baz Luhrmann's innovative musical, "Moulin Rouge!" For that role, and her performance in writer/director Alejandro Amenabar's psychological thriller "The Others," she received dual 2002 Golden Globe nominations, winning for Best Actress in a Musical. She was awarded her initial Golden Globe for a pitch-perfect, wickedly funny portrayal of a woman obsessed with becoming a TV personality at all costs, in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," and has been nominated three additional times: for her performances in Jonathan Glazer's "Birth," Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain," and Robert Benton's "Billy Bathgate."
Recent film releases for Kidman included writer/director Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding," co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black and "The Golden Compass," director Chris Weitz's screen adaptation of the first volume in Phillip Pullman's popular fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials. Upcoming is the drama "Nine," directed by Rob Marshall.
Kidman voiced the role of Norma Jean in the Academy Award winning animated musical Happy Feet, reuniting her with the Australian director most responsible for launching her career, George Miller. She narrated the documentary release (last year's Sundance Grand Jury Award and Audience Award-winner), "God Grew Tired of Us," and is also the narrator in the film biography of Simon Wiesenthal, "I Have Never Forgotten You."
Kidman has also starred in Sydney Pollack's "The Interpreter" with Sean Penn; Lars von Trier's "Dogville" with Paul Bettany and Lauren Bacall; Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" with Tom Cruise; and Jane Campion's "The Portrait of a Lady" with John Malkovich.
In January of 2006, Kidman was awarded Australia's highest honor, the Companion in the Order of Australia. She is a worldwide ambassador for UNIFEM. In 2004, she became the first Chair of the Women's Health Fund at UCLA, at the David Geffen School of Medicine.
HUGH JACKMAN (The Drover) made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the "X-Men" trilogy, a role he reprised in "X2" and "X-Men: The Last Stand."
Jackman has also starred in Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain," Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" and Woody Allen's "Scoop." In addition, he voiced characters in the animated features "Happy Feet" and "Flushed Away." Other leading roles include "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Van Helsing" and "Kate and Leopold," for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination.
For his portrayal of the 1970s singer-songwriter Peter Allen in the Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz," Jackman received the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Actor in a musical as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards.
Previous theater credits include "Carousel" at Carnegie Hall, "Oklahoma!" at the National Theater in London (for which he received an Olivier Award nomination), "Sunset Boulevard" (which garnered him an MO Award, Australia's equivalent of the Tony) and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (for which he received another MO Award nomination).
Jackman's career began in Australia in the independent films "Paperback Hero" and "Erskineville Kings," winning the Australian Film Critics' Circle Best Actor award and receiving a nomination for Best Actor from The Australian Film Institute. In 1999, he was named Australian Star of the Year at the Australian Movie Convention.
Most recently, Jackman produced and starred in the thriller "Deception" with Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams, the first feature production from SEED, the company he founded with John Palermo and Deborah-Lee Furness.
SEED is currently in post-production on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," an action thriller featuring Jackman's character from the "X-Men" series, which is slated for release in 2009.
DAVID WENHAM (Neil Fletcher) has appeared in the films "300," "Van Helsing," "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, in which he played the role of Faramir, and "Moulin Rouge!" His chilling lead performance in the critically acclaimed Australian feature film "The Boys" received an Australian Film Institute Nomination for Best Actor and a Film Critics Circle of Australia Nomination. Wenham also served as associate producer on the project.
Wenham's other feature credits include the title role in director Paul Cox's "Molokai: The Story of Father Damien," "Better Than Sex," "A Little Bit of Soul" and "Dark City." He has also appeared in the Australian features "The Bank," "Getting Square," "Three Dollars," "The Proposition," "Marriage," "Pure," "Cosi," "Idiot Box," "Russian Doll," and "Greenkeeping."
Wenham's charismatic character "Diver Dan" in the Australian hit television series "Sea Change" won him an AFI Nomination for Best Actor in a Television Drama in 1998 and cult status within Australia. In 1997, he won an AFI for Best Actor in the drama series "Simone De Beauvoir's Babies." He also appeared in an episode of "The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" opposite the late Steve Irwin.
Wenham's extensive theatre credits include "Art," directed by Matthew Warchaus, Cleante in director Barrie Kosky's "Tartuffe," and as Laertes in "Hamlet" and as Sebastian in "The Tempest," both for director Neil Armfield's Company B.
The youngest of seven children, Wenham was raised in Marrickville, Australia and received his training at the University of Western Australia. He began working with Baz Luhrmann in the script development workshops for "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet."
BRYAN BROWN (King Carney) became an international star in the early 1980s with the success of the breakout Australian film "Breaker Morant" and the popular TV miniseries "The Thorn Birds" and "A Town Like Alice."
His film credits include "Gorillas in the Mist," "FX," "Cocktail," "Along Came Polly," "Newsfront," "The Shirlee," "Blood Oath Risk" and "Two Hands," for which he won his second Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Brown also produces film and television projects though his company New Town Films, including the Aboriginal-themed drama "Dead Heart." His 12 part television series "Twisted Tales," featuring some of Australia's most popular actors and promising new directors, has been seen by audiences in over 100 countries.
New Town Films produced the short films "Blindman's Bluff," the 2000 AFI award winning "The Big House," both written and directed by Rachel Ward, and the 50-minute drama "Martha's New Coat," also directed by Ward. In 2003 "Martha's New Coat" won an Australian Film Critic's Circle Award for Best Short Drama.
Brown starred in and produced the feature "Dirty Deeds," written and directed by David Caesar, which was released in Australia in 2002 to much box office success.
Brown is currently working on "Two Twisted" for the Nine Network, a follow up to "Twisted Tales" which will present opportunities to new writers and emerging directors.
JACK THOMPSON (Kipling Flynn) is one of Australia's most beloved and respected actors, having appeared in numerous feature films such as "Wake in Fright," "Sunday Too Far Away" and "Breaker Morant," for which he won awards at both the AFI Film Festival and the Cannes International Film Festival in 1980.
Thompson's additional film credits include "Leatherheads," "The Good German," "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," "Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil," "The Assassination of Richard Nixon," "December Boys," "The Sum of Us," "Petersen," "Bad Blood," "Caddie," "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith," and "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence."
His television credits include "A Woman Called Golda" with Ingrid Bergman, "Shadow In The Sun" opposite Stephanie Powers and "A Woman Of Independent Means" opposite Sally Field.
Thompson is a Goodwill Ambassador for U.N.H.C.R., an ex-director of the Film Finance Corporation, a founding member of the Council for the National Museum of Australia and a life member of Stockman's Hall of Fame. He was also awarded an AM (Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia) for his services to the Australian film industry.
DAVID GULPILIL (King George) was born in 1953, in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. He grew up in a tribal environment called Marwuyu in an area northeast of the world famous Kakadu National Park. He learned the traditional ways of a warrior as part of the Mandalpingu Tribe of northeastern Arnhem Land, where his ancestors lived for thousands of years.
In 1969, director Nicholas Roeg chose Gulpilil to play the lead role in his feature Walkabout, which was filmed on location in Northern Australia. He has also worked with directors Peter Weir, Rolf de Heer and Phillip Noyce.
His other feature film credits include "Crocodile Dundee," "Rabbit Proof Fence," "The Right Stuff," "Until the End of the World," "Mad Dog Morgan," "The Last Wave," "Storm Boy," "Dark Age," "Dead Heart," "Serenades," "The Tracker," "The Proposition" and "Crocodile Dreaming."
Most recently, he starred with his son in "Ten Canoes," serving as the film's narrator.
Gulpilil is one of Australia's most accomplished exponents of traditional Aboriginal dance and the native wind instrument the didgeridoo. He has made many tours of Australia performing with his troupe of dancers and has also traveled to San Francisco and Los Angeles in the United States, Great Britain and France. Gulpilil and a group of his native dancers performed at the Australian Pavilion at the 1985 World Expo in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.
Thirteen year-old BRANDON WALTERS (Nullah) was discovered by director Baz Luhrmann through a nationwide casting search for a young Aboriginal boy to play the crucial supporting role. After Walters participated in a series of workshops with the director at Fox Studios Australia, Luhrmann traveled to the aspiring young actor's hometown of Broome, in Western Australia. With the blessing of the boy's family, Luhrmann offered him the part.
This is Walters' film debut.
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