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by Nigel M Smith
September 5, 2012 11:47 AM
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'Hello I Must Be Going' Star Melanie Lynskey On Her Bout With Depression After 'Heavenly Creatures' and Proving Naysayers Wrong


"Hello I Must Be Going" Oscilloscope Laboratories
Sure.

I did. Absolutely. I mean, that was probably the closest, that, you know—when I was doing the movie—that was probably the closest time that I had to reference. I always had wanted to be an actor. And everybody around me said it’s not possible, it’s not realistic. And then I found myself doing this movie, so I sort of felt like, “Oh, it feels possible now. I’m literally doing a movie, so people are gonna hire me.” But then everybody was sort of like, “Well that was fun, now get on with your life as it was.”

It’s kind of like Amy in the movie after she meets Jeremy. For the first time ever she knows what she wants now, she knows what makes her happy, she’s open to the world. And after I did that movie, I was like, “I don’t know how to go back to my life. I don’t know how to be happy as I was.”

I had this experience that was so magical, so I went into like a very great depression because I was being told that the career that I wanted wasn’t gonna happen. It took me a long time to kind of gather my strength and say, actually, I feel like if I keep trying, then I can make it happen. And then once I decided to that, it took a long time as well. So, it was like a pretty dark time. I feel like I’m rambling, sorry.

No no, please, ramble on. I love it. Who was crushing your dream? You showed such promise in your debut, it's a wonder anyone tried to talk you out of it.

Thank you. Well, you know, I come from a small town in New Zealand and it truly is not a practical career. Everybody was just sort of looking out for me. You know, there was a protective element on “Heavenly Creatures,” where everybody was like, “We don’t want to ruin your life.” Like, “Thanks for doing this movie for us, and now be sure that you go to university and get a normal job.” You know?

"There was a protective element on 'Heavenly Creatures,' where everybody was like, 'Thanks for doing this movie for us, and now be sure that you go to university and get a normal job."
Yeah.

No one wanted to be responsible for me being like, “I’m gonna run off to Hollywood!” And then failing miserably. It was difficult just to hear nothing but, “Don’t do this again.” I was like, “Oh god. Did I do an OK job? I’m so very confused.” And, you know, my parents and teachers at my school…New Zealanders are very practical. Everybody was kind of like, “That was fun. It’s not what your life is gonna be.” It’s kind of good advice, but I think there’s a middle ground.

What was it like to see Kate go on to thrive immediately after, while hearing people tell you that you should hold back from really going for it?

It kind of reinforced what people were saying in a way, because Kate when we did the movie was like, a professional actress. She’d been working in television for five years and she was such a professional and she knew what she was doing and she really, really showed me the ropes. Like, you know, “Here’s your mark and here’s how you look at the camera.” I was like, “Oh my god, this woman is amazing. She knows everything.” And then once the movie came out, everyone was very excited for her, because she’d been working for a long time and it was her first movie and it was like, time for her to do a movie. She was poised for success. There was a lot of support around her, you know. I was a kid who didn’t have a lot of self-esteem. I didn’t feel great about myself, so I was kind of like, “Oh, so that’s not my thing. That’s her thing because she’s worked very hard for it and she’s a professional actress.” And I kind of felt like, “Well, who do I think I am to just like show up and do one movie and be like, ‘Oh, me too!’” You know? So it kind of reinforced that feeling in me of like, “OK, take a step back. You don’t deserve it and you don’t belong.” But, you know, it took a long time for me to be like, “Oh, nobody’s Kate Winslet.” You know?
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1 Comment

  • jingmei | September 6, 2012 5:09 AMReply

    Very awesome interview, thanks. I also like her voice with Kiwi accent.