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There's Something About Emily - Emily Browning Interview

Author: Scott Henderson
Monday, March 30, 2009

She might be in line to be Australia’s next big thing in Hollywood, but Emily Browning is in no rush to chase her own LA story, as the diminutive actress tells 3D’s Scott Henderson.

Emily Browning doesn’t seem to have much of a filter, certainly not while she’s talking to this particular journalist. This isn’t to say the 20-year-old actress from Melbourne is not thinking about what she’s saying; it’s just that she does so without hesitation or unhealthy doses of self-conscious. It’s a restless enthusiasm that is infectious.

“I’m always nervous when people are going to see my face on the big screen,” she says. “It freaks me out a bit, but yeah I’m excited, it’s been a long time.” After early career appearances in The Man Who Sued God (2001) and Ned Kelly (2003), Browning gained international notoriety with Hollywood flick Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events in 2004 at which point she promptly disappeared off of everyone’s radars. A little bit older and ready for a new phase in her burgeoning film career Browning is back with the starring role in horror remake The Uninvited.

“I took two years off to finish high school,” explains the well-spoken girl at the other end of an interstate call. “It was important to do something different, I thought that people haven’t seen me for such a long time I should do something opposite to what I’d already done. I also knew the cinematography was going to be similar to that of the original film, A Tale Of Two Sisters, which I thought was beautiful, and I liked the fact that they shot it like a nice film instead of a shitty handheld horror film.”

More than this though, Browning points to the attraction of working on a film with strong female roles, including her own. It’s something she raises in other interviews and it certainly adds further food to the thought that she’s not just another actress starving for a bit of fleeting fame and fortune. Then again her determination to forge out her future in the business without bowing to the flock by relocating to Los Angeles is perhaps the best indicator that she’s a girl with her feet firmly on the ground.

“I don’t mind it there,” offers Browning in good faith to the system that might well make her down the road, “and I’ll go back and forth to work, but I definitely want to stay based here [in Melbourne].” Can she see herself working in film at home- “I do, but in Australia there’s not that much happening at the moment. I don’t want to compromise my happiness to get roles, if people don’t want to cast me because I live in Australia then I suppose that’s the way it goes. If it’s meant to happen it’ll happen.”

Browning seems destined to work in film for years to come as she talks not just about her own work but cinema in general with passion as our interview steers through remakes, the horror genre, foreign film and her screen heroes. Working with Meryl Streep when she was just 15 was an inspiration, explaining “I saw her this megastar who is the benchmark for all actresses and she was just so humble. If I was Meryl Streep I’d be like ‘bow down, bitches’.”

With that healthy sense of humour and a youthful idealism it’s no wonder then that Browning still plans to go to university to study philosophy and women’s studies even though she jokes, “managers and agents are going to kill me,” if she takes any more time off her career. “I’m into writing as well and I just have a billion things I want too do, I don’t know, I’m so indecisive.” A trait the most interesting people have been accused of forever.