Princess Envy – strewth!
What is it with Australian actresses and the whole real-life princess thing? Most established stars would run a mile in their Louboutins at the merest suggestion of portraying tragic regal icons like Princesses Diana and Grace and leave it to the up-and-coming to wear egg-white omelette on their face and try over the years to have the whole sorry mess drop off the end of their cv. Not so those brave sheilas – Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts – who stick their manicured fingers up at the critics and naysayers and wholeheartedly plunge themselves into the thankless task of imitating two goddesses of the twentieth century. And not just your usual common-or-garden goddess either – Princesses D & G (what an apt designer epithet!) were both the real fairy-tale deal with sweet young girl turned princess turned saint with a whole lot of back story along the way – political intrigue, controlling men and their families, duty over personal happiness, the endless glamour, the tragic car crashes taking our heroines far too soon…
So why do Misses Kidman and Watts do it? They are both well respected actresses with a staggeringly varied body of serious work between them. From Eyes Wide Shut to Funny Games, from The Paperboy to Mulholland Drive they have proved they never shy away from challenging roles. So is it the case when they signed up for Grace of Monaco and Diana respectively – and possibly not respectfully – they were bravely pushing the artistic envelope? Not realising that the money men’s thoughts were probably more along the lines of producing a piece of designer fluff that’d make a quick buck through curiosity value if nothing else. My own personal theory regarding Nicole and Naomi’s motivation is all to do with their antipodean republican background – they couldn’t give a XXXX for royalty – whether it be British, Hollywood or Monagast! And that gives them a whole world of creative freedom shaped by that marvellous egalitarian Aussie attitude of not really caring about what the sniffy snobs in the old countries think.
So good onya, girls! Crack open the Castlemaine and have a right old cackle at the crits. Oh, and don’t worry if the work’s bodgy you gave it a burl!