Debicki (The Great Gadsby, The Night Manager) plays the role of Eva in Simon Baker’s film version of Breath, a surf drama set in mid-'70s coastal Western Australia, based on Tim Winton’s award-winning book of the same title.
We spoke to the Australian actress about the new film, her current reads, and working with fellow-Aussie Margot Robbie.
You’ve been all over the world for work recently. What’s it like being on home soil for the premiere of Breath?
I’m feeling tired and happy. But it’s lovely to be back. I had some time with my family and it’s very nice to be here in Sydney and support the film.
What attracted you to the role of Eva?
The script. I think that she is really interesting to me. There is something very interesting about telling the story of a woman who feels really displaced and a how that manifests in her psyche. There is a lots of things about her that really resonated with me. At the heart of her, there is an identity crisis so there is a loneliness to that and her trying to figure out something that has been taken away from her.
She’s described as spiky, unpleasant and resentful. What do you enjoy most about playing a nasty character?
It was enjoyable because the work was really satisfying. I found being in her quite confronting because she is in a really lonely place as a human, as a woman. I don’t know there is something like really juicy as an actress to play that too. To really get into that darkness and figure it out.
Breath is a love letter to Australian surf culture. You are an Aussie, but are you an ocean lover?
Yes, I love the ocean but I like it during the winter when I don’t get sunburnt.
How was Simon Baker as a first-time director?
He’s a wonderful director. He’s very clear and very spontaneous. I found working with him very free actually and I really trusted him.
You worked with Margot Robbie on Peter Rabbit. When can we expect to see you two on screen together again?
I don’t know I’d love to do something with her. We should find something to do! She’s producing such wonderful film and she’s so devoted with female content. I’d love to work with her. I adore her, I have so much respect for her. She’s wonderful.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a book called The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar. It’s a British novel, a very interesting fantasy.
Breath is in cinemas nationwide on May 3rd.