What was the best thing about making this movie in Greece?
Getting to be here, getting to be by the sea and having all the fantastic Greek food and the retsina and the ouzo and the wonderfully friendly people. The people are so amazingly kind here, and welcoming, so we had a great time. We had a shockingly good time.
What did you do when you weren't working?
Well, we were working pretty long days and it was kind of an energetic shoot so at night I could barely make it home in the car. Sometimes there wasn't supper, but on the days off we went shopping in the little village and bought things for family and presents for everybody. It was very relaxed.
What was the best thing about making the movie?
Making something that's suffused with music like this, music that's so irresistible and exuberant it just feeds you every day. Usually I get kind of annoyed when they want more than six takes, I think 'come on, we've got it right', but I just wanted to go again and again and again. You know, the more, the more, the more I could get. It was just really, really fun to just dance and sing and get a chance to be free like that.
Were you a fan of ABBA?
When I was younger and was in drama school I guess they were the most, they were the hottest they ever were, and I was dancing to them in jazz class. And exercise class was where they always play them because it really got people off their butts and moving the ultimate kind of prod to go.
The last time you were in Australia you told me that your favourite memory was dipping your toe in up in the Northern Territory. What are your other favourite recollections from your time in Australia?
Oh there's so many, so many. Just being up at Uluru/Ayers Rock. I'm not from California and I don't throw around the word 'spiritual' easily, but I really do feel something, a presence there, other worldly.
I'll also never forget the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. At home people go to the local park to feed the ducks, but people go down there to feed the eels and I've never seen it; their little faces coming up from the water for bread oh my God. I sometimes see that in my dreams.
The fabulous wines that you have to spend a fortune for at home. Just the people were so great, so direct. I really understood the protocol. Whereas sometimes when you go to a foreign country you don't really get it, but I got the protocol there. It was easy to get along. People were funny, people were really funny.
What is the most memorable place that you've ever seen your own image?
A friend sent me a picture from Panama City taken in the barrio a very, very, very poor neighbourhood of a house made of tin, cardboard and palm fronds. And plastered on taking up the whole cover of the house and the door was a picture of me, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore from The Hours
. The Hours
! And that was really odd.
The most memorable place you've ever been lost?
I don't get lost darling. I have built-in GPS. It's very annoying for my husband. "No, it isn't left, yes it is left, no it isn't left, yes it is, well why don't you ask someone? I'm not going to ask somebody" and we ask. I mean, I have that special space thing. It drives them nuts.