What is your favourite vacation spot and why?
Oh, God. You know I used to love Hawaii
until the paparazzi ruined it. No, seriously, Kauai was my favourite place and now it's crawling with photographers, it's such a tragedy because it's such a wonderful place. So it used to be Kauai.
I just like experiencing new cultures, you know. I think it's so important to travel because it's important to get outside your bubble and really see what other people are experiencing around the world.
I love travelling with the UN because although the trips are, you know, very intense and emotional, the inspiration that comes from learning about the struggles of other people and learning what you can do to help those are some of my favourite trips 'cos they're so informative and life altering.
What's your number-one travel tip?
My number-one travel tip is bring a cosy sweater ... planes get cold and you need to be cosy.
Is there one thing you never leave home without other than the sweater?
Chap stick. My lips get very dry.
Do you have an ultimate travel destination, somewhere you've never been that you've always wanted to go?
India, yeah, I've always wanted to go to India and I've been planning several trips and hopefully I'll get to go with the UN 'cos that's actually the way I'd really like to see it.
You've been to Australia, right?
What's your favourite travel experience inside Australia?
Well, weirdly it's ... I've been to Sydney like, 10 times, but I'm dying to go to like, Melbourne and you know the Great Barrier Reef and explore the other territories and regions but I do really really love Sydney. It's a great place and I really love the people of Australia; I feel like this sort of deep connection to them. So I'm so excited for this film to come out there, you know, I really hope that they enjoy it.
What was the best thing about making Whip It for you?
Being able to find something that I could put all of myself into; my whole heart, all the emotional experiences I've had. The cultural, the musical, you know, the love of cinema, performances, working with actors, the technical aspects I love about photography and filmmaking and I love comedy and I love drama and I love sports and action. So, to find a film that I could put all of that into was a really wonderful opportunity for me.
For people who haven't seen Whip It, can you give them some idea of what they're in for?
Well it's, you know, a movie about a family and you know I think families have a very strong opinion and idea of what their kids should be when they grow up. And sometimes when the kids' opinion is different than their parents, how do you go about gaining respect and acceptance and honesty with your family in the fact of your paths may differ from each other?
I also think that life is a journey and you have to learn and come to terms with who you are and who you want to be in this world. That journey is very fun but it can be very painful and difficult because you sort of grow into yourself. I think you need to find a pack of friends, a tribe, you know, a gang of sorts that you want to go through life with that support you and encourage you and push you and inspire you.
And there's first love, you know, what kind of relationships do you want to have in your life? There's friendship. So I sort of tried to find a story that I could put all those elements into 'cos that's what we all experience in real life so, you know, it's a film that's a little bit all over the map in that it touches on many different emotions and subjects and circumstances but hopefully its wrapped up in a cohesive vision through this person who is Ellen Page's journey.
You decided to act in the movie and train to be a roller-derby skater at the same time during pre-production on your first film as a director. Talk about that decision?
Well, it was definitely putting, you know, something way heavy and extra on my plate. But I just think it's invaluable to be there with the girls and learning and training and being in it with them. You know, you can't be a sideline dictator.
You gotta know what they're going through and you gotta study for your stunts and be able to do them yourself and have that camaraderie and that chemistry of really becoming a team and learning a skill and a sport.
What's your favourite movie location ever?
I don't know, I mean, there are just so many different types of landscapes that are wonderful. I'd love to make a film in Europe. Although I did, I made a film in the south of France, which was beautiful.
Do you have a favourite city?
You know I really love Austin [Texas]. Austin is a great city, very authentic and this film is a bit of a love letter to Austin so I'm happy to celebrate that city.