|Photograph: Anna Kucera|
The actor’s new film – a feminist take on the puppet show – is a dark revenge tale for the #MeToo age
Thu 21 November 2019
“I always find it trippy when I do press at home … I feel almost too relaxed and I’m not in the mode of doing this,” the Canberra-born actor says, waving her hand at the general surroundings. “You know,” she pauses. “It’s nice.”
Wasikowska, 30, is dressed in a flowy pink frock for the photoshoot; its dreamy and reminiscent of her role in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. While her depiction as teen gymnast Sophie in HBO’s In Treatment launched her career overseas, it was Tim Burton’s highly elaborate adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s story that catapulted her into mainstream Hollywood at the age of 20. Her portrayal of Alice showcased her chameleon-like quality, with a sometimes subtle, sometimes expressive face that can describe emotional depths louder than words.
Since then she has carved out an unconventional career path, choosing “strange stories and unusual characters” in films including Park Chan-wook’s Stoker and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Wasikowska’s eyes light up talking about those parts: “I feel like you get a chance to play these emotions that are much harder to express in real life. It’s more fun to play [roles that have] their internal mess externalised.”
In line with that ethos comes her latest part: the titular character in Judy & Punch. The writer-director Mirrah Foulkes’s film is a dark, feminist reinterpretation of the traditional 17th century British puppet show, and marks Wasikowska’s first Australian film since 2013’s Tracks. While that film’s protagonist had a sunburnt toughness, Judy is more quietly fierce.