Film interview: Rising star Mia makes tracks in the world of Hollywood

Mia Wasikowska.
Mia Wasikowska.
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Hollywood might be a dazzling destination but for rising star Mia Wasikowska, there’s only one place that she can truly call home – Australia.

And the 24-year-old, who’s known for her roles in Alice In Wonderland, Jane Eyre and more recently The Double, was recently offered the opportunity to film there.

Tracks tells the true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who, in 1977, undertook a perilous solo trek across 1,700 miles of stunning Australian outback, with just a few camels and her loyal dog Diggity to keep her company.

But it wasn’t only the chance to film on homeland that enticed her, it was also the fact that her photographer parents wouldn’t have let her live it down if she hadn’t accepted the role.

“When I first mentioned to my parents that I’d been given the script for this film called Tracks, they were like, ‘Oh my God, you have to do it, it’s such an important story for Australia’,” explains the actress, who trained as a ballerina in her youth.

“They had read the book when it came out in the Seventies and Robyn is a really well known character in Australia. She’s a brilliant, brilliant lady.”

Tracks meant spending “seven or eight” weeks Down Under, and Wasikowska took full advantage of the relative proximity to her family, inviting her brother on set so they could take in the majesty of renowned sand formation Ayers Rock together.

“It’s very out of their world,” she says of her “great, supportive” relatives. “No one in my family is in films, so it’s kind of an exotic thing to do. I like to share it with them when I can.”

Another bonus of filming Tracks was being surrounded by several sweet-natured animals, the camels and the loyal Labrador, who accompany Robyn on her travels.

The animals may have been dream companions but one of the more unsettling aspects of the film and book is the relationship between photography and privacy.

To fund the trip, Robyn had to sell her story to National Geographic magazine who sent their photographer Rick Smolan, played by Girls’ star Adam Driver, along.

At times, their relationship was fraught, with Robyn desperate to escape the glare of publicity.

“It was interesting, because there’s a certain type of photography which is very invasive and I think for Robyn, Rick’s presence represented that the thing that enables you to do something, also takes something away from the experience,” says Wasikowska.

Tracks is released in cinemas on Friday. (April 25)

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