Her latest film sees her take on kidnappers in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands, but Melissa George is clearly not easily intimidated – after all, she agreed to face the rigours of an Empire webchat. We’re just glad she can fit us in to one of the busiest schedules in Hollywood: in the last few years she’s fought vampires in 30 Days Of Night, encountered strange time-loops in Triangle, tangled love affairs in Grey’s Anatomy and gone toe-to-toe with Sydney Bristow in Alias. With A Lonely Place To Die out this Wednesday, Melissa George took an hour or so to answer your questions about the film, her career to date and her favourite sandwiches – and here are her answers for you below, you lucky things.
bozz says: Any thoughts on David Lynch? Would you have been a part of the TV show, had it aired?
I had a 4-year contract to do the TV show. When David Lynch didn't submit the TV show to pilot, it became the movie Mulholland Drive.
Toadie says: What’s your favourite sandwich?
Buffalo Mozzarella with tomato and basil. I just had it, actually.
Tim Wilson says: Just watched the trailer for the new film, it looks great. What was it like filming in the Scottish Highlands? Was it different from anything you've done before?
It was epic. The mountains were ENORMOUS, stunning really. We stayed at the Coul House at the Culloden Castle.
tylerdanielblack says: Melissa, are you going to appear in any 30 Days Of Night sequels?
I was offered the sequel but I decided not to do it, so they decided to do it with somebody else. The first film finished with a close-up of my eyes. The sequel started the same way, but when the camera pulled back it was someone else’s eyes.
Rgirvan44 says: How many times reading the script did it take before you figured out what was happening in Triangle?
I was still reading it on the last day of filming!
Tom Hanks says: Hi Melissa. Tom Hanks here... do you type with an American or Australian accent?
Well, Tom, you big movie star you. I type with an American accent, so it's Color. Honor etc.
papalupara says: Hi Mel. I recently read that you had Scottish roots, and with you shooting A Lonely Place To Die in Scotland I wondered if you had time to enjoy “a wee dram”?
I don't drink whiskey.
scottfrancisco says: Is The Limey the best art film ever made?
Yep, next to Mulholland Drive.
Pabbey75 says: Are you hoping Australia don't run into Jonny Wilkinson too early on in The Rugby World Cup?
staypuft2 says: Hi Melissa, does a director sway your decision when picking a film at all? Which directors would you love to work with? And why?
Yes, the director is the puppeteer and right now I want to work with Almodovar and Julian Schnabel.
niteowl says: How was working with JJ on Alias? Is he really the genius everyone thinks he is?
He is more of a genius than you can imagine.
rsymmons says: Was it an easy transition for to work on television, then films, and back to television?
TVs are getting bigger and cinema is getting smaller and so I like to meet in the middle.
Toadie says: What do you make of Steven Soderbergh's supposed "retirement"?
He'll come back. He's reinvigorating himself.
jeromemaz says: Hi Melissa, How are you? It's Jerome Mazandarani here! Do you remember me? We took Photography and Human Biology together at Warwick Senior High School in Year 8 and 9. I remember vividly discussing how awesome Twin Peaks was with you in Biology class and then lo and behold many years later you are in Mulholland Drive. What was it like working with him?
I do remember you! Twin Peaks made me want to be an actress. Working with David was a dream come true.
Alejandro says: As an actress, what is your preferred style of direction? Do you like someone really assertive, someone to tell you exactly what needs doing or would you rather have more room to improvise and really make your own?
I love strong direction but I also come to set with a strong idea of how I want to play the scene.
|Melissa George in 2009's Triangle|
chubchub says: I loved Triangle! How intense was the filming? And was it a different type of shoot than you are normally used to, because of all of the multi angle shots?
Intense. Too many Jess's. It was a really hard shoot.
Rgirvan44 says: Did you try Haggis when you were over in Scotland?
They offered it every day but I used to put it in a napkin and flush it. The chefs came back really happy.
scottfrancisco says: You've been in some key cult sci fi films (Pitch Black, Dark City). What's your favourite sci fi film?
I was never in Pitch Black but Dark City was such a good movie.
bozz says: What was your favourite '80s cartoon?
I was only a toddler but Astroboy, I think.
A says: What's your favourite place in Australia?
welsh-evs says: Ryan Reynolds was pretty off the wall in Amityville next to you... did he put the jeepers up you on set?
Yes. But he did have a character called 'Mr. Hollywood' to make me laugh.
Incepted says: What’s next for you after A Lonely Place To Die?
I'm shooting a movie with Pierce Brosnan right now. And just completed a film with Julia Stiles called Between Us. BBC 1 just bought my mini series based on the book The Slap, airing October. I play Rosie.
dan5773 says: You're becoming quite the scream queen these days. So, I wonder, what film scared you most?
Signs was pretty scary for some reason. The scene at the birthday party really got me.
jeromemaz says: Do you ever get the chance to put the rollerskates back on? Where you upset you didn't get offered a part in Whip It?
Apparently, the producers of Whip It! thought I was too good a skater. I would have outshone the lead!
Is that really you on Twitter as @TheMGeorge? What persuaded you to join it? What have you been able to get out of it so far?
I joined it to promote my own invention hemmingmyway.com and buystylesnaps.com. And also to squash all the rumours. Or spread them!
|With Tim Roth in Lie To Me|
What was it like working with Tim Roth on Lie To Me? You gave him a run for his money, I thought you stole the show.
Thank you very much. I did the show just to work with Tim and he was divine.
bababo says: Is the premiere tomorrow the first time for you to see the film in full?
No. Seen it before. Loved it.
Incepted says: Hi, what was it that made you want to work on A Lonely Place To Die?
To play a female action hero.
horribleives says: The Slap is one of my favourite books. When will we (i.e. us poor neglected Brits) get to see the TV adaptation?
BBC1 bought it, airing October. Yay! I'm so proud of it.
Do you ever make it back to Perth? It's changed a lot. They have the Heath Ledger Theatre now you know? Have they named anything after you in Perth yet?
I'm going back end of September.
|Melissa George with Laura Harring in Lynch's Mulholland Drive|
dan5773 says: When you worked with David Lynch, how much did he explain what he meant with the story, and how much did he leave to your own interpretation?
His quote was 'Melissa, whatever you think the movie is about, that's what it's about.'
Gaz1792 says: Do you get engrossed in a movie when watching or do you think about how you might have acted in any given role? Do you think working in the movie industry breaks the 'magic' of cinema?
I get engrossed every time. Bad movies, good movies. I love all movies.
Ants says: How was the Bag of Bones shooting? Mattie is a great role!
I'm still shooting with Pierce. It's been one of the more fun jobs I've had in a while.
Susan says: How often are you recognised in the street? And do people tend to keep saying the same thing?
I get recognised everywhere. They just ask nice things. No-one is mean.
Schmick Photoman says: Do you remember your Home & Away days fondly, or was it more a foot in the door, a means to an end? What do you think Shane and Angel would be up to these days?
Given that it was 20 years ago, I guess they are maybe retiring but Shane is dead, remember? Angel was pregnant. He died on a rock of some blood disease so Angel then slept with his clothing. It was such a bummer as she did get out of her wheelchair on their wedding day. Then he knocks me up and goes and dies on a rock!
jeromemaz says: Are you actively creating your own projects in Hollywood? I read about Karamel Productions and was interested to know what type of projects you guys have in the pipeline.
I just got the rights to two books. And I have two patents for hemmingmyway, so it's a film/inventing company.
officebuddy says: What has been your personally most rewarding role to date?
In Treatment, where I was awarded a Golden Globe nomination.
gumnut57 says: Caramello Koalas or Tim Tams?
ro55y says: Do you have piece of equipment or a gadget could you not do without on set or in your trailer?
My iPad 2!
@gaz2801 says: Hi Melissa would like to say I loved the film Derailed. What was it like working with Clive Owen?
waddylove says: I loved you and your character in the TV show Alias. Did you know how the character would turn out in the show or were you as surprised as the viewers?
I was just surprised it took off so well.
deftworker says: Hey Melissa, how did you get your role in Mulholland Drive?
David Lynch saw a photograph of me and said 'This is the girl.' He doesn’t believe in auditions; he just has a good casting agent. He put the line in the film. When I turned up on set, he said, “You are better than I expected”. He's a beautiful man.
bozz says: [30 Days Of Night sequel] Dark Days was actually quite good. Did you turn it down due to the fact it was going direct to DVD? Or just schedules and stuff?
I turned it down because it was direct to DVD. There was no passion from the get-go.
horribleives says: Is Sean Harris as terrifying in real life?
Yes. But when he’s out of character he’s a lovely man.
Chump says: Best NYC tip for first time visit?
Balthazar. A great restaurant, probably best Google it.
dan5773 says: On the subject of female action heroes, are there any comic book hero roles that would persuade you to join the Marvel or DC Comics big screen brigade?
Ramona Barcelona: Who’s your favourite Muppet?
scottfrancisco says: We go to a bar and I buy you a drink. What are you having?
Negroni. It's the original drink before the Martini. It's a man's drink. I got addicted to them during Triangle. Just one and you are gone.
mort grimm says: Thought you were great in In Treatment and Lie to Me, do you think TV sometimes offers a better chance for actors to show their range?
Yes, and you get more viewers.
chubchub says: How was it working on Friends? And would you like to do more comedic roles?
Melissa George says: Working on Friends was an out-of-body experience. It was incredible. Swinging With The Finkels was a comedy. I love comedy.
waddylove says: Do people in Australia really say 'Rack Off'?
Yes. So rack off.
jeromemaz says: Have you ever been to San Diego Comic Con? If yes, what did you make of it? How geeky are you on a scale of 1-10?
Yes, loved it, so I'm a ten. So geeky.
Ants says: What's your favourite game on the iPad2?
I don't play games. On the iPad or in life.
waddylove says: How many scripts would you read in a year?
I read five a week, every week. So a lot!
Roomie72 says: How do you keep yourself grounded in Hollywood?
By living in New York.
linzi says: Do you ever keep in contact with the cast from Home And Away?
Laura Vasquez, mainly.
robster says: You did a lot of dancing in your childhood, and you’re a roller skating champion... if granted the opportunity, would you like to do a musical?
If there is no singing, yes!
dylanisis says: What did you think of the L.A. Confidential pilot you made and how much pressure did you feel following an Oscar-winning performance?
A lot of pressure. HBO passed on it in the end. Just as well. Love you guys. Follow me on twitter @themgeorge, by the way!