Entertainment

Jessica talks about 'Sapphires' role

From left, Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman and Miranda Tapsell in a scene from the movie The Sapphires.
From left, Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman and Miranda Tapsell in a scene from the movie The Sapphires. Contributed - Image.net

SHE can't wipe the smile off her face. Sitting opposite me dressed in black pants and a sheer top she is positivity beaming.

And why shouldn't she be. Things are pretty damn good in the life of Jessica Mauboy.

In a few short months she has been courted by Simon Cowell, auditioned for Broadway, released a new single she feels proud of, and has caused industry heavyweights to take notice with her performance in the Australian film The Sapphires.

Since she first captured attention as the runner-up in the 2006 series of Australian Idol, Mauboy has been the young wholesome girl-next-door, one fifth of a girl band and an R'n'B sexpot but she says she finally feels like she has found her place and feels comfortable in her musical and creative skin.

Despite being on the cusp of global stardom thanks her role as Julie in the Sapphires, which received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, there is not a hint of diva attitude to be seen.

The film is inspired by the real-life story of four Indigenous girls from a remote Aboriginal mission who in 1968 discovered soul music and with the help of a down-on-his-luck musician Dave, took their singing and dancing girl group to the war zones of South Vietnam where they entertained marines while dodging bullets and discovering love.

It is poignant tale full of heart and humour which explores segregation and the stolen generation.

It was these issues that first attracted Mauboy to the role, which is her second film after 2009's Bran Nue Dae which also starred Deb Mailman.

While she hasn't been touched personally by the stolen generation she said it was an issue she felt was close to her heart.

"Playing some of the parts in the film, particularly the scene in the pub was just really emotional.

"I guess to feel like you don't belong and that sense of not belonging. But it is amazing because these girls fight.

"I think that is probably what stood out for me in Julie, was she was a fighter.

"She's determined and I think she allows her sisters to feel that as well and takes them on that journey."

A young mother in the film, Julie is feisty and fiery, full of determination to chase her dreams and a stubbornness to not let anyone or anything stand in her way.

In many ways there is a lot of Julie in Mauboy.

"I do see a lot of myself in Julie. Like me she is quiet but she is driven. And the fact she didn't take no for an answer.

"I can be stubborn. When I want to and when I need to, in my music world."

Before filming commenced Mauboy and her co-stars Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell sat down with the original Sapphires who inspired the film and soaked up their stories.

"It was really nice to get a sense of who they were and their personalities and just listen to their stories and get inspired," she explains.

Both inspiring and daunting, Maouboy felt her biggest obstacle with the film and her performance was getting the story right.

"I didn't want to fail. I wanted to tell the story and play the story right for the aunties.

"It made it overwhelming and a felt a bit of pressure but really exciting we get to tell their story."

The other challenge for the bubbly effervescent Mauboy was learning to cry on cue.

She describes a moment during a scene in outside a nightclub in Vietnam where her character was supposed to break-down overwhelmed by the danger of the place.

"I had to cry and I couldn't! It's not easy for someone to say action and you start crying!

"It was the end of the night and Wayne [director Wayne Blair] was like 'cry! You're not crying - why are you smiling' and I said 'I'm not smiling, this is my crying face!'

"There were a few times where they had to blow things into my eyes to get the tears flowing," she says with a bright laugh.

More movies are on the horizon for the 23-year-old but this time she would like to try something with less of a music base.

"I would love to play a really strong female role. Maybe a super-hero - someone quite fierce and intelligent.

"I think filming and reading scripts definitely stretches me. But I always say that I will always be married to music.

"It will forever be there and I know I can tap into writing a song and be inspired."

Her latest single, Gotcha, which features in the Sapphires and on its soundtrack, is a return to the Mauboy before the infamous 2010 sexed-up fist-pumping album, Get 'Em Girls, which featured a collaboration with Snoop Dogg.

She wrote the Gotcha straight after filming wrapped up and wanted write something that captured the groove and feel of the sixties.

"I'm really proud of this song, it's something really close to me and it's different to everything I have written.

"Lyrically I'm really proud of it, and vocally it's definitely were I need to be," she said.

She is currently working on her third album and is looking forward to writing songs of a similar vein.

Last month, after seeing a trailer of the film, music mogul Simon Cowell requested a meeting with the young star, something that still feels surreal to Mauboy.

"It was massive. He's one of the most powerful men in the world musically.

"He wanted to know more about the film and he was really impressed.

"I don't know what it all means.

Music is always a bit of twist you never know what's going to happen or who is going to call.

"Right now I'm just trying to find what it is a love and do that."

The Sapphires is in cinemas now.

 

Jess's Journey

  • 4th August 1989: Jessica Mauboy is born to an Indonesian father and Indigenous mother and raised in Darwin
  • 2006: She is runner-up to Damien Leith in the fourth season of Australian Idol and signs a record deal.
  • 2007: Releases her debut album, Journey featuring covers from her time on Idol. Becomes a member of the Young Divas
  • 2008: Released her first studio album, Been Waiting, and has her first number-one hit with Burn
  • 2009: Earns seven nominations at the ARIAs for the album and wins Highest Selling Single for Running Back
  • 2010: Stars in her first film, Bran Nue Day and releases her second album, Get 'Em Girls
  • 2011: Stars in Underbelly Razor
  • 2012: Stars in The Sapphires

Topics:  cannes film festival jessica mauboy the sapphires



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Granite Belt vineyards thrive through summer

IN THE RED: Mike Hayes with some of Symphony Hill's Pinot Noir.

Summer no stop to Stanthorpe district grapes

Southern Downs sunflower season coming to an end

OVER FOR ANOTHER YEAR: Sunflower season is wrapping up for many growers on the Southern Downs.

Sunflowers dip their heads as another season comes to end

Livestock sale to save lives at Stanthorpe Show

SHOW TIME: Brett Boatfield, Nikki Bloom from LifeFlight and Grant Macnamara are excited about the LifeFlight cattle action at Stanthorpe Show.

LifeFlight to benefit from Stanthorpe charity livestock auction.

Local Partners

What's on this Australia Day

PACK up the family, gather your friends and don't forget some sunscreen and hats for the plethora of Australia Day celebrations on the Southern Downs.


Reigning Miss Rodeo Australia will be in town for awards

Miss Warwick Rodeo 2016 Ashleigh Grant, Miss Australia Rodeo Katy Scott, Miss Canada Rodeo Samantha Stokes and Miss America Rodeo Katherine Merck in Warwick during the 2016 rodeo.

Reigning Miss Rodeo Australia flying in to be part of 2017 awards

T20 might be batters game but no one told bowlers

Steven Lyons bats at Slade Park as WBAS chase the 166 scored by Summers.

Bowlers go well as tight battle on for final spots

Action hots up with semis this morning in carnival cricket

Dale's XI will play Dutch's Rudders at noon on Queens Pary Synthetic today.

The draw for final day of Warwick cricket carnival

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Why tree-changers want to buy in the Southern Downs

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price for the Downs dropped 1.5% to $241,250 the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 1.5% to $241,250

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!