Thanks to SBR, we had the chance to interview australian actress Lucy Durack, who played the lead role in the highly successful Legally Blonde The Musical across Australia and is soon to be seen on the big screen alongside Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating and Magda Szubanski in Goddess.
LUCY DURACK: Hi there!
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Hi, Lucy. How are you?
LUCY DURACK: I’m good. How are you?
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Hi, thanks a lot for your time today.
LUCY DURACK: No worries at all.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: So, let’s get to business. You display a lot of artistic talents. Do you have a particular passion for one of them? Do you prefer singing, rather than acting, or vice versa?
LUCY DURACK: Um, no. I really like singing and acting together. And that’s why I guess I love doing musical theatre so much. But I also love… Recently, I did a little cameo in a film coming out next year called Goddess. And that was just acting, and I absolutely loved doing that. And then, of course, I’ve already recorded my album, which is pretty much just singing, so I do love them on their own, but I also love doing them together. I’m very lucky that I get to do all three different variations.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Perfect. What is the culture like for emerging performers in Perth? Looking back, what was the factor that most helped you get where you are now?
LUCY DURACK: I think that I was very lucky that when I went through school, we always had lots of choirs and things like that. And I loved doing drama at school and then I got involved in the school musicals. I think that was a very big factor – getting involved in school and realising I had such passion for it. And I was lucky enough to have a really fantastic drama teacher. And he told me me about WAAPA, which is where I studied (the WA Academy of Performing Arts). And that was such a fantastic course. It was a 4 year full-time, 3 year course.
I guess the combination of my school musicals, my high school drama teacher, and then of course WAAPA… That’s really helped me. And I guess, just having a positive attitude and persisting, and working as hard as I can… I guess that’s kind of how I’ve gotten where I am.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Beautiful. For people who haven’t seen the show yet, what can they expect of the Legally Blonde musical?
LUCY DURACK: Oh, well I think the show is literally the most fun show I’ve ever seen, and I thought that before I was in it. I was lucky enough to actually see it in New York and in London, and I thought that it was *so* much fun. So, I think that if you want to be uplifted and have a real moment of escape, and just go somewhere to feel really good, Legally Blonde is definitely for you.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Personally, are you a fan of Reece Witherspoon’s?
LUCY DURACK: I really am. I love Reece Witherspoon.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: And do you know if she’s aware of the show and your performance?
LUCY DURACK: I don’t think she’s aware of my performance, but I imagine she’s definitely aware that there’s a musical version of the film. But I’m a big fan; I grew up watching her in this particular film and in a lot of other films. I’ve always been a huge fan of hers.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Perfect. And, speaking about your co-star: what’s your relationship with Rob Mills? How much work did you guys have to do to put the whole show together?
LUCY DURACK: Well, he and I are actually great friends. We were actually at the cricket today together. We’re really good friends and this is the third show we’ve worked on together. So, it makes it a lot easier, I think, to have an existing relationship… And an existing rapport with somebody you’ve already worked with before. It’s a lot more kind of relaxing and comfortable and easy. So yeah, we have a really fun time together.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Perfect. Also, we’ve noticed that you have a very strong commitment to performing in Australian works. So, how does it eventually work for you? Do you find the work, or does the work find you?
LUCY DURACK: Um, the work finds me more than anything. I was lucky… The people that I worked with at WAAPA are largely how I’ve gotten involved in working on Australian works, because they’ve created a lot of this work that I’ve worked on. And it’s kind of been an easy kind of relationship, I guess. And one of my best friends, who was 2 years above me at WAAPA: Matthew Robinson… He’s a great writer and I’ve worked a lot with him. So, pretty much whenever he’s got for me, he always sees if I’m free to come on board and either workshop it or perform it or… We’ve done little concert versions of his music. And I’m a great fan of his, so I’m always very keen to help out wherever I can.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Perfect. As an actor, do you have any personal idols, or anyone you’d love to work with?
LUCY DURACK: Ah yeah, there are lots of people I’d love to work with. As an actress, I love comedic actresses and actors. I’m a massive fan of Steve Carell and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I think that they’re just geniuses. And then, of course I love Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett and Jackie Weaver and Pamela Rabe. They’re some amazing Australian actors who I really look up to as well. So um, yeah, I’d love to work with any of those people.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: And have you ever had the chance to meet any of them?
LUCY DURACK: I have met Pamela Rabe and Jackie Weaver, but I haven’t worked with either of them. Um, and the rest of them… No, I haven’t worked with any of the rest of them.
LUCY DURACK: That was so much fun. Um, I have a small part but it’s a significant role. If you see the film, I’m not in it for until at least an hour into it; but then it is a fairly significant little part, and I had the best time. I was actually doing Wicked the musical in Adelaide at the time, and flying back and forth to film my little part. And I had the absolute best time. I loved doing it. And it’s a really lovely film. I got to see a family and friends screening of it not that long ago, and I think it’s a really lovely film that hopefully people will enjoy.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: So, after that, will you be looking for another film, or more plays?
LUCY DURACK: I’d love to do both, definitely. I’d love to do more films and a bit more theatre that would be lovely.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Beautiful. What’s your favourite part of the Legally Blonde musical?
LUCY DURACK: Um, it depends on the day. Sometimes I really love doing the number What You Want, where I get to be out in that sparkly marching band outfit, dancing with everyone. That’s a lot of fun. And then, I also love singing the number So Much Better, which finishes Act 1. That’s a really fulfilling song as a singer-actress. It’s lovely. And then I really enjoy doing the big finale at the end with everybody. That’s great fun. So yeah, I guess it just depends on the day.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Okay. Just to wrap up, we always ask these 2 questions of our interviewees: I wonder if you’ve ever had any crazy fan requests after a show, or whether you have any funny stories to share with us?
LUCY DURACK: Um, we do get asked fairly frequently to sign body parts, which I always find a bit disconcerting. Usually it’s just arms and hands, but there have been other random requests, which I always think are a bit strange… But most of the people who are at the stage door to meet us afterwards are very nice and calm and very normal. And it’s nice to chat to them, and they’ve usually enjoyed the show, and it’s very nice to hear that.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Perfect. And just to finish, do you have any advice for young Australian actors and actresses who want to start out in this business?
LUCY DURACK: I think just keep doing as many courses and learning as much as you can. There’s always more to learn. I continue to do lots of different acting and singing and dance classes myself. And I think… just to keep at it, keep positive, remember there’s always going to be enough for everyone if you just keep putting out the right energy. And yeah, just stay positive. Positivity and persistence are key.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: Okay, beautiful. Thanks a lot for your time and this interview and congratulations on the show.
LUCY DURACK: Thank you. Bye
For tickets and more information about the show visit www.legallyblonde.com.au
GODDESS will be released in Australian cinemas on March 14.
*Legally Blonde The Musical Images (c) Jeff Busby