October 29, 2011 9:54am PT by Scott Feinberg
Mia Wasikowska on Her Busy Year in 'Jane Eyre,' 'Restless' and 'Albert Nobbs' (Audio Interview)
Over the past year, Mia Wasikowska played a key role in a film that scored a best picture Oscar nomination (The Kids Are All Right), starred in a film that made more than $1 billion at the box office (Alice in Wonderland) and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world -- not bad for someone who only turned 22 earlier this month -- and yet virtually nobody can even pronounce her name!
When I met up with the Australian actress last month for a chat about her life and career -- including the three films in which she stars this year, Cary Fukunaga's literary adaptation Jane Eyre (opposite Michael Fassbender) as the title character, Rodrigo Garcia's costume drama Albert Nobbs (opposite Glenn Close) as a conniving young maid and Gus Van Sant's mellow dramedy Restless (opposite Henry Hopper, the late Dennis Hopper's son) as a young girl diagnosed with terminal cancer -- I told her that I needed to know, for my peace of mind, what the proper pronunciation is. She laughed and stated for the record: "Me-yah Vash-i-kov-ska -- v's instead of w's!"
That is is a name that you should learn and remember, because I think it is one that you will be hearing for the next six or seven decades. Indeed, she is one of those eerily chameleonic talents of a caliber that comes along only once or twice in a generation -- think Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet -- and should be cherished.
I know that I will never forget the first time that she came across my radar. It was in 2008, during season one of HBO's criminally underappreciated (and recently canceled) drama series In Treatment, and she was playing Sophie, one of the younger patients of psychologist Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne). Over the course of nine hourlong episodes, all of which are packed with dialogue and appear to have been captured in continuous/uninterrupted camera shots, Wasikowska makes you feel every possible emotion toward her character, who is alternately vulnerable, volatile, and sweet. It is one of the great television performances of all time, and it is absolutely inexplicable that it didn't earn her an Emmy nomination.
Anyway, the future looks bright for Wasikowska: Restless is playing still in select theaters; Albert Nobbs will open nationally Jan. 27; and, on Jan. 24, there is an outside shot that she might score a best actress Oscar nod for her critically acclaimed take on the oft-attempted title character in Jane Eyre. Then, at some point over the next few months, we'll see her playing Shia LaBeouf's girlfriend in John Hillcoat's highly anticipated bootlegging period piece The Wettest County in the World and as the daughter of fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman in Chan-woon Park's twisted-sounding Stoker.
Take a listen to our conversation...