The Herald Sun: December 2008

Teresa Palmer breaking through in Bedtime Stories

The Herald Sun   |   Written by Vicky Roach

Teresa Palmer may have already hit the headlines with an affair with lothario Russell Brand, but she says it’s just a natural part of being in a film together.

You flew home from LA recently, but for only four days. Is four days enough to stave off homesickness?
My manager knew I’d want to go home and see my friends in Adelaide, so he let me go “on the condition you’ll come straight back”. Because there have been a few times when I have got to Adelaide and not wanted to come back. I’m getting more used to just coming in and doing quick trips, and having breakfast, lunch and dinners with my friends. It’s all part of it. I made the decision to move out to Los Angeles, and it’s a good decision, I’m happy with it.

Did you realise how tough moving to LA would be?
I had no idea. I had done my first film (2:37) and it went to the Cannes Film Festival and everything was so exciting, I got to do the red-carpet premiere. But then obviously reality set in. It meant I had to be away from home, away from my family and my dogs. And I didn’t know anyone in Los Angeles. I was all by myself.

It was really hard for me to make those real connections with people out here. It took me a year and a half to make a couple of really great friends. That makes all the difference. I have a few Australian girlfriends out here now. There’s a lot of great things I get to do but obviously there’s always a flip side.

How many dogs do you have?
Three back home in Adelaide with my mum. And when I buy my house in Los Angeles–hopefully in the next 18 months–I’m going to bring my mum and all my dogs out to LA. I just bought my first dog in Los Angeles. Her name’s Luna. Everyone thought I was really spiritual and named her after the moon — obviously much cooler. But the reason I named her Luna is that she’s such a lunatic. And my greatest accomplishment of the year is that I’ve puppy trained her. It’s a great Christmas present for me. It really helps a lot, having something to cuddle at night and give you kisses in the morning. Who needs boys when you can have dogs?

Your first comedy is a big one–alongside Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories. How did you score the role?
I think it was initially written to be a Paris Hilton-type character. I auditioned and the initial feedback wasn’t positive. They said, “She’s not Paris Hilton enough, this isn’t going any further”. This happens all the time over here. For whatever reason you’re not right for the part. Just move on.

Why did they end up coming back to you?
Adam Sandler had seen my audition: “It’s not how it was written, but I like what she’s done with it. Let’s bring her in.” He thought the Paris Hilton thing had been done before and wanted to bring something else to it.

It’s a big break. Where do you think it will lead?
I would love to do a period piece or something dramatic next. My past two films have been comedies, which is always really fun. But I would love to get back into a really challenging, nitty gritty role, something similar to what I did in 2:37.

You were cast in the Hayden Christensen film Jumper, but then dropped out. What happened?
I thought that was going to be a big break for me. It was 2006 and I had just started out. It was the second American audition I’d done. But this sort of thing happens in Hollywood: we were replaced with older actors who had a bigger profile than us. Tom (Sturridge, young English actor) and I didn’t get to do the film. There’s peaks and valleys in every career. But it was a pretty low time for me personally, as well as in my career.

What did you learn from that?
Don’t celebrate being in a film until it’s the last day and I’m wrapped.

Who would you like to model your career on?
Charlize Theron. She played the hot girl for a few years and became a bigger star. Then after that she went and did some independents. Obviously for Monster she totally downgraded the way she looked. I’d love to do that sort of stuff for a role. Hopefully that’s around the corner for me.

You’ve been attached to the superhero film Justice League, along with George Miller as director, and Megan Gale as Wonder Woman. Is that a definite goer?
No idea. I hope it comes off. I was going to be playing a villain, which would be so exciting and totally different from anything I’ve done before. And with George Miller, an Aussie icon. Plus, I’m good friends with Megan, it would be so brilliant for her to be cast as Wonder Woman. Fingers crossed it will happen.

You broke up with your footy-player boyfriend Stuart Dew after moving to LA. After that you caused quite a stir by dating your Bedtime Stories co-star Russell Brand, and you’ve also been linked to actor Topher Grace, your co-star in your next film, Young Americans. Does all the speculation bother you?
In the past few months a lot of the media attention has been focused on my personal life which is really unfortunate, but it comes with the territory and I understand that. The stories are not necessarily true. It seems I have dated a lot of my co-stars, but that isn’t actually the case.

It must be tough to meet anyone but co-stars in LA.
You tend to make connections with people when you make a movie and spend a prolonged period of time with that person and it’s a natural thing that you get to know them and maybe start dating and maybe you don’t. But I certainly don’t have any regrets. And I certainly haven’t dated all the people I’m supposed to have.

Originally published as Teresa’s preparing for Bed