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Teresa Palmer Talks Aussie Thriller 'Wish You Were Here' & The Upcoming 'The Ever After' With Mark Webber

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 5, 2013 at 10:59AM

On the sun-kissed coast of Cambodia, four young Australians party, explore and kick back and relax, soaking up the sun during the day, and sweating it out at night. But this idyllic backdrop holds something far more sinister in store and when only three of the four return home, so begins a mystery crossing national borders, and poised to fundamentally change the lives of everyone involved. So begins "Wish You Were Here," a lean thriller from director Kieran-Darcy Smith, from a script he co-wrote with one of the film's stars (and his wife), Felicity Price, in a picture that features two of Australia's hottest exports at the moment, Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer.
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Wish You Were Here

But, ultimately, it was the entire production -- which shot a tight 26 day schedule -- that inspired Palmer, who after starring in several bigger Hollywood films, found herself going back to the roots of the kind of movies she made at the beginning of her career. "It was very refreshing to me because I first started out doing movies in this way, and I loved making tiny, independent films and feeling like a collaborator and that’s what I could feel in this movie," Palmer shared. "I felt a part of this family, and that I was making this film just as much as Kieran Darcy-Smith was and so it just feels very different. I felt like I had more of a say in my costumes that I wore; I had a say in my hair and makeup, and it was fantastic. It was really liberating as an actor to be able to have so much say in who you’re playing."

"I never feel totally fulfilled. I constantly want to keep pushing myself and I love the idea of telling stories that I want to tell."

And it's that free spirit of working as team that she's bringing to "The Ever After" (formerly known as "The Fun In Forever"), an independent project she's producing, that she co-wrote with Mark Webber, who is getting behind the camera. "I am now doing a film that we start shooting July 22nd in Los Angeles and then the film that I wrote with my partner Mark Webber. He’s directing it, we’re both starring in it, and we’re playing a married couple. I’m playing a married woman who deals with postpartum depression and Melissa Leo stars in the film, she just attached herself which is really exciting. I play a version of myself that blurs the lines between reality and fiction; the majority of it is improvised," Palmer explained. "We’re largely inspired by what I did with Terrence Malick, but also Mark is inspired by Gena Rowlands and Nick Cassavettes and movies like 'A Woman Under The Influence'; just the way they made their films together and that’s what our dream is.  Mark and I want to continue to do this in our life and that’s a really fulfilling experience."

And it's all rather remarkable, given that at only 27 years old, Palmer has gone from indie movies to Hollywood fare, and from an actress, to someone who can now add writer, producer and director to her CV. And it's something Palmer is more than aware of. "It’s funny because it’s come full-circle; I started out in a film that was all about the human spirit and overcoming adversity. I played a rape victim, who’s pregnant with my brother’s baby called '2:37' that premiered at Cannes, and I loved that story and I loved how much that impacted people and moved people in a beautiful way," she reflected. "Of course I came out to Hollywood and I got put in these big Hollywood studio films and it was really exciting, and it was important to me to raise my profile so that I can be in the position to be able to make my own movies and be in independent films again. For me I’m just inspired by stories that can make a positive change and impact people in a beautiful way and that’s what I hope to continue to do in the future."

"I never feel totally fulfilled. I constantly want to keep pushing myself and I love the idea of telling stories that I want to tell; and I’m interested in producing and filmmaking, but I’m also very connected to philanthropy and documentary filmmaking and working on my website, which is a health, wellness, and spirituality site; it keeps me very busy," she added. And as long as Palmer keeps making choices as interesting as "Wish You Were Here" and embarking on projects from the heart like "The Ever After," we'll be checking to see what she's up to next.

"Wish You Were Here" opens on Friday, June 7th.


This article is related to: The Ever After, Teresa Palmer, Wish You Were Here, Melissa Leo, Interviews, Interview


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