By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 11, 2011 at 1:00AM
Actress Also Producing Documentary About Happiness
Teresa Palmer's films, to date, have not been particularly glittering. High-profile, sure, but none among "Bedtime Stories," "The Sorceror's Apprentice," "Take Me Home Tonight" or "I Am Number Four," will be remembered much past the point at which they drop off heavy rotation on cable TV. But the 25-year-old Australian has distinguished herself by being pretty much the best thing in all of those films, proving to be a warm, winning presence who, when needed, can kick some ass (she improves "I Am Number Four" by about 400% when she crops up in the final act).
Big things are on the way: she's starring in "Wish You Were Here" alongside next-big-thing Joel Edgerton, she'll be in the drama "A.W.O.L" with Liam Hemsworth, and has the female lead opposite Nicholas Hoult in zombie romance "Warm Bodies," but smartly, she's also taking steps to take control of her own destiny. She told us earlier in the year that she was hoping to make her directorial debut on a "Thelma & Louise"-style project entitled "Track Town," and now, in an interview with Australian Vogue, Palmer reveals that she's moving into the producing game for the first time.
Palmer shares with the magazine that she's commissioned a script, with a starring role for herself, that she describes as a "very Angelina Jolie" part, set around corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. Initially, the film was intended as a small independent project, but it seems that Palmer's ever-rising star has led to it getting more attention, as she's set to meet with DreamWorks about the project soon. Palmer says of the film, "As a producer you have creative control, and that’s what is so exciting about it. At the end of the day, if you have made a film it’s totally your responsibility, and if it works it’s your responsibility and if it doesn’t it’s also your responsibility.”
The actress is also working on a documentary focusing on happiness, in association with the charity Happy Africa, and is currently shooting in Kenya with a small crew saying that, "We are just going to let the kids run the documentary. We want them to talk to us about what makes them happy – just a study on why so many people from third-world countries seem to be able to find the happiness that is missing in a lot of people’s lives in more privileged countries like America and Australia.” From the premise, there's a risk that it could be patronizing, but Palmer seems like a smart cookie, so we hope it'll turn out more interestingly.
Whether DreamWorks, or another studio, takes the bait remains to be seen: while Palmer's becoming more well-known by the day, she's far from A-list, and projects with female leads struggle to get made, particularly with the last film set in the pharmaceutical industry, the rom-com "Love And Other Drugs," tanking at the box office. But if the script's good enough, and the budget low enough, we're sure someone will be willing to roll the dice on Palmer being the next Angelina Jolie.