[Interview] Bethany Whitmore for Fantastic Birthday

We have been tenderized by the Fantastic Birthday, first indie came to Australia, this is rare in the distribution networks. This fresco tells the story of the passage of a tormented young girl, Greta, to adulthood with a sense of humor and lucid dreaming. We have had the chance to interview the director, Rosemary Myers, and actress, Bethanny Whitmore (playing the role of Greta) to talk about the film and their influences.

Our review of Fantastic Birthday


How have you been involved in this project ?

B. W : I have been asked to do a solo recording for the role of Greta Driscoll on the basis of the script that has been given to me in advance to get an idea of the personality of Greta. Rosemary Myers and Matthew Whitte loved it and came here to Melbourne from Adelaide to meet me and test me with Harrison Feldman (Eliott). Everything worked and I had the wonderful opportunity to work with them.


Can you tell us about your feelings on the scenario and its main theme ?

B. W : Fantastic Birthday tells the story of a young 14 year old girl who is looking for a new identity in the 70’s. What I like about this film is that Greta is a girl who is more banal than a real beauty, and according to me, it is this that connects with a large number of teenage girls. The transition to adulthood, especially for a woman, can be scary when you think about it, and that it is forced out of his comfort zone. Hatch, as a young confident woman is a step that is hard to overcome when one is 15 years old and some are prepared in advance, this is what the film tells.


Your physique enables you to play the collégienne and the young woman, how have you managed these two facets ?

B. W : When you immerse yourself in a role, it is crucial to understand the lived experience of the character and this was the case for the Fantastic Birthday. Through its daily life, Greta learns about herself and this is what makes as she becomes an adult. I put a little bit of me, because we shot it when I had just turned 15 years old, I had changed schools and I was bullied by the popular girls of the college. We were the same, Greta and me, I could understand it intensely.


What film would take away you on a deserted island ?

B. W : Certainly the question the harder that we can ask a movie buff. I’ve perfected my list of favorite movies and if I had to choose one, my choice would be Donnie Darko. It is a film that is hypnotic, which combines a philosophy and a dark scene, it all combines to create a mystical atmosphere where the story becomes unstructured. I also love Requiem for a dream, Beautiful to die, Delicatessen, Bottle Rocket, The moving Castle, Stand by Me, The New Wild and Nocturnal Animals.


With what director would you like to work ?

B. W : There also, there are plenty of : Sofia Coppola, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Darren Aronofsky and Tom Ford. I love the innovative films that are the projection of our society, and explore our world in a different way with a touch of quirk. These developers also have their paw, recognizable among a thousand, this is what I love in them.


What projects in the pipeline ?

B. W : I am currently shooting for the remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock, in a format of mini-series for FOXTEL TV. I am very happy to take part in another original creation. I also hope to turn in season 3 of The Family Law later this year, while spending my year-end exams, in high school. Subsequently, I will investigate the cinema in Sydney, and, more particularly, to become a script writer. In the long term, I’d love to tour in France, for this, I poursuivrais my learning of the language of Molière.

Interview by Sofiane

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