Celebrities in Classics is a regular feature where I highlight the classic novel adaptations my favourite actors have starred in.
WHO IS IT? Mia Wasikowska is an Australian actress who had her first breakthrough performance with the HBO series, In Treatment. But you might know Mia like I do for playing not just one, but three famous classic book heroines: Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Madame Bovary and Jane Eyre. She is currently starring in Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
WHAT’S SO FASCINATING? In her short career, Mia has wowed audiences with her ability to capture both the passion and vulnerability of the iconic heroines she has played. In 2010, Mia won the Best Actress Award from the Australian Film Institute and Teen Choice Awards both for Alice in Wonderland.
FIRST ENCOUNTER I first saw Mia in Jane Eyre and I didn’t like her playing the character at all! But as the movie progressed, she really grew on me and I could see why they had chosen her for the role.
CLASSIC BOOK FILMOGRAPHY
2010 ~ Alice in Wonderland ~ Alice Kingsleigh
2011 ~ Jane Eyre ~ Jane Eyre
2013 ~ The Double ~ Hannah
2014 ~ Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose ~The Nightingale (voice)
2015 ~ Madame Bovary ~ Emma Bovary
2016 ~ Alice Through the Looking Glass ~ Alice Kingsleigh
FUN FACT Growing up with parents who were both photographers, Mia also loves photography and often photographs when she’s filming. Her photo of Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga and costar Jamie Bell was selected as a finalist in the 2011 National Photographic Portrait Prize in Australia.
“I love reading, but I didn’t have a wealth of knowledge when it came to that genre. Maybe it’s just not prominent in Australian culture. I had read the Brontë novels. But until I started work on Crimson Peak I didn’t even know that Frankenstein was written by a woman. I feel like I got a great education through Guillermo, because I finally read The Turn of the Screw and Frankenstein, and I learned a lot about Mary Shelley and that entire early Bohemian set. I just wouldn’t have thought to read those books. It was really cool having Guillermo suggest these things.”
What is your favourite Mia Wasikowska movie? Who is your favourite celebrity in a classic?