Leah Purcell

“What I loved about the script was there were six strong lead characters and they all had their own journey. An ensemble piece is hard to write and hard to cover and, although it was a smaller part, Carmel, my character, had a middle, beginning and end. That’s something you look for as an actor, so you can really sink your teeth into it.

For Carmel it’s about being haunted from your past. Trying to work out who you are, where you fit in life and where you don’t fit. She doesn’t belong. Well, she does belong, but she doesn’t know where she fits into the circumstances within her own personal journey as a character, and with the other characters, and the life in Jindabyne. Carmel is a city girl. I think she opted to go to the bush where there was a strong Aboriginal community. She’s never denied her aboriginality, she’s always aware of it, she’s always proud of it, but she just didn’t know how to connect to it. She’s a strong woman, a professional, she’s gone to university to be a teacher. At the same time, she’s fighting with her own demons. She’s got this yearning inside her that she doesn’t quite understand. She’s confused, she’s at a crossroads, and she’s the character that doesn’t quite fit in. As the story of the film unfolds, the indigenous issue that does arise is really thrown at her, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it.”

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