Out of the shad­ows

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - MICHELE MANELIS

IN TWO short years since mov­ing to LA, Bella Heath­cote, 24, has al­ready starred as the love in­ter­est of Johnny Depp and been the tar­get of Hol­ly­wood’s ru­mour mill over an al­leged af­fair with Brad Pitt.

The Melbourne beauty is a long way from her for­mer role as Amanda Fowler in Neigh­bours.

‘‘ Yeah, I feel like at some point I’m go­ing to wake up and it will all be a dream,’’ she says.

Re­call­ing her kiss­ing scene with Depp in Dark Shad­ows, she says: ‘‘ It was sur­real. It’s weird enough kiss­ing any­one on set with 50 peo­ple stand­ing around.

‘‘ The day be­fore the kiss, he came up to me and said, ‘ How do you feel about it? It’s kind of weird, isn’t it?’ I agreed and we ex­changed hor­ror sto­ries about on- set kisses. So by do­ing that he put us in the same boat, which was nice.

‘‘ Given who he is, he’s learned how to make peo­ple feel com­fort­able around him.’’

Also star­ring along­side Michelle Pfeif­fer, He­lena Bon­ham Carter and Eva Green in Dark Shad­ows, Heath­cote plays dual roles: an in­genue whose love for vampire Barn­abas Collins ( Depp) crosses two cen­turies. She talks ex­cit­edly about the day she landed the role.

‘‘ I got a call say­ing that Tim Bur­ton had seen my photo. I did an au­di­tion and two days later I got the role – so he put me out of my mis­ery very quickly,’’ she says.

‘‘ I was in New York shoot­ing a film [ Not Fade Away] and although I would like to think I played it cool when I got the news, I screamed when my agent told me.’’

Killing Them Softly, one of her other com­ing films, stars Brad Pitt.

She says: ‘‘ Yes, ap­par­ently I had an af­fair with him when we did the job that we never did to­gether.

‘‘ I hadn’t even met him, so it was all pretty strange. I don’t know if you ever get used to that kind of thing. I re­mem­ber my friends at home con­tact­ing me and send­ing me these clip­pings from mag­a­zines say­ing, ‘ I can’t be­lieve you never told me’. And I was like, ‘ I haven’t even met him. I don’t know what you’re talk­ing about’.’’

But even as she ob­vi­ously gets used to min­gling with Hol­ly­wood stars, Heath­cote was com­pletely starstruck when she met our own Jacki Weaver .

‘‘ I was at a Golden Globes party and I could hardly speak. I went up to her and said, ‘ I think you’re just . . .’ I couldn’t even talk to her,’’ she says, laugh­ing. ‘‘ I com­pletely fanned out.’’

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