Out of the shadows
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.’’