The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

Be­ing an Aus­tralian ac­tor in Hol­ly­wood can have its draw­backs.

That’s why Gigi Ed­g­ley puts on her best LA ac­cent when she fronts di­rec­tors and pro­duc­ers at au­di­tions.

Ed­g­ley is back on the beat for Hol­ly­wood’s pi­lot sea­son now she has fin­ished host­ing the re­al­ity se­ries Jim Hen­son’s Crea­ture Shop Chal­lenge.

The se­ries fol­lows 10 as­pir­ing crea­ture cre­ators who have to make and cre­ate me­chan­i­cal char­ac­ters and whim­si­cal beasts in a bid to join the famed pup­pet and Mup­pet work­shop. There’s also $100,000 prize money.

Ed­g­ley was called up to host the se­ries by Brian Hen­son, the chair­man of the Jim Hen­son Com­pany and son of the late Jim Hen­son, cre­ator of The Mup­pets.

Brian Hen­son was co-cre­ator of the scifi se­ries Farscape, which Ed­g­ley ap­peared in for four sea­sons, and called her man­ager in Jan­uary, invit­ing her to host the show.

Team­ing up again with Hen­son has reignited Ed­g­ley’s love af­fair with the US and was the cat­a­lyst for her try­ing out for pi­lot sea­son, when the TV net­works cast for new shows.

Ed­g­ley says she keeps pre-au­di­tion ban­ter to a min­i­mum and al­ways con­verses, in or out of char­ac­ter, with an LA ac­cent.

“I feel pos­i­tive and ex­cited by the show (Jim Hen­son’s Crea­ture Shop Chal­lenge) and I thought I’d re­ally like to give Hol­ly­wood an­other whirl,” Ed­g­ley says.

“I go in speak­ing like an Amer­i­can and with a seam­less ac­cent.

“That’s be­cause there are ru­mours around town that if you go in as an Aus­tralian they won’t be able to fo­cus on the scene be­cause they’ll be lis­ten­ing to your ac­cent and try­ing to pick the flaws in it.

“I make very lit­tle talk in the in­tro other than ques­tions about the char­ac­ter or the script.”

Ed­g­ley says life is tough for ac­tors in Hol­ly­wood dur­ing pi­lot sea­son and it’s not un­usual to turn up to an au­di­tion and find a dozen or more hope­fuls com­pet­ing for the same role.

But the com­pet­i­tive­ness hasn’t taken the edge off her enthusiasm.

“You just have to go in and be as pre­pared as you can be and en­joy the jour­ney and sooner or later the right role will fall into your lap.”

Ed­g­ley re­cently re­turned to the US af­ter she fin­ished film­ing the biopic Car­lotta for the Nine Net­work. She re­turns to Aus­tralia in April for two pop cul­ture con­ven­tions to chat with fans of Farscape.

“I was only go­ing to be in it for one episode, I stuck around for five years and I love the au­to­graph sign­ings,” Ed­g­ley says. “It’s a chance to meet people who are pas­sion­ate about what I am pas­sion­ate about.”

Su­panova Pop Cul­ture Expo plays the Gold Coast Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on April 5 and 6 and at the Mel­bourne Show­ground on April 12 and 13.

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