A brave new world
The Kettering Incident‘ s eerie premise lured Elizabeth Debicki back to Australian shores. By TIFFANY DUNK
LIFE is so jam-packed for Elizabeth Debicki of late, she’s taken to exercising while on the phone. As she chats to TV Guide from her home in LA – where she’s filming blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy
Vol. 2 – Debicki (right) admits doing double duty.
“I’m literally dragging my yoga mat outside right now because I’m going to stretch while I talk to you,” she says.
“I’m filming stuff at the moment, which is putting stress on the old body.
“But you keep going, you survive. Everybody’s busy, it’s just that what we do is slightly more unusual, slightly more insane.”
For someone whose career has taken off in a stratospheric way, Debicki, 25, is incredibly self-effacing.
The Australian actor has gone from hit to hit since making her debut in local film A Few Best Men in 2011. A supporting role in The
Great Gatsby followed, as did international films The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Macbeth and Everest. But it was her turn in recent BBC series
The Night Manager which had audiences worldwide buzzing. And now, she hopes, viewers will also take to her latest TV project – hotly anticipated drama The Kettering Incident.
Shot in Tasmania more than two years ago, it’s a job which has stayed with her and one she’s overjoyed is finally coming on to screens.
“As soon as I read the scripts I knew this was a role I absolutely wanted to do because it was so unique,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen another show like it – and not just in Australia.”
Debicki plays Anna in The Kettering Incident, which critics liken to a cross between cult TV series Twin Peaks and Top of the Lake. After her best friend disappeared while the two were young, Anna became an outcast in her hometown.
Having fled to the UK to escape her past, 15 years later she finds herself drawn back home … and back in the firing line when another girl goes missing.
“Anna was weirdly a reflection of me at that time in my life and what I was dealing with and struggling with,” Debicki says.
“The thing I found most relatable was the sense of her being sort of bound between two worlds but not knowing who she was.”
For Debicki, her two worlds have been Hollywood and her Melbourne hometown. And she admits there is a sense of isolation which comes with that.
“An actor’s life is a really bizarre existence,” she says.
“It can surprise you … how removed you can feel from reality. And it’s your job not to engage with reality.
“You can wake up on Saturday morning and realise you completely missed someone’s birthday or haven’t done the dishes in a week or whatever it is that is engaging with reality. It’s what makes life interesting but sometimes you crave normalcy as well.”
One part of normal life she hopes to take part in soon is to watch The Kettering
Incident with her co-star Matt Le Nevez. “He lives in LA and sometimes it’s easier to watch things with people you’ve made it with rather than on your own,” she says.
“I won’t cook, I’ll bring the wine. Matt’s actually an excellent cook but it’s a marathon – eight episodes is quite a lot of television.”