Liev Goes Mental!

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Stars hit sun and surf for new film

Katherine Feeney July 22, 2011


Just as Baz, Nicole and Hugh brought Hollywood to Bowen during the making of Australia, the Tweed is bracing for a slew of A-listers to arrive on Monday as filming commences on a new film called Mental.


Toni Collette and Liev Schreiber star in the latest film from romantic comedy king PJ Hogan, his first local production since Muriel’s Wedding in 1994, which thrust both location and leading lady into the international spotlight.


Mental sees Schreiber, who has two children with Naomi Watts, as a philandering politician who employs Collette, a “crazy hothead hitchhiker”, to nanny his five daughters following the breakdown and hospitalisation of his wife.


Anthony LaPaglia, Deborah Mailman and Rebecca Gibney feature alongside Collette and Schreiber for the joint Australian and American production, along with Cloudstreet’s Kerry Fox, Dorian Gray’s Caroline Goodall and Sam Clark from Neighbours.


Local production company Story Bridge Films joined with LA-based Zucker Productions’ Todd Fellman, Jocelyn Moorhouse and Jerry and Janet Zucker to create Mental.


The film also received $500, 000 in funding from the Queensland Government and Arts Minister Rachel Nolan said Screen Queensland had also helped scout locations.


“This is a valuable investment that will generate $7.3 million in Queensland production expenditure, employing over 250 Queensland cast and crew,” Ms Nolan said.


“Next week’s commencement of principal photography for Mental is a fantastic way to start another financial year for production in Queensland, which continues to go from strength to strength.”


The film is due for release next year in Australia and New Zealand, though Variety reports there are no plans to distribute to theatres in the United States.

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