Lady In Black.


Last November, I got a phone call.

It wasSony Pictures. Would I be interested in an extra role on Bruce Beresford'snew film Ladies In Black.

There was only one answer.

I grew up on Bruce Beresfordfilms. He's one of my heroes. Breaker Morantand Driving Miss Daisy are two of my favourite films. So to be a blur in one of his celluloid backgrounds would be a dream realised.

And it really was.

Two confidentiality agreements and four weeks later, I found myself on a back lot in Sydney awaiting transformation.

Ladies in Black (adapted from the Madeline St John novel) is set in the summer of 1959, when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever, Lisa, aged sixteen, takes a holiday job at the prestigious Sydney department store, Goode’s. Beguiled and influenced by Magda, the vivacious manager of the high-fashion floor, and assisting sales ladies Patty and Fay, Lisa is awakened to a world of possibilities.

My 'character' was an upper-middle class female shopping for couture fashion at the fictional department store.  So not too much method work was required on my part.


After three hours in hair, make-up and wardrobe I headed over to the set where Mr Beresfordhad painstakingly built the interiors of Goode's department store.

It was so beautiful and so realistic I actually wanted to go shopping.

The level of detail in the art direction of this movie is truly amazing. Everything from the buttons to the chandeliers are painstakingly researched and replicated.


I've spent time on movie sets waiting for interviews and watching. And waiting some more....but nothing prepares you for actually being in a scene.

It isn't glamorous but there's a romance about the process of cinema which is intoxicating.

The lights, the cameras, the's a special kind of magic.


I was playing in the background of a scene betweenJulia Ormond'scharacter Magda and Angourie Rice'sleading turn as Lisa.

We did maybe eight takes and then it was over just as quickly as it had begun.

I know the likelihood of my scene actually ending up in the film was small but (thank you universe) it did!

Blink fast and you'll miss me but I'm am there.

Forever. In my own little piece of Bruce Beresfordhistory.

And I've ever felt more honoured.

Ladies in Black open nationally on September 20.

StylePaula Joye