Much loved actor Noni Hazlehurst is convinced Australians have a hunger for local product. That is why she is so excited about her latest movie role playing June in June Again.
It is an interesting time for the movie to be released because through Covid people have had to assess their priorities and what is important, she tells Have a Go News.
“Australian film has been experiencing something of a much more popular profile lately,” Noni says.
“I think people want to see Australian stories because they tend to be about real-life situations as opposed to the big blockbusters with lots of computer-generated graphics and people leaping off buildings.
“We have seen enough disasters going on in real life so we need some heart-warming stories.”
In the heartfelt comedy June Again, a twist of fate gives no-nonsense family matriarch June (Hazlehurst) a reprieve from the debilitating illness of dementia. Much to their amazement. June re-enters the lives of her adult children, Ginny (Claudia Karvan) and Devon (Stephen Curry) and learns that things haven’t gone according to plan.
With limited time and plenty of pluck, June sets about trying to put everything and everyone, back on track. When her meddling backfires, she sets about on a romantic journey of her own and discovers she needs help from the very people she was trying to rescue.
“The script was so beautifully written by JJ Winlove (who also directed the film) all I had to do was honour it,” Noni says.
“His script was so beautiful it needed almost no changes. It had been through several drafts when we got it and JJ painted a very clear picture for me to follow.
“I did a lot of research on dementia online and looked at a lot of videos on YouTube of family members charting the journey of their loved ones suffering from dementia. Everyone is different, everyone suffers in different ways, there are no rules to follow, it’s just instinct really.
We have seen enough disasters going on in real life so we need some heart-warming stories.
“JJ has a fascination with memory, he was particularly inspired to think about what we are without our memories. He’s not drawing on personal experiences of dementia in his own family but he was interested in the fact that a family member has a different understanding of what that family story is. We all have our own versions, so I think he was coming at that from a different point of view from other generations.”
As a mother of two adult sons, Noni says June Again looks at the need for parents to be upfront about recognising their children as individuals and not wanting to fulfil their expectations.
“It’s about second chances, seizing the moment and understanding that often our ambitions for our children cause pain. We have this idea they should be a certain way and often that’s not who they are at all.
“It’s about seeing things clearly and never being afraid to apologise or change your mind about what you think is right because it may not be.”
June Again was filmed in Sydney in the summer of 2018 but held over. Noni says humour and a sense of sadness come across in the film.
“That is what I love about it because no life is unbelievably comedic and no life unbelievably tragic which is what makes the film real and relatable.”
Noni is one of Australia’s favourite and most respected actors and presenters. The celebrated film, theatre and television actor, beloved Play School presenter and Better Homes and Gardens host has an impressive and wide-ranging career portfolio spanning 40 years.
In 2018 she completed filming series six and ‘The Final Chapter’ of the popular A Place to Call Home for Foxtel. She has been honoured with an Order of Australia.
Noni has just completed an episode of an ABC series called Fires based on the experiences of New Year’s Eve 2019 when bushfires engulfed a town and people had to shelter on the beach.
“I’m doing another series of Every Family Has a Secret which I host and I have a movie which is supposed to be happening in November but keeps getting put back,” she said.
Life is always busy and rewarding for Noni Hazlehurst.