Chris O'Dowd is perhaps best known to American audiences for his roles in Bridesmaids and Girls, but this weekend he'll have a chance to charm us all over again — and display his musical skills — in The Sapphires, which hits theaters today. We sat down with Chris to discuss his role in the film, which follows the real-life journey of an aboriginal soul group and their Irish manager as they travel to Vietnam to entertain American troops during the 1960s. Check out our interview with Chris, and be sure to watch our chat with his costar Jessica Mauboy.
Jessica Mauboy was launched to fame by Australian Idol, but this weekend, she'll make a splash on the big screen in The Sapphires. The movie, which she costars in alongside Bridesmaids and Girls alum Chris O'Dowd, tells the inspiring and harrowing true tale of an Aboriginal girl group in the 1960s who headed overseas to entertain the troops in Vietnam. The movie follows the civil rights movements in both America and Australia with a soundtrack of soul music, and it received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last Summer. Jessica told us being a part of the movie inspired her to research her own Aboriginal background — with life-changing results. Check out our interview, and catch The Sapphires in theaters starting today.
Chris O'Dowd has been stealing scenes all over the place, but now the Irish funny guy has a starring role, and it may not be what you'd expect. The trailer for '60s-set The Sapphires features O'Dowd as Dave, the reluctant coach of amateur Australian singers who dream of going on tour to entertain the troops in Vietnam. Skeptical but in need of a job, he agrees to transform the girls from country singers to a soul group. Of course, his methods are slightly unorthodox, assigning the girl group stage personalities and helping them get more into the music.
I'm a big fan of O'Dowd, and I'm curious to watch him in a role different than what we've already seen from him. There are comic elements, but given that the movie is set during wartime, it feels like there's depth. Not to mention the Sapphires singers (played by Australian actors Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell) sound wonderful. The Sapphires opens in limited release on March 22; until then, you can watch the trailer after the jump.
The Sapphires was one of the megahits to emerge from Cannes this year. The Weinstein Company bought the rights to distribute the picture, an unlikely story about a group of four Aboriginal Australians in the 1960s who launch a singing career. During the film festival, we caught up with three of the stars, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, and Shari Sebbens. They spoke to us about their backgrounds and what it was like working with funny man Chris O'Dowd. Before the film hits theaters, get to know the ladies and check out our The Sapphires review.
Chris O'Dowd is a familiar face to many after his megahit from 2011, Bridesmaids, and his UK series The IT Crowd. He had plenty of options in terms of films to make following Bridesmaids, and he chose to work with an unknown Australian filmmaker on what is now the Cannes hit The Sapphires. The Weinstein Company picked up rights to distribute the feel-good comedy, so audiences across the country will be able to see Chris's latest when it comes out later in 2012. We caught up with Chris and director Wayne Blair last week at the Cannes Film Festival, and both guys chatted about the process of making The Sapphires. Chris, who's marrying UK TV presenter Dawn Porter this Summer, also dished about the crazy process of planning his very own wedding.
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The Sapphires has turned out to be one of the sleeper hits to emerge from Cannes, thanks to The Weinstein Company, which has already acquired rights to the film. I caught a screening of the funny film from Down Under during the festival, so read on to find out what I thought.
- Who's behind it? Director Wayne Blair was behind the lens of the picture, which is based on a play by Tony Briggs. Briggs's mother and her family actually inspired the story. Chris O'Dowd of Bridesmaids fame is the leading man. The movie's four leading ladies all have varying degrees of fame in Australia: Jessica Mauboy is a musical star after a turn on Australian Idol, and Deborah Mailman was the first Aboriginal actress to win the country's prestigious Australian Film Institute award for best actress. Relative newcomers Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens round out the cast.
- What's it about? It's a story about a group of Aboriginal women who overcome significant obstacles in Australia to pursue their dreams of singing in 1968. When the ladies run into Dave (O'Dowd) at a local singing contest, he agrees to be their manager and help them get a gig touring Vietnam to entertain US troops. There are subplots about racism and Australia's "lost generation" (until the 1970s, the government stole light-skinned Aboriginal children to be raised by whites elsewhere). Mainly, though, there is a lot of singing, dancing, and '60s-era costumes.
To read what I thought, just read more