Jo Litson, The Sunday Telegraph, reports
You could say things are going well for Elizabeth Debicki. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for the 22-year old Australian actor, who is being hailed as the breakout star of The Great Gatsby.
She's been to the Cannes Film Festival for the movie's opening, walked the red carpet at the Sydney premiere and rubbed shoulders with the famous at exclusive events including a Prada dinner hosted by Anna Wintour.
And she's still found time to rehearse for a production of Jean Genet's The Maids for Sydney Theatre Company with Cate Blanchett and French film star Isabelle Huppert.
It's enough to go to a girl's head, but Debicki seems unaffected by all the glitz and glamour.
"Someone asked me: 'How do you stay grounded?' " she says. "Well, it's a bit bizarre but I feel very normal. I just feel busy and tired. And happy.""I think that's one of the best things to keep you grounded after a whirlwind press junket: waking up and coming to a theatre rehearsal and standing at the foot of (
"I've been asked if I've been recognised (on the street). The answer is no. I don't look anything like myself in (Gatsby). So life is pretty normal."
She is at the Wharf Theatre, rehearsing Genet's dark play about two maids who act out a fantasy ritual of murdering their mistress.
Genet was inspired by the true story of French servants Christine and Lea Papin, two quiet sisters who in 1933 murdered their mistress and her daughter.
Debicki plays the mistress. She describes starting rehearsals with Blanchett and Huppert as "daunting and thrilling".
"Surreal is my buzzword in my life at the moment. It's very strange when you meet somebody that you've admired for so long," she says.
Director Benedict Andrews has no doubt Debicki belongs in their company, describing her as "an astonishing talent" and "the real deal".
Debicki was born in Paris to a Polish father and Australian mother, both classically trained dancers. They moved to Melbourne when she was five, where her mother still runs a dancing school.
She trained as a dancer but by 16 was too tall for ballet - she's 1.9m - so turned to acting. A few months after graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2010, she was cast in Joanna Murray-Smith's The Gift at Melbourne Theatre Company.
During The Gift, she auditioned for the role of Jordan Baker in Gatsby. Baker is a professional golfer who lives a reckless, glamorous lifestyle.
"It was the most fun I've ever had playing a character," Debicki says. "I think Jordan is a fabulous role. She's just a party girl. There's something really liberating about playing someone who is so reckless. I just inhabited her bold 'whateverness'.
"That was how I survived such a massive shoot. I got amazing costumes, amazing jewellery, great wig. I just had a great time."
Debicki has nothing but praise for the film. "I think it's beautiful. I'm so proud of it," she says.
She's been signed to US agents, but is coy about her future. "I'm really focussing on getting through this play," she says. "Then I can see what the future holds."
The Maids, Sydney Theatre, June 4-July 20. Bookings: 9250 1777