Looking like a Hollywood ready hybrid between Emma Stone and Cate Blanchett, it’s easy to see why Sarah Snook is getting labelled the ‘next big thing’, a label she blushes at; “I take it with a pinch of salt. If the star rises, it’ll be nice to look back and go ‘yeah you were right guys’”. So what brought this rising starlet to star in the local made Not Suitable For Children?; “It was definitely the script. It feels very natural and fresh to say the lines written on the page”. This comedy with a romantic heart stars Ryan Kwanten as Jonah, a young Sydney party goer who discovers he’s got a very short window of fertility left in his life and goes on the frantic quest to be a father before it’s too late. Snook plays his best friend and roommate Stevie who becomes as entangled in this mission as Jonah is.
“I think that I’m similar in some ways to Stevie, in that I’m a bit of a tomboy and I like hanging out with boys”, Snook remarks on her character. But the similarities don’t quite stretch to Stevie’s distain of parenthood. “That actually was a really tricky part of the character to get around, for me, I want to have a family, I want to have kids in the future. And she doesn’t. So finding what it is in her life, how she got to where she is now was a challenge.”
Whilst Snook is getting serious attention overseas and has been infamously hovering around some well sought after roles, she looks to follow her co-star Ryan Kwanten, who has made an Australian film every break from True Blood he gets. Despite the obvious nerves of getting to work with such prolific actor, Snook insists any concerns quickly washed away insisting “It’s so easy to get along with the guy, he’s just a mate”.
While not a sex-comedy in a post- Judd Apatow sense, Not Suitable Children certainly turns up the raunchiness as it goes along, with several scenes of Kwanten and Snook beneath the sheets, a experience Snook found challenging. “It’s an unusual and bizarre setting to be in”, she explains, “It’s an unnatural setting to be doing something so natural. It’s such a kind of paradox”. Certainly having Ryan Kwanten as a sparring partner wouldn’t hurt, particularly given his wealth of experience on similar scenes on True Blood, “to do it with someone whose done that before is a blessing. Ryan Kwanten was very protective and generous and everyone on set was very cautious and respectful which was great”. But in hindsight she mostly just laughs the experience off joking that “We had them scheduled on the last two days which is great in one sense and bad in another because the last day is like ‘yay that was my last scene… let me put some clothes on’”.
For a comedy, it’s not surprising that on set proved to be just as fun as the film is itself, and Snook remembers fondly “One of the weirdest days we were shooting the train station scene… The food trucks were set up, parked on the street. But there was no real room to eat or have our lunch or anything so the catering set our tables along the foot path so we’re all set up along a table along the street by the station and trains are going past going “Why are there people dining on the street?”. And because we were in costume we had dressing gowns over us, so were casually eating lunch on the street in our dressing gowns.”
With an American horror film already in the can and more projects in the pipe-line, Sarah Snook is certainly starting to live up to her hype. And if performances remain of the calibre that she displays in Not Suitable For Children, it maybe sooner rather than later that Sarah gets to say “you were right guys”.
Not Suitable For Children is in Australian cinemas in on the July 12th.
Click here to read Josh Forward’s review from the Sydney Film Festival.