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Odds of glory are 'shortening' as music theatre graduate heads to Hollywood

Published:02 October 2019

Lauren Hamilton Neill features on the promotional poster for A Remarkable Career.

Lauren Hamilton Neill is feeling blessed. She's been offered a juicy acting role where she isn't 'just crying over a man', she's had the chance to work alongside established Aussie actor Zoe Carides, and the resulting short film has been accepted for the world finals of the 'Short+Sweet' competition in Hollywood.

The CQUniversity Music Theatre graduate also co-wrote the film - A Remarkable Career - with director Paul William Dawkins.

Accolades have been rolling in for A Remarkable Career from film festivals across the world and Lauren is heading to Los Angeles in October for the 'Short+Sweet' world final event.

This is the latest role for Lauren, who has previously appeared in Aussie TV shows including Deadly Women, Brothers in Arms: Bikie Wars, and Gods of Wheat Street. She was also the live action character reference for the movie sequel to Peter Pan, titled Peter and Jane: Return to Neverland.

"As a woman in this industry, it's rare to be offered a role where you aren't crying over a man or a victim of terrible trauma," Lauren says.

"It's even more rare, to get the amazing opportunity to work with someone of Zoe's incredible talent and generosity. Paul trusted both of us immensely to do the script and the characters justice.

"I've had the opportunity to be an audience member for two festival screenings now, and while seeing my face on the big screen is initially daunting, hearing the audience reaction has been breathtaking.

"You could hear a mouse cough; one of my favourite tutors and one of Australia's most talented actors, Anthony Brandon Wong always says 'an actor's job is to change the energy in the room'...well, this little film, with every facet of film-making coming together as seamlessly as it did, seems to be changing every room it's screened in.

"I've had offers from directors overseas to work on their next projects as a result of this film, it's so exciting. And it means the message in the film is relevant and clear.

"This film also was my second credit as a writer; the first was actually on a project by a fellow Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music graduate, Sean Miguel Perez. He wrote a brilliant web-series called Busy as Usual, and asked for my help on one of the more controversial episodes; it was such an incredible experience.

"Hearing your own words and seeing first hand the effect it had on people was amazing. Sitting across from Zoe during filming and hearing her say the words I had written, and being amazed at how she brought them to life, was quite surreal.

"This little film has already opened many doors for the production company that Paul and I have formed, Nateall Films, and we are still at the very beginning of the journey. I can't wait to see where it leads us all!"

Director Paul Williams Dawkins says that Lauren’s performance in the film is utterly extraordinary and fearless.

"The near constant feedback from people who’ve seen A Remarkable Career is that they are absolutely blown away by Lauren’s work – her performance travels from a whisper to a scream and back again, and is to my mind utterly convincing.

"Also, the pairing of Lauren and Zoe just works – both of them giving 100 per cent regardless of the moment.

"There’s a subtlety in great acting, and both actors brought that, but what is truly amazing is that when Lauren lets loose during the conversation, she brings a barely controlled anger and fury sold in every aspect – the physicality Lauren brought to a moment of dialogue is something I don’t think I can reference to anyone else.

"Being a co-writer, she knew the script intimately, but that's not the factor I'm talking about. Having seen Lauren perform other parts utterly dissimilar to hers in A Remarkable Career, I couldn't even begin to imagine where she managed to reach into herself to play such a complex and layered (and dark) character as Ellen Parry."

Zoe Carides says she was aware of Lauren Hamilton Neill as a performer around the indie theatre circuit in Sydney, and had worked with Paul Williams Dawkins on a few different film projects over the years, so when they approached her to be in A Remarkable Career, she leapt at the opportunity.

"I thought their script was unusual - sharp, brutal, funny and sinister. And being a two-hander, I thought the sparks could really fly between us. And fly they did, indeed! Lauren’s performance really impressed me on the day whilst shooting; in the end product she’s phenomenal."