This week Melissa George pissed me off.
A fact which is irritating because I’m a big Melissa George fan. Last year, her performance as Rosie in The Slap was nothing short of mesmerising. It was the latest in a long line of roles that once again proved that Melissa George is one of our country’s most talented actresses.
That aside, in the past 24 hours I think she’s sort of behaved like…..well, I’ll invoke dinner party rules and bite my tongue. Let’s just say my disappointment is epic.
It all started when Melissa allegedly had a meltdown during an appearance on The Morning Show on Channel 7 last week. The Seven Network claim George spat the dummy because a 20-year-old clip of the actress playing Angel Parrish on Home and Away was aired before her interview.
To get you up to speed, Melissa George threw a hissy fit on Friday’s The Morning Show because the segment referenced her days at Summer Bay.
According to The Daily Telegraph:
“She kept saying she’s had so many bigger roles since Home And Away that it was offensive to talk about it – she even said she’d send Seven an invoice because she inadvertently promotes it through the media,” an insider said.
And here’s what Melissa said in an interview on why she threatened to walk out:
“I don’t need credibility from my country any more, I just need them all to be quiet,” she said. “If they have nothing intelligent to say, please don’t speak to me any more. I’d rather be having a croissant and an espresso in Paris or walking my French bulldog in New York City.
“I’ve never spoken out about it because I have to be the loyal good Aussie, who goes away and comes home.
“But I’m a really hard-working woman and people have to respect me for what I’ve done … my next call will be to Home And Away to ask them to pay me because nobody does more promotion for that f … ing show than me.”
And now, just yesterday, Melissa hung up on a phone interview when the journalist – cheekily – started asking her about Alf Stewart. Flamin’ heck.
I get the fact that Melissa finds it boring or belittling that every single time she does an interview in Australia, her start on Home and Away is referenced. But you know what? Suck. It. Up.
Olivia Newton-John is forever known as Sandy in Grease. Kylie Minogue is routinely referenced as Charlene from Neighbours. Tina Arena was Tiny Tina from Young Talent Time. Jamie Durie was a stripper, did you know? Naomi Watts smiles politely every time an Aussie journo mentions her “I’d rather have a lamb roast / I gave up Tom Cruise for this!” tv commercial. And I have yet to read an interview with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling or Christina Aguilera that doesn’t recall their early days on the Mickey Mouse Club.
Everyone started out in daggy roles. Those early soapies or sitcoms or tv commercials are the acting equivalent of your first job at McDonalds. That’s how it works.
How many times do you think Nicole Kidman has sat and watched clips of herself as a frizzy haired teen on BMX Bandits? Countless. But every time Kidman handles the moment with good grace and humour. Similarly earlier this year Will Smith was asked about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on the Graham Norton Show. Not only did Smith happily talk about the show he stopped filming 17 years ago, he sang the theme song with the audience. Because of that his likeability factor was turned up to 11. Better still, this is what the A-list Hollywood movie star had to say about people’s on-going, unrelenting affection for his role in The Fresh Prince:
“There’s something about TV that’s different to movies or music. You go into a person’s house …Television has a way of attaching you to people that is extremely powerful. And it’s humbling.”
Melissa, you have gone from strength to strength and left Angel Parrish in your dust. The press here remind us of your soapie past because well, it’s easy, lazy journalism and because twenty years ago you played a character who was so very, very loved. When you come home to Australia we all indulge in a little walk down memory lane.
And it is little. Eight-seconds in fact.
The Morning Show hosts, Larry and Kylie, introduced you by calling you “one of Hollywood’s most wanted”. They raved about you as someone who has gone on to make a successful career on the big and small screen. And then they showed a video featuring clips of you in Home and Away, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, The Slap and in your new show Hunted. Angel Parrish flashed onto my screen for eight seconds. And I thought, “Oh, I remember that” and smiled.
So you can certainly ask us all to ‘be quiet’ and to get over the past. And you can accuse us of tall poppy syndrome. And we in return can wish you all the very best in your career. And hope that eventually you take a leaf out of Will Smith’s book.
As Ben Elton – who is now a celebrated author and comedian but originally came to fame at 21 on iconic TV comedy show The Young Ones – said on ABC radio today, “There’s nothing wrong with talking about how you got your start in your career. If you were a young star, then that’s something to be proud of because it’s how you got your break.”
Damn straight. Take a look at these other stars who started out just as cheesily as Melissa George but are happy to own their cheesy roots…..
Kylie Minogue in Neighbours