Why Jessica Mauboy returned to acting with a role in the Stan Original Film Windcatcher.

Jessica Mauboy is a cherished Australian who — more than any other famous local — feels like she grew up before our eyes. 

Mauboy found instant fame on the 2004 season of Australian Idol, making her debut in living rooms across the country at the age of just 16 years old. From the moment a then-teenage Mauboy first belted out Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing', it was immediately evident this was a once-in-a-lifetime talent. 

From here, Mauboy's career has skyrocketed to unrivalled heights, with a career trajectory spanning chart-topping music, award-winning films, massive TV shows... and even the Eurovision Song Contest.  

The hitmaker now has a new movie on the way with the wholesome coming-of-age family tale, the Stan Original Film Windcatcher. Mauboy will portray the enigmatic role of Aunty Cressida, one of the guardians of a cheeky 10-year-old named Percy Boy, who must defeat a group of small country town bullies at a local sports day. 

 "The one thing that drew me to the film was the heart and spirit of it," Mauboy told Mamamia

Jessica Mauboy in Windcatcher. Image: Supplied. 


"It's told through this young boy. It's the projection of his experiences: losing his parents unexpectedly, having to go through school and bullying, and wanting to be the fastest runner at school."

Mauboy was drawn to the role as she felt the environment and cast made her feel like she was back at home. 

"Being on the set of a film and working with young kids, it just reminded me of being home where I grew up in Darwin and being with nieces and nephews. I'm not home enough so playing this role kind of gives me back that [sense of home]," she told us. 

This will be Mauboy's first film role since the 2012 movie, The Sapphires, with the 'Little Things' singer deciding she was ready to return to movies. 

"I think I slowly wanted to get back into acting," she said. Then her agency sent her the Windcatcher script with the offer to audition. "It was the whole process of coming back as an actor, doing various auditions to get the role. 


"Like, am I good enough? It made me want it more. It challenged me to become that character and to learn and adapt to an environment working with kids." 

Watch the trailer for the Stan Original Film Windcatcher. Post continues after video.

For once, this role does not feature Mauboy showing off her other talent — as one of the country's most popular singers — which was a decision that the Bran Nue Dae star made intentionally. 

"It was a choice," she said. "It was a very clear choice that I made. I knew I wasn't going to be singing at all and purely acting — that was going to be the job." 

Mauboy now hopes to explore more acting roles in the future. "Once you kind of get on a roll, I think you definitely get hungry for more: what's the next character in this space?" 

As for Windcatcher, Mauboy is joined by a delightful mix of new and established Aussie talent. 

The star-studded cast includes Looking for Alibrandi's Pia Miranda, Lennox Monaghan, Max Turner, Coco Greenstone, Kelton Pell, Ngali Shaw, Lisa Maza, and Packed To The Rafters, Jessica McNamee

"I think one of the first table reads we did, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor because I was just looking around the room. You know, Kelton Pell! And Jess McNamee, who I'm such a big fan of as well," she said.


Windcatcher will also feature acting newcomer Lennox Monaghan in the leading role of Percy Boy. 

Lennox Monaghan as Percy Boy steals the show. Image: Stan. 

As for her part playing Percy's auntie, Mauboy was excited to embrace a different kind of role. 


"I would say she's a no-nonsense kind of gal," she said. "She's a young auntie who's now unexpectedly having to take on these responsibilities of looking after her nephew.

"She has to leave her life to start one that she wasn't ready for." 

Windcatcher is written by Stan Original Series Black Snow writer Boyd Quakawoot and directed by Finding Jedda's Tanith Glynn-Maloney. 

It's the type of wholesome family story that could resonate for generations to come, something that was extremely important to Mauboy. 

"When I was growing up when we had wet season come through Darwin, the school bell would ring and we'd put on a film. It was something like Free Willy or something like that. The movies were based around family so when I think about this film, it brings a lot of nostalgia for creating something that brings families together," she said.

And what Windcatcher does so beautifully is feature a diverse cast telling a story of a family dynamic that many Indigenous people can relate to. 

"I think identity is a huge thing when it comes to adversity," Mauboy told us. 

"It's a major, major thing for Windcatcher to be completely a First Nations story, but it can be broadened to be a part of anyone's story."

The Stan Original Film Windcatcher premieres March 28, only on Stan.

Feature image: Stan. 

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