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Mia Wasikowska takes a well-deserved seat and chats to TNT about stepping into the shoes of the woman who walked 1,700 miles across Australia.

We thought we lived in a world where it was near impossible to go ‘off radar’. But then we lost a plane.

At the time the April edition of TNT went to press, evidence was mounting that the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 crashed into the Indian Ocean, but this was only due to the sighting of potential aircraft debris.

Before this, there had been no communications, no radar pick-ups, no sign of the plane whatsoever. And the world struggled to believe that, in the technology-crazed, all-accessible age of today, a plane holding 239 people had effectively vanished.

When we sat down with Australian actress Mia Wasikowska to talk about her role in Tracks, the mystery of the MH370 had yet to hit the headlines. On reflection, this interview has taken on an added poignancy. Tracks is about adventurer-come-author Robyn Davidson, who took off on a seemingly impossible 1,700 mile-long trek across the Australian desert, completely alone. We spoke of how when Davidson did this, back in the 1970s, she was labelled as ‘crazy’, but that now we could relate to her longing to escape and be completely autonomous.

“I think people will relate to Robyn’s story even more now than they did back then,” Wasikowska said. “It’s very relevant in this day and age that people would want to take off and remove themselves from being always accessible. However, I think it would be much harder to get lost now than it would have been in those days. Technology and things like the internet and having a phone; people can always keep track of us in one way or another. I think it’s unlikely that it would be the same journey today, but you never know.”

You never know is right. Of course, unlike the passengers of MH370, Davidson consciously chose to ‘go missing’. She set off alone on this epic journey, and it takes a special – even complex – kind of person to have the guts and determination to tackle such a challenge, and an even stronger character to see the mission completed. For the young Wasikowska, it was quite a nerve-racking experience to meet the real woman behind the amazing tale, but also an eye-opening one, which allowed her to understand the reasoning behind Davidson’s journey.

“People had such a hard time understanding her. After doing this film, I do understand her now and I know that she’s not just straightforward – you can’t guess what she’s going to do next. It just seems very understandable to me to want to remove yourself from your environment and put yourself into a place where things are simplified. She took it all back to the basics of survival and attending to her needs as they were in the moment. I think that’s very brave. I was quite nervous about meeting her, because the Robyn in the book was ready to punch anybody who would try to play her, but while shooting the film she was so incredibly warm and kind. She’s a really nice person.”


Interview: Mia Wasikowska
Digital Mag

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