The Australian starlet has been cast in two US projects
Acclaimed Australian actress Darcie Irwin-Simpson has had a busier year than most performers. While much has been written about how COVID-19 has led to the decimation of the entertainment industry, a few resilient and highly-sought after actors have remained at the forefront of certain producers’ minds as soon as restrictions progressively eased in certain filming locations.
While a vaccine, and a new year, brings optimism to the minds of many, the new pipelines of opportunity presented to Irwin-Simpson are nonetheless even rarer for actors than they were before the onset of the pandemic.
It’s safe to say however that Darcie is not just lucky, but highly-deserving of the responsibility that comes with filming one of the few productions which have been given the green light. Producers have to be increasingly innovative, creative and - it goes without saying - safe, to film under the strenuous conditions brought by COVID-19.
“I’m excited to start. I’m full of fidgety energy from the past year and just want to throw it at these projects,” says Darcie, basked in a natural glow emanating off her computer screen as we chat over Zoom.
The awards favorite, known to many audiences for her striking turns in ‘Bite Club’, ‘Love Child’ as well as ‘Soulmates’ and ‘Bikie Wars’, has been cast in a highly-anticipated comedy project called ‘The Art of Confidence’, alongside an impressive cast including one actor from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise.
Irwin-Simpson’s 12 months up until this point seemingly paved the way for the exciting future that lays ahead. Aside from getting close to a Brad Pitt Film and the rescheduling of an Aussie film she was to lead, Darcie was selected to be an Ambassador for the Australian Women’s Film Festival. That role positions her in the centre of one of the nation’s leading film industry events, alongside judges like Oscar-nominee Rachel Griffiths and ‘Warm Bodies’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ star, Teresa Palmer.
Producers have notably been given an advantage by COVID - while many big-budget productions typified by hundreds of extras or large-scale action sequences have been halted because the sheer number of cast and crew make filming under lockdown measures impossible, the intimacy which characters ‘The Art of Confidence’’s story attracted investors and distributors to green light the project earlier than they originally planned. In the same way that Darcie’s character of Natalie is forced to recognize the positive side of things - no matter how challenging circumstances might seem - it seems the team behind ‘The Art of Confidence’ were bequeathed with one of the few upsides that came with a pandemic that has quite literally changed our world.
It’s this shift in the zeitgeist that means ‘The Art of Confidence’ will no doubt be successful, buoyed by the talents of Irwin-Simpson and her knack for comedy.
“I’ve always been drawn to comedy and any dramatic role I’ve had, I’ve been buzzing when I get a funny scene. Comedy breathes fresh new life into characters and creates more spontaneity in your choices. ‘The Art of Confidence’ is beautifully written and walks a perfect line between comedy and drama. When a writer really knows a character’s humor as much as they do their pain, it makes for gripping entertainment and brings the best out of us as actors.”
The producers have shepherded works with a number of iconic distributors, Funny or Die among them, so it’s safe to say (no pun intended) that Darcie will be in good hands.
When asked about the casting process, Darcie’s representatives didn’t shy away from showering their star client with glowing endorsements.
“Dozens of well-known actresses ran through the minds of producers when considering who could be attached to the role of Natalie, but only Darcie was able to bring an understated comedy and dark vulnerability that made her take on the character the only one which rang true,” they said in a statement.
It’s also no surprise that, as an Australian, Darcie has been cast, as her cultural sensibility and the period of relative stability under which she’s been living during 2020 makes her life seemingly less rattled than the existence faced by many American actors during the past year. When also considering the onslaught of US productions which have headed to Australia to shoot, it’s no surprise that American producers continue to seek out Australian talent for that ‘special something’ to help make a project pop.
It is therefore consistent with this momentum that Darcie has been attached to feature ‘The Clairvoyant’, alongside award-winning Tunisian actress, Sarah Nasri.
“I’m grateful to be in a position where I’m juggling multiple US projects this year,” Darcie says with a smile.
“I’m aware of the ups and downs of this industry and that moments like these don’t come around all the time, especially currently, so I’m trying to savour the moment and just enjoy myself.