Australian actress Miranda Tapsell tells RESCU her career highlights, aboriginal heritage and beauty secrets. We learn what it’s like to be an indigenous woman in the modern world and how her love of the arts has helped form her political expression.
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RESCU: Tell us a little bit about Love Child and what it’s been like working on the show, obviously there’s 3 seasons, so how has that progressed for you.
Miranda Tapsell: It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3 years. I feel like I just started yesterday, it’s crazy! It was an incredible moment to be cast in it and I’m very grateful for the opportunities it has given me after it.
RESCU: You have a unique position playing the role that you play and paralleling that of your parents, how does that fit into things for you?
Miranda Tapsell: It’s so different for me because while I’m still aware of the prejudices of today they were very apparent in that time, so to play that was often quite hard. I’m very grateful to be in a show like this because it means that aboriginal and non-aboriginal people can watch this and they can relate to Martha. I’ve seen the power that the arts has, how relevant it is in peoples lives and how it creates empathy within them. I don’t know of another medium outside screen and stage that has the ability to do that, and have the same impact.
RESCU: You really strike chords with viewers; mainly woman and you’ve really allowed them to relate to the show so that must be a special feeling for you.
Miranda Tapsell: What I really love about it is that I’ve had men come up to me as well and go, I love that show! They mention that they watch it with their wives but at the same time it still means something to them and I’m really excited about that. I feel like it’s a time where people are really starting to invest in content that is outside of their own experience. As an aboriginal woman I have to do that all the time. It’s nice that people are able to go the other way.
RESCU: Did you experience anything different growing up at all? Obviously you feel quite strongly about it considering your speech at the Logies, so was it something you grew up being quite in touch with it?
Miranda Tapsell: Yeah, what I said up on stage at the Logies was something that people like Jay Laga’ia and Vince Colosimo have been saying over many years. It meant a lot to me as well because I was constantly exposed to content that didn’t reflect my experience, so I just had to use the platform that I had to say what I really felt and I’m so glad that it meant something to so many people.
RESCU: Going into that, it could have gone both ways, but it just had such a positive impact, which is incredible.
Miranda Tapsell: yeah I think so too.
RESCU: What is the biggest challenge you face as an actress? Or something you have had to overcome.
Miranda Tapsell: As an aboriginal woman, being cast in a show on a mainstream commercial television network is no small thing. Other than Debra Mailman and Aaron Pederson, I can’t possibly think of an aboriginal presence before that. Screen Australia released a study that evaluated approximately 199 fictional dramas that had aired between 2011-2015 on Australian television. Over those 4 years only 18% of the main characters of were from a Non-Anglo Celtic background. That baffled me to read that because 32% of Australia’s population doesn’t come from an Anglo Celtic background. Although, we’ve come a long way because they did the study in 1992 and their was very little to no visibility of aboriginal people then.
RESCU: So I guess we’ve come further but not far enough.
Miranda Tapsell: I guess I’m just saying I’m really grateful for this opportunity because it’s something that the aboriginal actors before me, not only people like Deb and Aaron but Justine Saunders and Bob Maza have been pushing for decades, so I’m so glad that I’m in this time to be making that change.
RESCU: Yeah that’s amazing. You play such an incredible role and we’re big fans here!
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RESCU: What are your top 3 beauty products that you could not live without?
Miranda Tapsell: That would have to be my Lavera Naturkosmetik Basis Sensitiv Cleansing Gel with organic lemon balm and organic mallow. I love the natural cleanser because after set it’s really nice to get all my makeup off and let my skin breathe. I wear very little make-up when I’m not filming or on the red carpet. I think it’s nice for my skin to have a little break from it all.
Another product I can’t live without is sunscreen! I try and take as many preventative measures as I can, I’ve been told by different people in make-up departments when I’ve worked on set that the best thing you can do for your skin is to put sunscreen on, its the best protection! The sunscreen I use is from the Cancer Council.
My third would have to be Burberry lipgloss, I like a little bit of colour on my lips. I feel like when I’m a bit tired it perks me up to see a little colour on my lips! Also my lips get really dry and cracked, so its nice to have a bit of Paw Paw ointment as well.
RESCU: Do you have a favourite meal?
Miranda Tapsell: Kangaroo, I tend to marinate it in soy sauce and garlic and I either have it with steamed greens like kale and broccoli. Or if it’s summer and its too warm for steamed greens I have a salad! The salad I tend to have has apple, bean sprouts, sundried tomatoes and hummus.
RESCU: Sounds yum! Bring on the summer.
Miranda Tapsell: Yeah totally.
RESCU: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Miranda!
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