“The Dressmaker” brings Hemsworth to his birth country Australia, where his character Teddy, lives in a small town called Dungatar. The town, it’s a wicked amalgam, a small town that could be anywhere in the world, that despite its fantastical vision and eccentric occupants, is built around deep truths about human behaviour. Every character in Dungatar is involved in either covering up or contributing to the tragic events of the past that affected Tilly (Winslet) and Molly (Davis). Some of them are not awful, but they’ve all committed some rather heinous acts that they’re trying to forget about. When Tilly comes back they’re forced to remember.
The citizens of Dungatar see Tilly as a threat to their status quo, to the semi-peaceful existence they have established. They banished her when she was a little girl, blamed her for a murder, and the very fact that she’s come back means they’ll have to face all the bad things they did to her in the past. Except for Teddy McSwiney (Hemsworth), who treats Tilly in an endearing way and falls in love with her.
The love story that develops between Teddy and Tilly is tender and unexpected – in many ways the two are like chalk and cheese. Tilly has lived in Europe, she’s worldly, elegant, savvy, she has an emotional past. Teddy is a stolid footballer, uncouth, younger than her, who may not have ever ventured out of Dungatar, but they share a level of smarts, and he instantly falls in love with her.
Producer Sue Maslin says: “Casting the role of Teddy was probably the toughest decision - finding an actor that could bring both the charm and the masculinity to the role. We wanted an Australian actor, but somebody who was going to have credibility with audiences internationally as well. Liam Hemsworth certainly embodied the physicality of the role and the sensitivity. You could not find a better Teddy, he’s just utterly charming, utterly gorgeous, laconic, a larrikin- all of the things that Teddy embodies, so it was an absolute delight working with him.”
While director Jocelyn Moorhouse shares, " I Ioved the scenes where Kate and Judy were physically fighting each other, but I also have to admit the scene where Liam gets measured by Kate for his new suit, always makes me smile.".
Liam Hemsworth, who plays Teddy, says he connected to the character on reading the script “because he reminded me of a lot of people I grew up with, of my grandpa in particular – a hard working Australian guy, someone who just gets on with it, very positive and quirky, a fun loving kind of spirit. Teddy is a little different to most of the people in Dungatar because he has a little more ambition and wants to get out and see what the rest of the world looks like. I felt like I knew this guy really well and I felt like I knew exactly how it should be played.”
Kate Winslet says: “Teddy is a sincere man, he has no airs and no graces, he looks like a right scruff pot most of the time but in many ways, he’s exactly what Tilly needs. He’s what she’s never experienced - someone who really appreciates her and sees her for who she is. He’s truthful and pure. It’s a very sweet endearing relationship.”
“The Dressmaker” opens November 4 in theatres from Axinite Digicinema.
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