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‘Bird Box’ star Danielle Macdonald shares exclusive details on working with Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston

Cast member Danielle MacDonald poses at a premiere for the movie Dumplin' in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

‘Bird Box’ star Danielle Macdonald shares exclusive details on working with Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston

‘Bird Box’ star Danielle Macdonald shares exclusive details on working with Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston

With Aussie actress, Danielle Macdonald, starring in ‘Dumplin’’ as Jennifer Aniston’s daughter, as well as the Netflix smash hit ‘Bird Box’ with Sandra Bullock, this Sydney-born actress is quickly becoming a regular fixture in Hollywood.

We first came to know Danielle Macdonald from her starring role in the 2017 indie hit Patti Cake$. She chats to MiNDFOOD about how her life is rapidly changing.

Like most of us, I’m guessing you were a fan of ‘Friends’. What was it like meeting Jennifer Aniston?

Yeah, I was a fan of Friends. I feel like everyone grew up watching it. I was terrified to even meet Jen and the idea of playing her daughter was really daunting. I spoke to my mum about it and she was like, ‘Stop replacing me with all these cool people! That’s not fair!’ (laughs).

So, how was it when you first met?

She invited me to her place. It was my birthday and I had just flown back from New York. Actually, I watched Friends on the plane and I was terrified knowing I was about to meet her in LA. But then she enveloped me in a huge hug and I was like, ‘Oh, oh, okay’ (sigh of relief) and calmed down. She was so lovely and sweet and made me feel really comfortable. I instantly felt really open to talking to her. It’s one of those things where you have an idea of a person then you meet them and then they just become a real person. It was intimidating at first and then just completely relaxed which was nice.

What kind of message do you think Dumplin conveys?

I feel like everyone feels insecure growing up, no matter what you look like. I have friends of all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and they all feel insecure about certain things and I think that is so much what this movie is about. Everyone is worthy of love. I think that’s one of the biggest things. I grew up with a great family, honestly. I have an amazing sister, amazing parents and they always told me that I can do whatever I want to do and that I just have to believe in myself and work really hard. So, I went forward and did what I wanted to do because if you don’t try you’ll never know. But that’s the scary thing – taking the leap and trying because you may get hurt.

What can you tell me about your sense of fashion?

I’m pretty simple honestly. I grew up in Australia (shrugs) so I love my thongs, flip-flops I mean (laughs). I basically live in them. I grew up by the beach so I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. I never paid a huge amount of attention to fashion until I probably got more into the industry and then it became something you have to think about. That’s how I kind of figured out my style. I’m still learning and I’m still growing.

No big Hollywood stylist yet?

No, I do have a stylist that I work with because I really do need help! (laughs).

Have you felt pressured to go on a diet the way they make actresses do in Hollywood?

I think that everyone has their own body and you’re allowed to choose whatever you want to do with it. I just don’t think that there should be any judgment and I think that that’s why people have so many issues and feel insecure growing up. They have eating disorders because there is so much judgment placed on bodies. It really needs to change, the stigma around what size someone is or if they’re losing weight, if they’re gaining weight. I don’t think that should ever be the focus. If there wasn’t the focus on judging someone for how they looked, then I think that that would honestly erase a lot of the issues that we have. I’m just trying to be me. This is me and I don’t know where I’m going to be in a year. I didn’t know where I was going to be last year. I’m doing my life every day and I’m not trying to change for anyone.

Cast members Danielle MacDonald, Jennifer Aniston and Dolly Parton pose at a premiere for the movie Dumplin’ in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Speaking of change, I first met you in Cannes for Patti Cake$ 18 months ago. A lot has changed for you. You’re starring with Jennifer Aniston and then Sandra Bullock! Not too shabby!

Yeah, I guess at lot has changed (laughs). You don’t really think about it until you stop and realise that it’s not entirely normal. Yesterday I had a press day with Sandra Bullock and then today I’m talking about doing a film with Jennifer Aniston. That was not normal to me last year.

What’s it like when you get stopped on the street?

It’s always such a weird, trippy feeling (laughs) It’s really weird when someone that I respect and admire, like another actor knows who I am. That’s something I have not gotten used to at all.

What did you learn from Jennifer and Sandra?

Working with Jen and then right after I worked with Sandy, it was one of those crazy things where I realised these women are at the top of their game because they are hard working, they’re respectful and they’re good to people. I think that you have to keep that work ethic if you want to last in this industry.

So, have you bought a new car? What have you splurged on?

(laughs) Since I moved to L.A. I’d had the same car for 6 years and it had been great. It was a secondhand car and I never had a problem with it and then it just died right after I came back from filming Dumplin.’ I was like, ‘Ok. This came at the right time.’ So, yeah, I did get a new car. I think that has definitely been the biggest splurge.

Have you gone home much?

I have. I’m actually about to do my first Australian film which is really cool. I’m playing an Australian for the first time which is really crazy to me! I’ve never really had the opportunity to do that so I’m really, really excited. We’re filming in Sydney, where I’m from, so I get to see my family. It’s harder and easier to get back home because now you have more of a means to get back there but you’re so busy that you’re just trying to find the pockets of time. The long flight doesn’t help.

Is it different when you go back?

Home’s not any different for me. My friends are the same from high school. We don’t talk about acting or anything because they have no interest in it so (laughs). We just talk about life and it’s really no different at all.

What can you tell me about the film?

It’s called I Am Woman and it’s starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey. I’m really excited.

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