Toni Collette

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Toni Collette

Born

11/1/1972, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Birth Name

Antonia Collette

Gender

Female
  • Toni Collette as Tara on The United Stat...
  • Toni Collette as Tara on The United Stat...
  • Toni Collette as Tara on The United Stat...
  • Toni Collette as Tara on The United Stat...
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes

Biography

EDIT
A tall, vivacious Australian actress with a chameleonic ability to alter her appearance as the role dictates, Toni Collette shot to international fame at age 22 as the overweight but determined bride-to-be in P J Hogan's blackly comic "Muriel's Wedding" (1994). Auditioning for that breakthrough role, she proved…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Toni: (after performing at Sydney's 'Live Earth' concert in July 2007) That was such an amazing day. I was nervous leading up to it. I was having the pounding heart and the churning stomach, and then as soon as I got there I just calmed down. But it's an amazing feeling to stand up there in front of so many people, especially knowing why everyone was there.

    • Toni: (revealing she was pregnant in July 2007) Yes I am. We're very happy. We are completely over the moon. It is strange the last three films I've done I have been pregnant. I'm just like, what is the universe trying to tell me. But I think everything happens when it's meant to.

    • Toni: (asked if being an Australian in Hollywood is less of a novelty now) No. People always ask about it. I have no answer. [Laughs]. We all ate Vegemite growing up, who knows? Well, maybe there's a certain grounded, forthright, no-bulls**t kind of quality in Australians. That's very general, but it's a general question. Maybe that has something to do with it — just an honesty.

    • Toni: (watching herself on TV) I like to watch the films to see how they turn out. Not only to watch myself, but to see how the story works and to see what everybody else has been doing. It's something you've all worked towards and I'd feel weird if I didn't see it. I know some actors find it really difficult to watch themselves, but I don't flinch. I kind of move between picking at certain things — but as you can't change it anyway there's no point in worrying — and then just getting caught up in the story, if it's any good.

    • Toni: (asked if she's a good cook) No, but luckily my husband [Dave Galafassi] is! I try. It's because I lived out of a suitcase throughout my 20s in hotel rooms, so I never had a kitchen and now I feel intimidated by it. [Laughs] I was just working and travelling and not having a home, not having a base, just going from job to job.

    • Toni: (asked what she does when not working) Walk my dog, go to the beach, meditate, snorkel, read. Normal stuff.

    • Toni: (on the pressure on girls to look a certain way) We're bombarded by images day in, day out, and most of them are unrealistic. I mean, young girls are cutting their bodies up because they think they will look more beautiful. Beauty is the changes that continue to grow within you as your life expands and you learn more and more. Instead, they're focusing on a very small aspect of themselves.

    • Toni: (on her Little Miss Sunshine character being into self-help therapy) I've gone through a phase, definitely. Not wanting to be a motivational speaker, but God, we all need some self-help at some point! [But] there's no nine steps to perfection.

    • Toni: (on touring after the release of her debut album) I always find it a bit odd having to fill the gap between songs. The first gig I was completely petrified and I think once I got that out of the way, I have just been enjoying it.

    • Toni: I find it strange that actors are on the covers of magazines. When I watch a movie, someone's beauty isn't what engages me, it's what's going on internally. And I imagine it's what the audience thinks, too.

    • Toni: The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.

    • Toni: Travelling is so much better when you know you've got a lovely home to go back to. I can just enjoy it for what it is, without depending on it too much.

    • Toni: (on the attraction of starring Little Miss Sunshine) I love this kind of humour, it comes from somewhere real and sometimes, somewhere quite dark and that is often the funniest for me. I found myself laughing and crying at the same time while I was reading the script. We had the most amazing script to work with, so it was not a matter of trying to construct anything. It was all there on the page and it was so clear and quite obvious to me. I liked the tone of the film and it was just a matter of making it real and honouring the genius of the writer.

    • Toni: (on spending a lot of time in a van during filming of Little Miss Sunshine) It was fine, but sometimes uncomfortable because we had barely any air conditioning. We were able to open the windows for some scenes. Most of the time they had to be closed though. But anywhere between 'action' and 'cut' you would find that we were all just focused on what we were doing anyway in terms of the film. And in between takes we could open the windows and look at the beautiful countryside. We all appreciated the script so much that we were just happy to be there, even though the elements were overwhelming sometimes.

    • Toni: (asked if her talent is learned or natural ability) I don't think you can learn how to act. I think you just know how to do it. For instance, eight-year-old Abigail who plays my daughter in the film (Little Miss Sunshine) just has an innate ability.

    • Toni: (on how acting started for her) My dad says I just came out singing and dancing and performing. I have always been a bit of an extroverted performer. As a child I was always singing and dancing and just being generally loud. Then when I was a teenager, and I found acting that was 'it, and it all happened quite naturally. I guess it was a dream for me - I was lucky that my dream was realised quite quickly.

    • Toni: (what it was like when she first started getting acting jobs) It was really exciting. I started doing musicals at school. And then I went to a youth theatre group where I did some more musicals and dramatic plays. I did my first film when I was 17 and it just felt like an extension of that fun - except all of a sudden I was able to buy things, because they were paying me for doing it.

    • Toni: (on having children) I do in another year or so. I don't know what kind of mother I will be. It is a big responsibility and I'm really scared because I don't want to mess this child up. I know that I will try to instil good values and do my best to encourage my children to be themselves. And I know that when I do get pregnant I want to take time off and be really present because those early years are so important.

    • Toni: (asked if fame has changed her) I have always viewed myself as an actor, not a movie star and I prefer it that way. But I remember when Muriel's Wedding first came out in Australia. I was in New York and people stopped me on the street there and that was kind of odd, to think that on the other side of the planet, people were actually aware of who I was. But people are mostly quite respectful and say nice things when they recognise me, so the fame is not a bad thing. I do what I do because I enjoy it.

    • Toni: (on choosing projects) I think it is instinct. When I take a role, it bypasses the brain and the decision comes from another part of me that is compelled to be a part of a particular project.

    • Toni: I am pretty happy in most places but the fact that I now have a permanent home allows me to enjoy wherever I am because I know I am going to return there. I have a very normal quiet life. I have a beautiful little dog, a beagle, at home in Sydney and it kills me when I have to go away.

    • Toni: (on acting) I don't know that I want to do it forever. When it gets too much, I just walk the beaches of Sydney and get calm again. You just grab your surfboard, splash in those waves and feel happy to be alive. That's what really matters.

    • Toni: (In June 2005, Toni sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, asking for an end to the practices of mulesing (live flaying) and live sheep export) Mulesing is an unimaginably cruel procedure. The recent promise to stop mulesing by 2010 is unacceptable, since more humane alternatives to prevent flystrike are available now.
      I am sure that you do not want Australia to be associated with the image of starving, thirsty, and sick sheep who are sentenced to a painful death on foreign soil.

    • Toni: Greenpeace do an important job in protecting our environment. I'd urge everyone to get out there and do something simple and enjoyable for the planet.

    • Toni: I've always been a working actor. Big difference. I'm not interested in promoting myself or being famous. Don't get me wrong, I like getting tables at restaurants that have been booked out for months. But I don't want people to identify with me instead of the character I'm playing.

    • Toni: Sometimes life hits you on the head with a saucepan. But I'm not here to talk about saucepans.

    • Toni: My family, my relationships with my friends, my home and my music are the most important things in my life. I like being married, but it was never something I felt I had to do. Women in the States seem to think 'I gotta meet a man, I gotta get married'. I don't get that, I was getting on with my life and having a great time. I really did not expect to meet my husband and it was probably the best surprise of my life. It is everything, it's fun, comforting, it makes me feel so safe and centered.

    • Toni: I'm very happy with my lot. I like the variety I get. You don't want to spend your life repeating yourself. It's true of any kind of artist, you want to explore as wide and far as you can go, so that's what I've been trying to do.

    • Toni: (on Russell Crowe during her first movie Spotswood) Russell took me out, got me drunk, gave me pot and wiped up the vomit when I couldn't handle it.

    • Toni: I'm an actor not a movie star. I prefer it that way. I think when you watch big stars on screen; it's really difficult to look beyond that very familiar persona. As an actor, you can play different characters and not be recognized. I know I've got parts that other bigger, more famous actors wanted. I think in some cases their fame is a hindrance because they're too identifiable.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great actress.

    9.5
    Love her in "The Sixth Sence".
  • empty

    8.0
    Toni Collette is really a talented actress. In every role she really makes you believe that she actually is the character she's portraying. This sense of realism is what makes her really stand out above the masses of the rest of actresses today. My favorite movie of her's is "Little Miss Sunshine."