• Interviews

HFPA in Conversation: Kate Walsh Helps the Australian Film Industry

A big change happened to Kate Walsh during the Covid-19 pandemic – she moved to Australia. The American actress known for Grey’s Anatomy and her own spin-off show Private Practice was visiting her friends when the global pandemic started.

I was visiting friends that I had met when I was on an Antarctic NatGeo Expedition and they’re said you should come and see Western Australia. It’s really beautiful. My plan was to come and be here for a couple of weeks and then go on and sort of align with doing press in Sydney and Melbourne for The Umbrella Academy,” Walsh told HFPA journalist Katherine Tulich.

Walsh got stuck in Perth, currently almost Covid-19 free. “It’s so beautiful and safe. I don’t want to leave.”

After a while she began to wonder why there aren’t more movie and television productions locally. “I found out because we don’t have a proper studio and now that’s sort of happening. Government’s looking at options and that’s exciting. And I’m hoping to bring a streaming show here in 2021.”

At the start of the pandemic she took part in charity reading to raise money for out-of-work actors and stagehands. Then she was performing in that same play, Sharr White’s The Other Place at the local theater company. “I met some people here and they wanted to start a theatre company. Chris Edmund used to run Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts under Hugh Jackman‘s time and Jai Courtney who was in Honest Thief with me, he happened to be in town. He was meant to be in Dublin directing another play but so it all sort of worked out and we have this incredible cast.”

Kate Walsh also has a small part on the Netflix series Emily in Paris, and stars in Honest Thief with Liam Neeson. “That’s an action film, but around a love story between a lifelong bank robber who falls in love with my character, Annie. It’s about people at a certain age, having second chances and then it’s got some really great action and fight sequences.”

Listen to the podcast and hear how her family and friends are reacting to her staying in Australia; what Aussie habits she has picked up; when she plans to return to the US; how she is trying to help the local film industry in Perth; why she moved to New York in 2017; why Honest Thief was filmed in Worcester Massachusetts in 2018; how she went from being the youngest of five to kind of an only child; when she became obsessed with movies; when she developed a good taste for theatre; why she chose English and art history over theatre in college; who cheered her up when people told her she is too tall, too brunette, too strong for the roles; when she started to make full salary from acting; how she feels when she is working with the younger cast and crew in productions like 13 Reasons Why, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Umbrella Academy and Emily in Paris