What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I had the opportunity to change something I do now, it would be to be bilingual. My mother tried to teach me languages as a child. She spoke eight languages and my attention span was terrible and apparently the older you get the harder it is to pick up new languages, silly me! I like to believe it’s never too late though, just a little harder! On another and much more boring note – it would also be to have my E-Tag topped up! I am constantly forgetting to and paying the late fee. It’s the pits! Ha!
Who inspires you and why?
I’m constantly inspired by the wonderful people in my life that I’m lucky enough o be surrounded by, my two older sisters in particular. Career wise, it would have to be Amy Poehler because she’s a bravely hilarious performer and writer with a good dose of sincerity. She’s the founder of ‘Smart girls’ an online network community for young women and a serious producer and supporter of female driven TV and film content. To have a career as balanced, as hers would be a dream! Oh and Julia Lewis-Dreyfus and Oprah! Always Oprah.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would like to dedicate more time toward women’s causes – Planned Parenthood and domestic violence in particular. I support them when I can and I would like to donate more of my skills and time to those who really need it- even if it’s just awareness! I recently found out that in Guatemala where the penalty for women who abort is incarceration. It’s shocking! Whether I make a difference through telling women’s stories with my creativity or in a more direct way, it’s a cause I definitely feel passionate towards. I also like to think I do my best to treat others equal and be of service to the world even in the little ways, like being there for my friends, picking up my dog’s poop on the street and making people laugh.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
I recently went to Tasmania for the first time and it was heaven! I usually I like the idea of holidaying in warm tropical environments, but I found Tasmania to be in a league of it’s own. It’s oh so beautiful! It’s perfect destination for a weekend away with a partner or dear friend. It’s got just the right balance of cool interesting culture with MONA and peaceful remote nature. Oh and the food! Oh my goodness! The produce is SO fresh and delicious! Thinking about it now makes me want to book another trip ha!
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
It really depends on the time of year. I find Melbourne inner city to be so romantic in the winter, with all it’s cozy bars, cafes, wonderful Galleries, and cultural spots; ACMI and a little bar called Neapoli are always favorites for me! If the weather were warmer, I would opt for moonlight cinema or a little drive down to the Yarra Valley, the peninsula hot springs or my favorite Pizza place ‘A Boy Named Sue’ in St Andrews. Melbourne’s great in the way that in just a short drive you can be out of town and appreciate it’s surrounding sweet nature!
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading two books, which I often do. I like switching between them. I’m reading Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay – a collection of essays about what it means to be a female and a feminist in this day and age. It’s thought provoking and hilarious. I’m also reading Reckoning by Magda Szubanski – a memoir focusing on her family’s past, her father in particular and it’s quite a fascinating read.
What are you currently listening to?
I’m enjoying a bit of a late nineties revival at the moment. Nelly Furtado, Lauryn Hill, Eryka Badu and Moby are on loop and I’m loving it!
I believe happiness is appreciating what you have in the present and celebrating it! It’s so easy to miss what we have in our lives when we’re chasing something new and we miss what’s in front of us. I’m definitely one for going after big goals, but I’m always happiest when I’m aware of all the things and people I already have that I love and that love me as I’m working toward achieving whatever I’m going after.
What does the future hold for you?
I’ve been very lucky to have a busy couple of years with my work as an actress and a writer. I hope to be working the same way and on a bigger scale too would be nice! I’m really excited about touring Bad Jews and sharing it with Australia. Hopefully it will present more opportunities though the exposure. I also have a Screen Australia funded Web Series I wrote and starred in called MOVEMENT and am finishing off writing scripts for season two, which we’re look to getting produced later in the year, with a dream of developing it for TV, fingers crossed! In the end though, the future is always a sort of surprise, which is part of the magic of this industry, you never know what’s around the corner, but I certainly have lots to look forward to!
Maria will be starring in the return season of Josh Harmon’s critically-acclaimed Bad Jews at St. Kilda’s The Alex Theatre: 28 April – 14 May 2016, before touring to Sydney’s Seymour Centre: 18 May – 4 June, Brisbane: 13 – 31 July, and Perth: 9 – 14 August. For more information, visit: www.badjewstheplay.com for details.
Image: Maria Angelico