Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Celeb encounters: Melissa George's shrink-free fashion week

New York Fashion Week = a galaxy of stars. As Fashion Season discovered in September via a series of front-of-runway and backstage chit-chats with a smattering of America's glitziest names - and the odd international ringin. While most of us here who have to work at the Fall shows are (in all seriousness) struggling to avoid frostbite and hypothermia whenever venturing into the minus 20 F wind chill factor outside the venues, celebs naturally have their limos and town cars to hop in and out of, so they think nothing of popping on evening gowns to wear to shows. As did Australia's own Melissa George on Monday afternoon to that of her mate Max Azria.

So what brings you to the Maz Azria show?
Melissa George: Maxie and (wife) Lubov, we're really dear friends of theirs in LA and we have Shabbat Dinner every Friday night in their house and I just love them so much. And we came to celebrate their collection. Which is their new resort line, it's not the collection, it's not BCBG, it's Max Azria.

What did you think?
It's spectacular. Imagine making dresses out of sweaters and all the pleats and the work...it was incredible.

Do you do New York Fashion Week very often?
I live in LA. You know, usually I'm working at this time of the year but I've just finished a film so I'm free, so I got to come here and do a couple of shows. I've only seen Reem Acra, which I adored, and I went to Nicole Miller, who I loved. But I'm not doing them all. Like today I could do Oscar and Marc and I just, I just....do a couple.

So you don't get very heavily involved in the fashion scene? It's quite political, notably the intense competition to dress the red carpet.
It's political, but because I'm an actor I don't get political. I just do my thing.

Who are your favourite American designers?
Probably Max, I love. Who else do I like? I like more French and Italian like Chanel and Hermes and all that. But if I had to choose an American it would definitely be Max Azria for sure.

How much time do you spend in Australia?
Last year I went back four times but only for a few days. But any chance I get. If they say, 'Hey, we want to do a photoshoot with you in Australia, instead of LA', I'd be like, 'Yeah let's do it in Australia. I get to go home'.

What are you working on at the moment?
I just wrapped 30 Days Of Night with Josh Hartnett, had the lead in that, for Sony Pictures, which we shot in New Zealand for four and a half months. And my HBO show just got picked up last week. It's called In Treatment, with Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Weiss. It's a genius concept.

...about cosmetic surgery?
No it's about psychology and therapy. I play a patient. Gabriel Byrne is the doctor and Dianne Weiss is Gabriel's doctor.

It's very American, isn't it, having a therapist? Do you have a therapist?
No I don't. In fact somebody today, a very big casting agent who I met with this morning said, 'Look I know it's a very personal question but do you have a therapist?' And I said, 'No, I'm Australian'. We're like, 'Deal with it. Deal with your shit yourselves'.

Did you take the question personally though - if you had a shrink?
No I didn't, because I never take things personally ever in my life, it doesn't matter who's insulting...

That's a very convenient trait.
I'm always like, 'They must be joking'.

Yes but now two people in one day have asked if you have a therapist.
No (laughs) it's amazing because they said, 'Do you know what it's like to have therapy?' And I'm like, 'No - you just deal with it'.

Do you find it difficult living in a country where so many people are in therapy?
No, because I like it, because all my friends are like, 'I saw my therapist yesterday'. And I'm like (laughs), 'Oh - you have a therapist?' Like, my dearest friend in the whole world! But you know what, your insurance covers it in America, so you might as well use it.

People have talked about the Australian invasion of Hollywood for a long time. Now there's something of an Australian invasion of New York Fashion Week going on. There are five Australians showing this week. Are you going to any of the shows?
No, I'm not. But it's great. They're kicking ass. Aussies are kicking ass.

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