Melissa George’s new role: Tallest of all Poppies

In Australian Cultural Exports, Editorial, Featured Home Page News, Media and Communications, Momentum, National Headlines, Western Australia

Melissa George has bitten off the hand that fed her in a regrettable attack on the Australian film industry.

George, better known as Angel from Home & Away doesn’t want to be known as ‘Angel from Home & Away’.

“I don’t need credibility from my country any more, I just need them all to be quiet.

“If they have nothing intelligent to say, please don’t speak to me any more.

I’d rather be having a croissant and a little espresso in Paris or walking my French bulldog in New York City.” she said.

(via Melissa George to Christine Sams, November 2012

Many Australians are now dreaming up other names they can call her.

George wass understandably upset that her UK show was cancelled, but grown ups know that stuff happens. In ‘the shortest cancellation in TV history’ the show was picked up the next day by HBO, renowned for the world’s best-produced, most original shows on TV. So Melissa’s biting of the Aussie hand that fed her was particularly unnecessary.

Perhaps if she kept her Aussie spirit she’d get back up and dust herself off, rather than blame a successful career at home for momentary disappointments.

Melissa George seems to forget that being a daggy TV icon in Australia didn’t seem to hurt Kylie Minogue. Kylie’s not too cool to have a MySpace either. She’s a woman of the people.

With the thickest of Australian accents, Eric Bana strutted through backyards as Poida to the delight of his countrymen; raw acting talent with his touch of humour had him portraying an infamous (yet quotable) murderer in Chopper.


Before and after: Eric Bana’s proves humility sits well in Australian and in Hollywood.

Unlike Melissa George, Bana was not afraid to take one step at a time, his hard yards leading to bigger and better gateway roles such as the mental Australian in Adam Sandler’s Funny People. In one scene, Eric Bana ‘explains’ Aussie Rules football in a St Kilda shirt, giving Americans a quick and natural look at our way of life.

Bana played the goof, picked up a few grand, opened a few more doors each time with humility. In this article from The Guardian, it’s noted that Eric Bana took a backseat to just about everyone in his role to superstardom.

Jennifer ‘Eyebrows’ Connolly had to live down her role as the ‘girl from the Labyrinth’ – but what a Hollywood conversation starter to have been the foil to David Bowie’s consummate 80’s Goblin King.


Before and after: Connelly started young in a cult classic, then 20 years later re-emerged a superstar.

Jason Bateman could have wallowed in his typecasting as cheeky teen formerly of Valerie, but what did he do instead? Plug away until Dad roles like that in Juno and the enormously successful Arrested Development could take his family-oriented demeanour first to the door of the Golden Globes, then into the stratosphere.


Above, L-R: Justine Bateman and Jason BatemanJustine is another familiar face, Hilary from Family Ties. Jason Bateman wins a Golden Globe for his role as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development., and with Jennifer Garner and Ellen Page as Mark Loring in Juno. Mark cracks onto the pregnant teenage Juno but that’s neither here nor there. 

It’s contrived to hear top actors say ‘oh she’s just so great to work with’… but people at the top are umm… great to work with. Appreciative, even.

One could argue with Melissa George that having actual talent, and being friendly, is what gets you the gigs.

If Melissa George can’t appreciate that playing a beloved character is a kudos, Melissa George will always be a starlet, and never a star.

NB: ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ refers to the collective Australian habit of cutting down anyone behaving arrogantly. ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ is sometimes portrayed as envy, but the phrase is actually about observers such as the Australian public cutting smartarses down to size. Australians like to ensure one doesn’t get ‘too big for their boots’, or too ‘tall’ to be a fun person anymore. Australians don’t take kindly to tall poppies at all.

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