This 1993 interview from the first series of arts show The Edge screened while The Piano was in Kiwi cinemas. Earlier that year Jane Campion had become the first (and only) female director to share the top award at the Cannes Film Festival. Here, she discusses the antipodean character of her next project (The Portrait of a Lady) and the satisfaction of offering Nicole Kidman a role that isn’t “like a handbag to one of the male stars”. She also muses on working in Hollywood versus her hometown Sydney, and the influence of a New Zealand upbringing on forming her imagination.
She’s very keen to do a part which is a true challenge and which isn’t like a handbag to one of the male stars, as most of the stuff that’s available for women in Hollywood is.– Jane Campion on casting Nicole Kidman in the role of Isabel Archer