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English actress, television presenter and comedian Sally Phillips has joined the cast of new Australian feature film How to Please a Woman, a warmhearted look at sexuality and vulnerability in all stages of life, that commences filming on Monday 26 April in Perth, Western Australia.
Most recognizable for her role as best friend Shazza in all three Bridget Jones’s Diary movies, Phillips has a long list of impressive screen credits that includes Pride and Prejudice (2016), as well as popular UK TV series Smack the Pony (1999 – 2017) and the award-winning US TV series VEEP (2013 – 2019).
In How to Please a Woman, Phillips plays 50-something Gina who has an inspired business idea to launch an all-male house-cleaning service. However, when her business grows out of control, Gina must acknowledge her own appetite if she is to make a new life for herself.
“I’m pleased to be back in Australia working on this more-than-funny liberation story for women who have been afraid to ask for what they want – at home, at work and in the bedroom,” says Phillips. “To work with the talented team of female filmmakers at Such Feisty Dames was a huge drawcard and it’s truly exciting that intimate female tales like this one are now being developed, financed and brought to the screen.”
Working alongside Phillips is beloved Australian actor Erik Thomson (Aftertaste; Back to the Rafters). Thomson comes fresh from filming Blueback in WA and was recently seen on the big screen in The Furnace.
Other exciting cast to join the production include Alexander England (Danger Close; Alien: Covenant) Caroline Brazier (Three Summers; Rake), Tasma Walton (Mystery Road; Cleverman; Rake), Roz Hammond (Harrow; The Heights) Cameron Daddo (Home and Away; Filthy Rich and Homeless) and New Zealander Josh Thomson (The New Adventures of Monkey; Young Rock).
This heartfelt comedy-drama is the debut feature from Western Australian writer-director Renée Webster, whose directing credits include ABC’s The Heights and ABC ME’s Itch. Webster also brings experience directing award-winning short films and TVCs.
“This film was borne out of many years of swimming in the Indian Ocean and the camaraderie found in concrete change rooms after a cold dawn swim” comments Renée Webster. “I’m very excited to bring this extraordinary cast together to tell a story that is both irreverent and perceptive as it explores female truths about the shared experience of sex.”
Produced by Tania Chambers of Feisty Dame Productions (Kill Me Three Times; A Few Less Men; Itch) and Judi Levine of Such Much Films (The Sessions; Falling for Figaro), How to Please a Woman is an uplifting comedy drama exploring themes of female and male sexuality, ageing and vulnerability. Executive Producers are Deanne Weir (Babyteeth), Roxana McMallan (Hildegarde), Olivia Humphrey, Adrian and Michela Fini and Pam and Julius Colman.
How to Please a Woman received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest. It was also supported in development through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative.
Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said, “Renée Webster has created an authentic, moving and funny story exploring female desire and sexuality, and we’re thrilled to have supported this debut feature through Gender Matters and into production.”
Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe says “How to Please a Woman was supported by Screenwest through our West Coast Visions initiative which has enabled talented, local writer Renée Webster to embark on the production of her first feature with Feisty Dame Productions and Such Much Films. Screenwest is sincerely grateful to Lotterywest for its ongoing support of the WA screen industry and assisting us to showcase Western Australian talent and landscapes to the world!”
Madman Entertainment will distribute throughout Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide sales through Beta Cinema.
Beta Cinemas’ Thorsten Ritter, says “How to Please a Woman is distinguished by one fact: it’s all about women – their friendships, motivations, voices and independence. Anchored by universally accessible humour, the story is encouraging, empowering, emotionally rewarding and, amidst current gender discussions, bound to resonate with audiences worldwide.”