Saturday, August 23, 2014

Justine Clarke

I've been watching Justine Clarke in Come in Spinner. She plays a young woman who's raped by her sister's ex-boyfriend. A total jerk!

Edited to Add (8/26/14) Major correction. Days after watching this, I realized she was NOT raped by her sister's ex-boyfriend. She was raped by an American soldier. My mistake really gave me a skewed view of the mini-series—at least with the storyline concerning Clarke's onscreen sister. 

I used to watch Clarke as Roo in Home and Away. She was on from the beginning, and then left after a year or so. At first, Roo was a bit of a pain—a spoiled brat. But then she had a baby, gave it up for adoption, and somehow the experience turned her super nice. I adored super-nice Roo and was sad to see her go.

I've also seen Clarke in the TV show Tangled. I was about to say I watched the first episode, but you know what. I don't think that's true. I think I actually saw the first episode of the second season.  There was a funeral, and it was for a character who had been one of the stars of the first season. 

Clarke was recently on Play School. Or maybe she's still on it. I know she did some scenes with the guy who played Frank (her lover boy on Home and Away). What's his name again?  

Alex Papps!

Thank you, Google and Lord Wiki.

Yes, So Papps and Clarke played lovers in the late 1980's and entertained children together in this decade. That's very sweet.

I know two more things about Clarke. One is that she had an appearance in a Mad Max movie. And two, she sings songs for children. I have some of her songs on my Aussie Spotify list.

I already kind of know a fair bit about Clarke, but I'm hoping to learn some more stuff.

I'm going to start with IMDb. They say she was born in 1971, but there's no exact date here. They also say she was born in Australia, but there's no exact city or state. It's somewhat mysterious.

She was in a band called Automatic Cherry. I'm not sure when, though. Maybe I'll read more about it later.

Now I'm looking at her filmography. Her first screen thing was in 1984. She starred in a kid's TV show called The Maestro's Company. The other star was Adam Willits who would later be on Home and Away with her. He played the foster brother of Roo's boyfriend.

A puppeteer from The Maestro's Company has left a review of the show on IMDb, and talks about her experiences. It was some kind of opera thing. 

Willits and Clarke played children who stumble onto this opera company while trying to retrieve their lost soccer ball.  

I think basically the show was a program to teach children and their parents about opera.  

1985 is the year Clarke was in Max Max Beyond Thunderdome. I think that's the second movie? It's the one with Tina Turner. 

Clarke played a character named Anna Goanna. That's cute.  

In 1986, Clarke did another show for children. This one was called Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin

Someone has uploaded the opening credits of the show on YouTube. I'm glad they did. It's a very fun song. And Clarke does some singing in it.

Lord Wiki says the show was very popular in the UK, and still had a cult following today. I imagine the people who like Dr. Who would like this show. 

In 1987, Clarke appeared in five episodes of A Country Practice. She played a character named Nicki Simpson. Who is Nicki Simpson? I don't know. I'm not having luck finding anything about her.

Let's move on.....

On January 20, 1988 Clarke appeared on her first episode of Home and Away. She didn't start with the first episode as I had imagined. She began on episode 3.

In April 1988, Clarke starred in a children's TV movie called Princess Kate. She had the title role. The movie was about a girl learning that she's adopted. 

I recognize some other names in the credits—Claudia Karvan! And also Rebekah Elmaloglou who became a resident of Home and Away's Summer Bay months after Roo left.

It would be so fun to see Karvan when she was that young. I just looked at her age. She's about a year younger than Clarke, and a few months older than me. How old is Emaloglou? 

Well, she's a bit younger. She was born in 1974.  

1990 is the year Clarke appeared in Come in Spinner. I watched the second part of that today.

Clarke has a long filmography. I'm already getting tired. I'm going to skip writing about things in which I can't find a lot of information. 

In 1994, Clarke was in a miniseries called Golden Fiddles. One of the stars is Kate Milligan. I think she might be in Come in Spinner

No. I am totally wrong. She's not in the movie. She's actually an American-Canadian actress. She was in The Prince of Tides. I think maybe she played Nick Nolte's mother. 

Anyway....back to Golden Fiddles.  Here's a trailer

Well, no. The person who uploaded it called it a trailer. It's more like the opening credits. 

The little description on the video says it's about The Great Depression. 

In the next few years, Clarke was in a couple of other things I'm going to skip over.

I'm going to jump to a 1997 movie called Blackrock.  It's about a young girl who's raped and murdered; and surfers are involved. I guess one of them did it? I'm not sure. 

Lord Wiki says the movie is known as being the first prominent film role of Heath Ledger. I should have recognized the title then, since I just read his biography a few weeks ago. What's wrong with me?

There are other names I recognize in the credits—Jessica Napier, Bojana Novakovic, and John Howard. I don't know if any of those people had significant roles in the film.  Nor do I know if Justine Clarke did. I'm getting the idea that the starring-role part of her career happened when she was a teen and young adult; then she moved onto smaller roles. I think later her career picked up again. Really,though, I'm just guessing about this. She might have had some huge roles in the late 1990's. 

I'm reading Lord Wiki's description of the plot. Heath Ledger didn't play the rapist. I was wondering about that. His character had consensual sex with the girl. But then he watches as other people rape her. I think that might be just as bad. 

No. Wait. I have it all wrong.

It's another guy who watches the rape. And he also watched the consensual sex. What's the deal with that?

Clarke's character isn't listed in the plot description, so I'm guessing it wasn't a big role.

In 1998, Clarke did three episodes of a TV show called Wildside. What seems weird to me is within one year she played two different characters. I know shows do this often. Actors are used multiple times as different characters. But don't they usually space the appearance years apart? Even then viewers might recognize the actor. But if it's less than a year apart, it's even more likely. Why not just hire a different actor? Or if they liked the actor who guest-starred, why not just bring back their character?

I see now that I was totally wrong about Clarke having small roles in the late 1990's. In 1998, she started working on All Saints. She played Dr. Samantha O'Hara in 21 episodes. What season was that?

Well, from what I'm seeing on IMDb, she started in season 1— towards the end of the season. Then she came back again in season 2.

I'm skipping more stuff....

I'm going to stop at Danny Deckchair which came out in 2003. It looks like Clarke had a fairly significant role in this one. This is the movie where the guy makes a flying machine out of helium balloons. Clarke plays the guy's girlfriend...who's not very nice, apparently. 

Here's the trailer.

Clarke changed her hair color for the film.

The movie looks really cute and sweet.

I think I've written about it before—probably when I did a post about Miranda Otto. She's another one of the stars of the movie.

Also, in 2003...Clarke was in the movie Japanese Story which stars Toni Collette. I think most of the movie is about Toni Collete and her Japanese co-star stuck out alone together in the outback.  So I doubt Clarke had much of a role. I'll watch the trailer, though, just in case. I'll see if I can spot here. 

Nope. I didn't see her.

In 2004, Clarke was in a TV movie called Go Big. And she was the main star. She plays a woman who's fired from her telemarketing job.  It's a romantic-comedy type thing.

What's funny is there's this picture of the movie, and there's a woman who looks much older than I'd imagine Justine Clarke would have be in 2004. She looks like she's about sixty or seventy. Then I clicked on the picture because it's supposed to be a link to the film. Well, it turns out it's the wrong link...the wrong Go Big. The Go Big video provided is an art instructional video.  

In 2005, Clarke was in a movie called Look Both Ways. It's about a bad weekend. Not a comedy bad weekend, but a drama one. Clarke plays a woman who illustrates sympathy cards. She witnesses someone getting hit by a train and dying. I think that would be incredibly traumatic...seeing that.

Here's the trailer.  I like it. There's a line in the movie where Clarke's character says everyone has to witness something ghastly one day. She says, you know, your fifteen minutes of blah.

That's probably true. And the world is incredibly unfair. Some of us get rare and small glimpses of horror. Others see things like that on a daily basis. 

Clarke looks very cute in this movie—in a very casual and real way.

I have to say it again. I was so wrong about Clarke having small roles until recently and after the late 1980's.

She had another TV show in 2005. The Surgeon. It didn't last long. But she was the star, along with Sam Worthington.  

Here's a clip from the show. I'm not sure if Clarke is in the scene because the surgeons are wearing surgical masks. 

Here. I can see her in this other video. At least I think that's her. 

Justine Clarke was in Love My Way! Really? I didn't know that. Or I knew it and I forgot. I can't remember if I started watching Home and Away first or Love My Way

Oh. You know what. Now I see what's going on. She was in the third season. I stopped watching during that season. Or maybe I stopped watching in season two? I can't remember. It's just the show got to be too depressing for me. I might have missed her.

I'm skipping some stuff that might be important. Sorry. I'm getting tired.

Now I'm jumping way ahead to 2012. Clarke was in a TV series called Woodley. It's a comedy about a guy who's accident prone. Clarke plays his ex-wife. The guy wants to win her back.  

Someone has uploaded one of the episodes. I'll watch part of it.  

I think maybe that little girl was in Mental. I'll check in a minute.

Clarke appears at 4:20.  

And no...the kid isn't from Mental. She was actually on Offspring. She played the child version of Nina.

Wait. Back up. I always make these IMDb mistakes.

I have to rewind to 2009. That's when Clarke started working on Tangled. It was on for three seasons. 2009-2012. 

Here's a promo/featurette for the show. 

I had so many misconceptions about Clarke. Another thing I thought about her is that she pretty much quit television and movies to become a children's music singer. But recently she has starred in yet another TV show— The Time of Our Lives

Claudia Karvan is in this?! I feel so lost. I feel like I've been living under a rock. How am I missing so many things? Or at least forgetting them.

The show is made by the same people who made The Secret Life of Us. Shit! How did I miss this? 

And is it on Hulu? I don't think I saw it when I was searching the other day. Maybe it will be on someday, though. 

The last thing on Justine Clarke's filmography is an animated project called Maya the Bee Movie. Lord Wiki says Maya the Bee is an anime series based on an old German children's series. I don't know if this movie is anime and connected to the Japanese thing. Or is it just based on the book? 

Actually, I think it's the book because the credits have actors listed as being either in the German version or English version. So maybe it's a German-Australian thing that has nothing to do with Japan. 

Well...yeah. Now I'm looking more closely at IMDb. It's German-Australian. 

Here's the trailer. The little girl who plays the title character in the movie is going to be in the new Mad Max film. Just like Justine Clarke was back in the 1980's.

Now I'm moving onto Lord Wiki. Unlike IMDb, he knows Clarke's month of birth. But he doesn't know her date. Maybe Clarke keeps that secret because she doesn't want anyone figuring out her numerology number.

I'm joking.

Sort of.

Young Justine Clarke attended Woollahra Public School. I feel like I read about Woollahra recently, but I don't know why. Maybe it was in a novel I read? 

I must not have been paying good attention, though, because I had to look at Google Maps to figure out where it was.

It's a suburb in Sydney, towards the east. 

Anyway....

When Clarke was about seven-years-old, she appeared in a commercial for Arnott's Humphrey Bear biscuits. How cute. I wonder if they still make those. I don't think I've seen them around. I might have seen bears biscuits, but I don't know if they were modeled after Humphrey. 

Someone on a message board asks about the biscuits. No one really answers. Or at least there's no answer that's satisfying to me.

Lord Wiki has some information on Clarke's music career. She did a country music thing in the early 90's with a band called Honky Tonk Angels. Later, she did the Automatic Cherry thing. I can't find any of their songs on Spotify or YouTube.

I totally forgot to look at Clarke's Play School work on IMDb. I often forget to look at the category where the actor plays themselves.  

So here...I'm back over there. According to IMDb, Clarke started working on Play School in 2000. There's no end date. So maybe she's still on it?

Here's a clip of her teaching children to do the Macarena. 

Lord Wiki says that Clarke is married to an Aussie actor named Jack Finsterer. They have three kids. The oldest is about thirteen and the youngest is about five. I imagine she sang/sings to them a lot.

Crap. Our Internet is acting up. This might be difficult. Hopefully it will fix itself soon.

Will YouTube work for me?  Yes! Good.

Here's a song I have on my Spotify. It's called "Watermelon".

And YouTube has fooled me. It's actually not working. I can't see the video. But it worked well enough for me to get the link. You guys can watch the video. I'll listen to it on Spotify.

I'm going to dance.

At one point, Justine Clarke asks if we're dancing. I was proud to say...Yes!

Maybe when people get tired of the ice-bucket thing, we can start a new viral campaign where people dance to the watermelon song. What charity could we connect it to?

Maybe we'll just let people choose their own. And after they dance, they can do a brief explanation of why they chose that charity.

Why does Spotify work, but not YouTube? That's what I want to know. Actually, I don't want to know. I don't really care. I mean I don't need reasons. I'd just like it all to work again.

I think I'm going to take a break—give up for awhile. I've been wanting to work on my new Minecraft world. I'm building a bird park that has other animals as well. Yesterday I spawned a bunch of rabbits and named them after Home and Away characters.  You know what's crazy? I think I forgot Roo!

Okay...I'm gone and planted more flowers and trees in my bird park. I named a rabbit Roo, and I also added Neville and Floss.

While I was working, I was visited and watched by Celia and Carly...at different times. The two of them weren't hanging out together.

The Internet is still not working for me. In fact, Blogger just sent me that little message saying they're not able to save or publish my post.

Ah...now it's saved.

It's going off and on.

I'm going to give up on YouTube, though. I'll just leave it at that there are several Justine Clarke music videos. Maybe I'll watch them later. Or I'll just add more of her music to my Spotify list. Right now I'm listening to the list and hearing Damien Leith's "Songbird".

I'll try to read some interviews. That might work with my moody Internet.

Nope. It's not working.

I CAN get to Google, though, and I'm seeing there are a lot of articles/interviews about her.

Yes! One is working. I have a bunch of windows with various things loading.

The first one to work is in The Weekly Review.

It's from 2011. Clarke's family was moving back to Sydney from Elwood. I'd like to know where Elwood is, but I'm doubting Google Maps is going to work for me now.

Wait. The next paragraph says where it is. Melbourne. Tangled was filmed there. Clarke said her family stayed for awhile (beyond shooting?), because they liked it there.

Clarke says you could get closer to the water with less money in Melbourne. I didn't know that.

She talks about how they have to move a lot because of the acting jobs. She says they're kind of like gypsies. I wonder if her kids resent it. Or if they will resent it in the future. I moved around a lot. I resented it sometimes when it was happening, but when I was older I didn't look back with regret. What did bother me is getting guilt trips and anger from my parents for wanting to move as an adult. It's fine for them to move us around during our childhood, but bad of us to want to move when we're adults. Kind of hypocritical.

My dad did say he's over that now. Which is good. Though we have no immediate plans to move.

I think I'm too lazy at this point.

Clarke is described in the article as being friendly and no-fuss. That's cool.

When she's doing her show on the road, she often leaves her children behind with their daddy.  I imagine she probably misses her own kids while entertaining other kids. Though it's a common thing—like teachers who teach other children and nannies who have their own children at home. Or actually the nanny's children are probably at school being taught by some other child's parent.

Clarke says she loves performing. It's good she gets to do what she loves.

She and her husband met while doing the play Cyrano de Bergerac at the Sydney Theatre Company. That's romantic.

Clarke says she wanted to be on Play School since she was seventeen. She seems to really love it.

You know...I think I'd probably like that type of job. Singing and performing for children. I'm bad at memorizing lyrics, though...even for kid's songs. I sing to my nephews sometimes and my mind often goes blank.

Here's a blog post about someone's love for Justine Clarke. The blogger talks about the year 1988. She was in high school and dreamed of being an actress. She passionately pursued that path, and one of the things she did was write to actresses she admired.

Justine Clarke wrote back. The blogger has scanned in the old letters. They're cute. I was going to be negative and say the letter is egocentric.  Not that I would expect more from an actor writing to a fan. But Clarke is actually quite chatty in the letter. I mean it goes way beyond, thanks for writing to me. I appreciate and love all my fans. She actually opens up a bit, talks about annoying fans and a meddling agent. It almost sounds like had a need to vent her feelings to someone.

I was just thinking, though, if she had the time to write about her life, she could have asked some questions of the blogger. But Clarke was young. And youth sometimes is an excuse.

The blogger goes on to talk about how she kind of lost interest in Clarke. That happens sometimes. We're fans of someone or something, and then other things replace them in our heart.

But sometimes the love comes back.

This happened to the blogger when she saw Look Both Ways.

Then she had kids and Clarke became part of their lives with her Play School stuff and music concerts.

The blogger concludes her post by saying she liked that Clarke didn't mock her acting aspirations in the letter back she wrote. That's true. But she really didn't encourage her either.

The blogger is much more positive than I am.

That being said, I was like her as a kid. I wrote to celebrities. I think it was mostly for the fun of getting mail back. And like her I was happy for any bone thrown to me. An actress from V said something nice about the poem I wrote. Frank Oz answered some questions I asked him. Besides that I usually got form letters and/or autographed photos.

It's not really right to expect more. Actors are busy people. And they have their lives outside of acting. For example—their families and friends. And these days, they probably also have their video games.

I think lately, though, I have this distaste for it all. It's kind of that us vs them mentality. Royalty vs, the commoners. I'm famous. You're not. I'll do you a huge favor and sign your autograph book. Or I'll even let you take a photo of me.

It's a part of life, though, and my distaste of the whole thing is probably not about high-level philosophical objections. It's probably jealousy. I want to be on the royalty side. I look down at those people who beg celebrities to follow them on Twitter, but at the same time I'm secretly wishing those celebrities would notice me.

Why? I have no idea. It's pretty stupid.

Actually, it's very stupid.

But I think as long as you don't go from wishing to stalking—probably harmless. And my secret wishing is probably less bothersome than those who openly beg.

I should say quiet rather than secret...since I'm talking about it on my blog. How can something be secret if you're blogging about it?

I should stop blabbing, but there's more bitching I'd like to do.

It goes back to Clarke's letter. She was young and a busy actress when she wrote that. Both are good excuses to write egocentric letters. What really gets to me is when I have communications like that with people who are neither very young nor celebrities. They treat me like a fan. For example, I might respond to many of their Tweets on Twitter and they never respond to any of mine. Or there's those who blab on and on in their email about their lives. But they never or rarely ask about what's going on in my life.

It's so narcissistic.

Maybe that's why I'm less tolerant of the whole celebrity-fan relationship. I've had so many people in my life who engage in frequent conversational narcissism. I've had too much of it, and therefore have become intolerant in situations where it would actually be normal and expected.

You know. I was just about to quit this post. I was closing the windows on my browser, one of them being from the Sydney Theatre Company. I looked at it and saw Clarke. She's in a play called Children of the Sun. It will be on in September and October.

I'm wondering how Justine Clarke manages to do all the things she does. She seems so busy.

I was getting exhausted by her filmography. And I was just writing about it. She's actually living it.