show creator

Aussies in Hollywood

Jenny Cooney is an Australian journalist who has lived in Hollywood for 30 years. She is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and votes for the Golden Globes. Jenny has watched the waves of new Australian talent arrive in H


#Performing Arts
#TV & Film

Season 1

Travis Fimmel

Actor Travis Fimmel never dreamed of a career in Hollywood. He was destined for a life working on his family's dairy farm before he traveled to Los Angeles and enrolled in acting school. Since then Travis has landed roles in Tarzan, Vikings and Raised By Wolves. Host Jenny Cooney speaks with Travis about working as a model to secure a visa, what he’s learned from working alongside director Riley Scott and why he hates being an actor.


EP44 - S1

8 Oct 20

Unjoo Moon

Director Unjoo Moon was enrolled in a producing course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School before she realised directing was her passion. Since then, Unjoo has directed the documentary The Zen of Bennett about musical legend Tony Bennett and the Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman. Host Jenny Cooney speaks with Unjoo about transitioning from producing to directing, coming home to film I Am Woman in Sydney and meeting her husband Dion Bebe at film school.


EP43 - S1

27 Aug 20

Eliza Scanlen

Actor Eliza Scanlen sprung onto our tv screens playing Amy Adam's troubled teenage sister of in the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. We then saw her portray Beth in Greta Gerwig's Little Women and she recently made her feature film debut at  Venice Film Festival alongside Ben Mendelsohn in the film Babyteeth. Eliza shares with podcast host Jenny Cooney; how COVID-19 has affected her acting projects, why she decided it was important to shave her head for her role in Babyteeth and how the experience she had on the Home and Away set helped her when she got to Hollywood.


EP42 - S1

29 Jun 20

Geraldine Viswanathan

Actress Geraldine Viswanathan made her mark on Hollywood as Kayla in the 2018 film Blockers. Since then, she has starred in Hala, Bad Education and Miracle Workers. Host Jenny Cooney speaks with Geraldine about growing up in Newcastle, the diversity of acting roles available in the United States and reading scripts with Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman.


EP41 - S1

14 May 20

Leigh Whannell

Screenwriter, producer, director and actor, Leigh Whannell, made a name for himself in Hollywood as the writer and producer of the Saw franchise. Since then, Leigh has written and performed in the Insidious franchise and most recently wrote and produced an adaption of H.G. Wells’ novel The Invisible Man. Host Jenny Cooney speaks with Leigh about what he learned about directing from his university classmate & collaborator James Wan, the attitude towards horror in Hollywood and the unexpected success of Saw.


EP40 - S1

27 Feb 20

Dion Beebe

Cinematographer Dion Beebe grew up watching subtitled films at a small foreign cinema in South Africa before moving to Sydney and studying at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS). Since then, Dion has made a name for himself working on Chicago, Green Lantern and Memoirs of a Geisha. Host Jenny Cooney chats with Dion about the pivotal people in his career and what it was like working with his wife, Unjoo Moon, on their upcoming film I Am Woman.


EP39 - S1

28 Nov 19

Ben Lawson

Actor Ben Lawson is known for his roles in Modern Family, Designated Survivor, 13 Reasons Why and The Good Place, but when he first arrived in Hollywood, he struggled to land his big break. Host Jenny Cooney speaks with Ben about persisting in Hollywood in spite of setbacks and meeting his childhood hero, Michael J Fox.  


EP38 - S1

28 Nov 19

Damon Herriman

Actor Damon Herriman certainly has a type. He simultaneously played Charles Manson in both Quentin Tarantino's "Once upon a time in Hollywood" and the hit series "Mindhunter Season 2". Host Jenny Cooney chats with Damon about what it was like to work with the famous director and how he managed to play the same character in two different projects.


EP37 - S1

15 Aug 19

Dacre Montgomery

Actor Dacre Montgomery landed the dream role of anyone growing up in the 90’s. He played the Red Power Ranger and now stars in the unmissable 80’s sci-fi horror TV series – Stranger Things. Host Jenny Cooney talks with Dacre about his upbringing in the industry, whether fame shapes who you are and his process on creating an emotionally layered villain.  


EP36 - S1

11 Jul 19

Jacki Weaver

Actress Jacki Weaver, is a national treasure in Australia, known for her decades of theatre, TV and Aussie movies. At the age of 72 she became known worldwide after she played the matriarch of a crime family in the Aussie film Animal Kingdom and this earned Jacki her first Oscar nomination. Host Jenny Cooney caught up with Jacki, in West Hollywood, to talk about her favourite types of roles to act in, what it was like to find worldwide fame later in life and her upcoming work.


EP35 - S1

6 Jun 19

Rebel Wilson

Actor, film-producer, law-degree holder, film-memorabilia collector and former lolly-stand owner Rebel Wilson is so much more than what you see on screen. Having been a comedy staple on Australian TV, Rebel broke into Hollywood with her hilarious role in Bridesmaids and has now successfully stepped into film-production too. However, her road to fame was not straight-forward, it involved a lot of hard work, self-belief, a law-degree as a back-up pland and oddly enough...a fever induced hallucination!


EP34 - S1

21 Mar 19

Catherine Martin

4-time Costume Design Academy Award winner speaks to host Jenny Cooney about her process of choosing costumes and doing production design on Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby and Australia. Catherine describes the unconventional interview she had, with her now husband, Baz Luhrmann which led to her first film job, Strictly Ballroom, and why they’ve collaborated on every creative project since from Chanel ads to Broadway shows.


EP33 - S1

21 Mar 19

Stuart Beattie

Screenwriter Stuart Beattie came up with the idea for the blockbuster franchise Pirates of the Caribbean, while still in school in Australia, and dreamt up Collateral Damage during a taxi ride in Sydney. He chats to Jenny Cooney about where he gets his inspiration, how screenwriting is rarely a one-person job and how his directorial debut lead his to be a better screenwriter


EP32 - S1

21 Mar 19

Eric Bana

Actor Eric Bana managed to make it in Hollywood without ever having to relocate to the US. His success story is unusual, especially when you find out that he started as a comedian. He caught up with Jenny Cooney, the day after he finished filming Dirty John, to discuss how the chooses the diverse characters that he plays.


EP31 - S1

24 Jan 19

Jai Courtney

Actor Jai Courtney got his big break filming in New Zealand on Spartacus and since then has acted alongside Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger . After he wrapped filming Storm Boy he caught up with Jenny Cooney to chat about his life as an actor and how a bet with Margot Robbie led him to get a questionable tattoo.


EP30 - S1

24 Jan 19

Elizabeth Debicki

Actor Elizabeth Debicki shot to fame after her role in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. Elizabeth shares with Jenny Cooney the unconventional audition that got her that role, how difficult it was hiding the details of her Guardians of The Galaxy character from superfans and what it was like having Cate Blanchett as a mentor.


EP29 - S1

20 May 19

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness

Actors and golden couple Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness sit down with their longtime friend Jenny Cooney to discuss the big roles that defined their careers, how a fortune-teller led Deborra-Lee to Hugh and how they've kept their relationship strong through the ups and downs of fame.


EP28 - S1

27 Nov 18

Luke Mitchell

Actor and model Luke Mitchell shot to fame in Australia as Romeo Smith on Home and Away but nowadays he lives between New York and LA with his actress wife Rebecca Breeds. Luke speaks to Jenny Cooney about how a failed tennis career led him to acting and how a beard led his to roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Blindspot.


EP27 - S1

27 Nov 18

Baz Luhrmann

Writer, director and producer Baz Luhrmann is a creative powerhouse. He is known for writing and directing visually stunning films like Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby as well as turning his hand to directing an opera...not bad for a kid from a town in Australia so small, that he is willing to bet you it's smaller than yours!


EP26 - S1

27 Nov 18

Nash Edgerton

Stuntman, film director and music video director Nash Edgerton, speaks to Jenny Cooney about how he got into stunt work and how a $80 film he made for Tropfest made him realise that he wanted a career in film making.


EP25 - S1

1 Nov 18

George Lazenby

Actor George Lazenby is the only Aussie to have played James Bond. His life off screen was similar to Bond, with plenty of women, cars, money and dangerous stunts. He tells Jenny Cooney how he scored the Bond role having never acted before and why he turned down the chance to make more Bond films.


EP24 - S1

11 Sep 18

Emilie de Ravin

Actor Emilie de Ravin is best known for her roles in the tv shows Roswell High, Lost and Once Upon a Time as well as the film Remember Me with Robert Pattison. She chats to Jenny Cooney about striking gold with a string of hit shows and how she has made Hollywood her home ever since.


EP23 - S1

11 Sep 18

Danielle Macdonald

Actor Danielle Macdonald, is the star of Patti Cake$ and upcoming film Dumplin’. Danielle chats with Jenny Cooney about how she shot straight to fame in Hollywood having never scored a role in Australia, and how strange life in Hollywood can be when you find yourself watching Friends on a flight that you are taking to go meet Jennifer Aniston.


EP22 - S1

11 Sep 18

Toni Collette

Actor Toni Collette is synonymous with 2 movie lines “You’re terrible Muriel!” from Muriel’s Wedding and “I see dead people,” from The Sixth Sense, which is funny seeing as she didn’t deliver either of those lines. Recorded in the hotel room where they first met during the press tour for Muriel’s Wedding,Toni chats to Jenny Cooney about her unique career and why she wasn’t always convinced that the roles she became known for, would even be a hit in the first place.


EP21 - S1

1 Aug 18

Lee Smith

Editor Lee Smith has been part of some of the biggest movies in Hollywood, from Suicide Squad to The Dark Knight and Interstellar. He became a trusted member of both Peter Weir and Chris Nolan’s film teams and won an Oscar along the way. Lee took a break from editing the new X-Men film to chat with Jenny Cooney about the importance of being a multi-disciplined editor and how his Aussie work ethic got him to where he is today.


EP20 - S1

1 Aug 18

Phil Noyce

Director Phil Noyce is best known for his films Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Bone Collector and Patriot Games but among the Aussies in Hollywood Phil is known to be a godfather figure who has always looked out for fellow Aussies trying to make it in Hollywood. Phil shares his insider view about the early days of the Australian film industry with Jenny Cooney and the $97 million lesson he learned along the way.


EP19 - S1

1 Aug 18

Simon Baker

Actor and director Simon Baker stumbled into acting when dropping a mate off at an audition for a TV ad. Years later he took a gamble and moved to LA (on a very tight budget) with his wife, actress Rebecca Rigg, and young daughter Stella…luckily that gamble paid off. Jenny Cooney has known Simon for many years and catches up with him to reminisce about his early days in Home and Away, to The Mentalist series and now his directorial debut with Breathe.


EP18 - S1

3 Jul 18

Paul Hogan (Hoges)

Crocodile Dundee actor and co-writer Paul Hogan was one of the original Aussies in Hollywood. From being a rigger on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to rubbing shoulders with Liz Taylor and Princess Diana, Hoges chats with Jenny Cooney about his incredible life and why the phrase he coined was “shrimp on the barbie” and not ‘prawn’.


EP17 - S1

3 Jul 18

Abbie Cornish

Abbie Cornish’s journey from country life in Lochinvar, NSW to Hollywood has been very much on her own terms. Following her ‘internal compass’ led her to decide that she would forge her own path in Hollywood, without the help of a publicist or agent. From playing a heroin addict in Candy opposite Heath Ledger to starring in Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Abbie ahas always chosen interesting acting roles.


EP16 - S1

3 Jul 18

Bruna Papandrea

Bruna Papandrea is best known for co-founding a production company that focuses on strong roles for women in Hollywood and her production slate includes Big Little Liars, Gone Girl and Wild. Jenny Cooney caught up with Bruna in her office in LA to discuss what led Bruna to starting the production company Made Up Stories.


EP15 - S1

20 May 18

Joel Edgerton

Joel Edgerton worked quietly for decades in Hollywood, turning in powerful film performances but somehow remaining under the radar. Now a Golden Globe nominee, Jenny Cooney met up with Joel for a chat over a cup of tea and they discussed his amazing acting journey which led him to becoming an established name in Hollywood. Joel’s films include: Zero Dark Thirty, Black Mass, The Great Gatsby and Loving.


EP14 - S1

20 May 18

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is one of the best known Aussies in Hollywood as both an actor and a film maker. From Mad Max to Apocalypto Mel speaks to Jenny Cooney about the ups and downs of his career as well as the difficulties of dealing with fame and press attention.


EP13 - S1

19 May 18

Nicole Kidman

Jenny first interviewed Nicole when Nicole was a fresh faced 17-year-old still living in Australia. Since then, actress Nicole played critically acclaimed roles in 'Moulin Rouge', 'Lion' and 'The Hours' and has won an additional 83 awards including has an Academy Award,  Best Actress in the Critics' Choice and Golden Globes awards for her portrayal of Celeste in the HBO sensation 'Big Little Lies'. Nicole Kidman is Australia's most successful actress and in this rare and intimate interview with her lifetime friend Jenny, Nicole shows that her love of film is second only to her love of family.


EP12 - S1

17 Jan 18

Ben Mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn has been a leading man in the Australian film industry since he was a teenager but it wasn't until his 40's and his role in Australian film 'Animal Kingdom' that Ben was able to crack Hollywood. In a fascinating tale of perseverance and determination, Ben Mendelsohn walks Jenny Cooney through his rise from couch surfing to 'Star Wars'; proving that good things come to those who wait (and keep working). His more recent critically acclaimed work in the Netflix series 'Bloodline' has helped earn Ben the reputation of the most underrated Aussie in Hollywood. 


EP11 - S1

9 Jan 18

Tim Minchin

Musician, comedian, actor and writer Tim Minchin is an Australian national treasure. Tim made a successful transition to Hollywood, guest starring in 'Californication' and the upcoming feature film remake of 'Robin Hood'. In a candid interview with Jenny Cooney, Tim reveals how much he struggled early in his career, when the doors were just not opening for him. He also opens up about the animated feature he worked on as writer, composer, director and actor in Hollywood for four years, only to have that project never see the light of day.


EP10 - S1

5 Jan 18

Eva Orner

Emmy and Academy Award winning producer and director, Eva Orner has taken us behind the walls of Guantanamo Bay, Nauru and Manus Island detention centres with her eye opening documentaries 'Taxi to the Dark Side' and 'Chasing Asylum'. Jenny Cooney talks to Melbourne born Eva about the risks she faces making films in such volatile locations, the importance of bringing political issues into the public consciousness, even if it means endangering her life, and how  telling stories in a way that is also social activism wasn't Eva's original intention when becoming a film maker. 


EP09 - S1

3 Jan 18

Brenton Thwaites

From 'Home and Away' to 'Pirates of the Caribbean', it's been a wild ride for Brenton Thwaites. The young Aussie from Cairns in Far North Queensland sits down with Jenny Cooney about his journey from Summer Bay to Hollywood, the incredible projects along the way and what it has been like working with the likes Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Brenton talks about dealing with rejection when you don't get the part and the challenges of wanting to get stuck into a project but having to wait due to reasons beyond your control.


EP08 - S1

28 Dec 17

Dean Semler

Cinematographer Dean Semler is one Australia's greatest exports to Hollywood. From 'Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior' to 'Waterworld', 'Dances with Wolves', 'Maleficent' and 'Apocalypto,' Academy Award winning Dean is a true master of his craft. Jenny Cooney sits down with Dean to celebrate his career; from humble beginnings in regional South Australia to riding in Learjets, becoming best friends with Hollywood's finest and going back to his roots to share the learnings. Dean's story is about seizing the opportunities as they present, always being up for the next challenge and having a great time along the way. 


EP07 - S1

8 Dec 17

Teresa Palmer

Actor Teresa Palmer looks back on her first years in Hollywood coming from Adelaide at only 19 years of age. She's had a lot of false starts that felt like one step forward, two steps back but now she's finally hitting her stride with roles in Mel Gibson's Oscar-nominated "Hacksaw Ridge" and "Berlin Syndrome". Jenny Cooney catches up with Teresa to talk about how all of the struggles helped shape her to be in the best place of her life; working on projects she loves, having the family she always wanted and squeezing in lots of side projects, with a little help from Jenny herself. 


EP06 - S1

10 Nov 17

Luke Davies

Luke Davies is a poet, novelist and screenwriter who is a later starter to Hollywood. After a career spanning over 20 years as a writer, he is now making it in Hollywood with an Academy Award nomination in 2017 for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'Lion' and more work to follow. Jenny Cooney speaks to Luke about his past battles with drug addiction; the road to Hollywood and how his recent success is guiding his next steps. 


EP05 - S1

29 Sep 17

Anthony LaPaglia

Jenny Cooney was the journalist who outed actor LaPaglia as an Aussie from Adelaide, not the American he purported to be. Prior to that, LaPaglia had been attending auditions pretending to be a New Yorker. Regardless, Jenny and Anthony have continued to be great friends for over 30 years. In a very honest, open and rare chat, Anthony reveals how he missed on the role of Tony Soprano in the HBO blockbuster 'The Sopranos', how the TV show 'Without A Trace' ended up being a very unexpected hit with a very unexpected ending, and how hard work and good work has kept him grounded through the ups and downs of Hollywood.


EP04 - S1

15 Sep 17

Katherine Langford

The star of the Netflix breakout hit for 2017 '13 Reasons Why' has had a rapid rise from studying acting in Perth to a Skype audition for a new show yet to go into production, to scrambling to quickly get a working visa in time. Jenny Cooney speaks to Katherine about learning the craft of acting growing up in Perth, her connection to the Ledger family and how she intends to approach her work from here.


EP03 - S1

16 Aug 17

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne landed her first gig 3 days after landing in Hollywood on the NBC show 'Chuck', but that meant she was never sure when the work was going to end. Yvonne tells Jenny Cooney about living her early Hollywood years out of a suitcase, her TV and movie work with Keifer Sutherland & Robert De Niro, her desire to keep pushing herself with challenging work, and about her latest work on Hulu's highly acclaimed 'The Handmaid's Tale'.


EP02 - S1

10 Jul 17

Rachel griffiths

From Geelong theatre to Muriel's Wedding to new world of TV drama, Rachel Griffiths has made her place in both Hollywood and Aussie drama. Rachel tells Jenny about her steps from stage to big screen to TV, her near death experience giving birth to her third child while also working on 'Brothers & Sisters', and how she manages her new working life between the US and Australia.


EP01 - S1

26 Jun 17