Television

Julia Gillard’s TV biopic planned

Julia Gillard’s TV biopic planned
Former Australia Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Photo: Reuters
Golden Globe winner Rachel Griffiths to play the former Australian PM in new drama
Published: 4:02 AM, November 12, 2013

MELBOURNE — No, the world hasn’t seen the last of Julia Gillard just yet. The Melbourne television production company WTFN will produce a new drama about Julia Gillard’s “trial by media” during her time as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

Based on Canberra journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh’s book, The Stalking Of Julia Gillard, the drama, which will star Rachel Griffiths, is said to focus on claims that the media were complicit in Kevin Rudd’s repeated undermining of Gillard, which led to her resignation.

Griffiths made her name in the 1994 film Muriel’s Wedding, as Muriel’s spirited best friend Rhonda Epinstalk. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1999 for her role as Hilary in the Jacqueline du Pre biopic Hilary And Jackie. In recent years she has starred in TV series Brothers and Sisters (as Sarah Walker), and Six Feet Under (as Brenda Chenowith), for which she won a Golden Globe award.

She has already expressed her excitement at playing the role. “I am thrilled to portray Australia’s first female prime minister and explore the private aspects of her remarkable term,” she said in a statement. “I believe that the creative and intellectual capacity of the team involved will produce a stunning drama that will reframe this historic period in our cultural and political life.”

WTFN’s director of drama and features, Richard Keddie, who directed political advertisements featuring Gillard and Rudd said: “We’re in a new media world and we’re not coping. I think someone like Kevin Rudd was incredible in feeding the media. He had them under a clever control — which is questionable. This is the story of the trial by media of Julia.”

He also said that he had spoken to Gillard about the movie and that she was “really happy about it”.

Keddie is yet to confirm whether the drama will be a TV movie or feature film, but WTFN says it hopes to start filming in 2014. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH