Q&A with Esther Anderson on Breathless

Dancing with the Stars contestant and better known for her current role in Home and Away,Esther Anderson plays lead role as ‘Jodie’ in the short film. Breathless is a story of a mother, incapable of moving on with her life after the tragic drowning of her child. She clings desperately to the slowly fading memory of her lost son by submerging herself in their backyard swimming pool.  Her dangerous obsession takes its toll on the family and her estranged ways are destroying the relationships around her.
She Sat Down To Answer a Few Questions About This Project ! “What made you choose to do the short film Breathless?” I was drawn to the script. I felt it read really well. There wasn’t a huge amount of dialogue and that is sometimes harder so I knew I’d be in for a challenge. It’s a powerful story with an important message that unfortunately too many families in Australia can relate too.
What was it like working on set with Peter Ireland?” Working with Peter was an absolute delight. This was quite a new experience for me and Peter was really supportive. He’s very easy-going and I felt completely comfortable working with him straight away. I loved that he had such a clear vision for this film, it was easy to trust that it was going to look amazing!
What was it like on set with the other actors, and playing a completely different character from Charlie?” Working with Andrew Buchanan was great because he made my job that much easier. He’s such an experienced actor and that really showed on set. And Meganne West was fantastic too. So professional especially for someone of her age. She had a lot more waiting around than I did and was a real trooper about it, then when it was her turn she was on.
What are you hoping to get out of doing this short film Breathless?” I was just very excited by the opportunity to do a film. It’s obviously different to television and I was really grateful for the chance to play a new character facing new obstacles, and in a new medium. It’s a great opportunity for audiences to see me in a different light and hopefully the film will get some good exposure.
Are you hoping to start working on more films in the future?” Definitely, I’ve always had a desire to work in film. I know how I feel when I’ve watched a film I love with great performances, I’d like to be able to do that for others too if I could. Home and Away is full time so it’s difficult to manage much else with our schedule, fortunately Breathless was shot on the weekend so I was able to be involved.
What was the hardest part in playing Jodie?” It was pretty tough physically. We were in a cold pool for close to 14 hours on one of the days we were filming all the underwater scenes and I was holding my breath and treading water with my eyes open for the most part. The crew were amazing filling hot water bottles for us in between takes, and Peter stayed in there with me so he new exactly what it was like. I think that was the challenge, I used so much energy just to stay warm, treading water and holding your breath underwater, that I had to really focus to make sure the performance wasn’t compromised. Plus the fact you are underwater, I didnt really have a good idea how it was translating onto camera.
Did anything funny happen on set while filming in QLD?” I think my swimsuit was something to laugh at. I had to have weights in the back to keep me from floating up off the bottom of the pool. Every time I got out of the water I had this saggy lump behind my backside where the weights were…lets just say it looked like I needed a nappy!

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