The Secret Life of Us: articles

Budd's career in full flower

WHEN a group of British reporters flew in to Melbourne last month to speak to the cast of The Secret Life Of Us they feared the worst.

As with every press junket, there is always the moment when you are forced to sing for your supper.

And these scribes were certain their pay-up would come in the form of Sibylla Budd the 24-year-old Melbourne actor who plays Secret Life's feisty and scorned Gabrielle.

Budd remains baffled and "a little hurt" by the British contingent and their "preconceptions".

"Secret Life opened in the UK before it opened here," she says.

"And we had all these journalists flown over to talk to us. And one by one they all admitted they were scared to meet and talk to me. They said they thought I would be sour and hideous and narky and difficult.

"God, guys, get over it. It's just a character. I'm not like that in real life."

Speaking on the phone from Sydney where she is preparing to launch her first feature film, The Bank, Budd could not be sweeter.

She talks softly and chuckles about how she "almost died" when she saw herself on the big screen for the first time.

"I've seen the movie twice," she says.

"And I've spoken to other actors and they say you have to see the movie you're in at least three times before you even start to become objective.

"The first time I saw myself, I thought I was hideous. The next time I see it I want to be part of a paying audience. I'm thinking of putting on a disguise one day and sneaking into the Nova."

The Bank also stars David Wenham and Anthony LaPaglia. It is a roller-coaster thriller that examines how a small town mathematician can make billions for a bank by predicting the ebb and flow of the stockmarket.

Wenham and LaPaglia play men from vastly different backgrounds who share a common goal. The only person who can come between them is Budd, a flirtatious and shrewd bank teller.

After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999, Budd played a minor part in the Channel Nine telemovie The Farm.

Her next role came when director Robert Connolly cast her in The Bank; then came Secret Life.

Budd says her two male co-stars taught her much about acting in front of the camera when not busy being "hysterical".

"I learned a lot from Anthony and David," she says. "Just from watching them and asking questions."

The Bank is now screening.

By Adam Zwar
September 09, 2001
The Herald Sun