Julia Gillard: The Movie? 5 Oscar-Caliber Actresses Who Could Play Australia's Sexism-Fighting Iron Lady

Australia Julia Gillard Sexism

It's not hard to imagine the big-screen version of scenes like this week's epic takedown on the Australian Parliament floor, in which Prime Minister Julia Gillard eviscerated her opposition party rival Tony Abbott with a 15-minute speech on sexism and misogyny. (Watch it below and revel in the glorious wrath of Gillard's pointed and passionate tirade.)

Somewhere out there a hundred screenwriters are furiously turning Gillard's sermon into Oscar gold, so why don't we go ahead and predict the five Academy Award-caliber actresses at the top of the casting list when Hollywood comes calling with the inevitable Iron Lady-esque Gillard biopic?

Tilda Swinton FashionTilda Swinton
The British Oscar-winner certainly has Gillard's steeliness down, but she tends to go for more morally complex and ambiguous characters with hidden frailties bubbling beneath the surface. Perfect for politics! Plus, she can make even the most mundane things — say, parachute pants or a pair of socks or whatever — into High Art. (See pic at left.) Tilda's would be the most fascinating Gillard, that's for sure, but there's also...

Cate Blanchett
She's done Mamet, played Queen Elizabeth and earned the adulation of LOTR fans for all of time — Cate Blanchett is a sharp-tongued woman of the people, an ethereally regal figure with a presence that can command a room. Or a Parliament floor. Bonus: She's Australian and a convincingly bad-ass Oscar-winner — and she's already tangled publicly with Australian opposition leader/watch-checker Abbott before.

Toni Collete Julia GillardToni Collette
The Aussie actress (who earned a Best Supporting nod for The Sixth Sense) has more of a seriocomic bent than her drama-pedigreed peers, but who wouldn't love to see the erstwhile Muriel Heslop come full circle as the most powerful lady in Australian politics?

Rachel Griffiths Julia GillardRachel Griffiths
Speaking of Muriel's Wedding: Collette's co-star Rachel Griffiths bears a resemblance to the honourable PM, no? (If you squint. Kinda.) Her work on TV's Brothers and Sisters and Six Feet Under brought her attention stateside, but a role like Gillard would be a career-maker for the Oscar nominee who earned a nod for 1998's Hilary and Jackie.

Jodie Foster Julia GillardJodie Foster
It's easy to see a bit of Jodie Foster in Gillard. Foster, who's become choosy with her acting gigs of late (she next appears in 2013's Elysium), would slay in the now-famous Australian Parliament court room scene; she might even direct the thing herself. Can't you just picture her pointing a finger at the smirking Abbott (played by Hugo Weaving, my only choice) delivering lines like "He's capable of double standardsbut not capable of change!”?

What say you, Movieliners? Dream cast away.

[via Jezebel]


  • Simon Rumble says:

    Meryl Streep's already got the accent nailed from her Lindy Chamberlain piece.

  • Julie Deaves says:

    No, not Meryl. Her Aussie accent was terrible!!! Rachel Griffiths or maybe (?) Jodie, Cate would be my vote!!!

    • Danny Lewis says:

      Actually, I thought Meryl's Lindy Chamberlain accent was appalling as well, until I heard Lindy interviewed and then realised Streep NAILED IT!

      Turns out Lindy is a New Zealander who has lived in Australia for many years, so her accent is a weird mix of broad Kiwi and broad Strine.

      Even now, hearing it in my head, I am in awe that Streep, as a non-Aussie (or Kiwi) was able to do it.

      So yeah, she could do it. No worries, as we say over here 🙂

  • Rita Arrigo says:

    My Bets are on Rachel Griffiths, she would look incredible as a red head!

  • It must be Tony Collette.

    1. Collette is a terrific actor.

    2. They share a nose.

    3. Gillard is a hot lady, but she's no stick insect. Colette is the right SHAPE to play the Hon. Member for Lalor.