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2013 HLS Winner James Mackay joins the cast of The Dressmaker

Friday, October 24, 2014 7:05 AM | Anonymous

James Mackay

Heath Ledger Scholarship winner and AiF member James Mackay has joined the cast of Jocelyn Moorehouse's drama, The Dressmaker

Mackay joins a star-studded cast that includes Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Sarah Snook, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis and Kerry Fox

Set in 1950s outback Australia, Winslet plays Tilly Dunnage, a woman who returns to the small country town she fled from as a child, after being accused of murder. 

Davis is cast to play her eccentric mother, Molly, and Liam will play her love interest, Teddy. 

Mackay plays William Beaumont, the only son of a wealthy family in the town, who returns from agricultural college after the death of his father. Beaumont falls in love with the hardware store owner's daughter, much to the dismay of his ever-controlling mother, who believes he is throwing away his chances of marrying 'up'. 

"I first read the script in March and it blew me away," said Mackay. 

"Jocelyn’s adaptation of the book is extraordinary and I devoured the novel. The skill with which both script and novel evoke small-town Australia and the 1950s is remarkable," Mackay added.

No stranger to Australia, Winslet starred in Jane Campion's 1999 Dramedy Holy Smoke, which filmed in locations across New South Wales and South Australia. 

Melbourne-born Jocelyn Moorhouse (How to Make and American Quilt) is directing from a screenplay she adapted from a novel by Rosalie Ham.

Shooting is expected to wrap in December.

Congrats, James!

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