Mitzi Ruhlmann, 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalist
At the tender age of 18, Mitzi Ruhlmann has already amassed an impressive list of acting credits. She made her feature film debut in the Nicholas Verso-directed Boys in the Trees (2016) and has also appeared in Home and Away (2010), the multi-award winning sci-fi short Yard Bird (2012) and indie thriller Killing Ground (2016) which had its premiere at Sundance this year.
AiF: Where do you call home right now?
MR: Home for me is Sydney – I grew up in Bronte.
AiF: When did the acting bug first bite you and you knew it was your calling?
MR: Very young! My dad is a cinematographer so it’s been a part of our family for as long as can remember. I was around five years old when I asked my mum how people got on TV and she said they had agents so I asked for one there and then.
AiF: What inspires you in life?
MR: I am inspired by love, not necessarily being in love with someone or something or romantic love, but I constantly fall in love with things every day. Strangers…music…light…anything really that makes me feel love.
AiF: Who are your favorite actors and/or filmmakers and why do they resonate with you?
MR: Spike Jonze is definitely one of my favorite filmmakers, he’s such a great director and screenwriter. I also really love English filmmaker and former actress Andrea Arnold and Aussie Neil Armfield is another one of my favorite directors.
AiF: What work are you most proud of creating so far in your career?
MR: In February of this year I shot a short film called Bodies directed by Laura Nagy. It’s about a toxic friendship between two teenage girls and although I haven’t seen it yet, it was such wonderful experience and I’m so proud of the family we created during production.
AiF: How are you hoping your career will unfold in the years to come?
MR: Basically I’m just focused on doing what makes me happy! I definitely want to be working solidly on projects I am inspired by, and playing a part in telling stories that really need to be made.
AiF: When did you first hear about the Heath Ledger Scholarship and make the decision to enter?
MR: I’ve known about it for years just by being in the Australian film industry and I’m thrilled that this is first year I’ve been able to apply now that I’m 18 years old.
AiF: What does California represent for you in terms of your dreams, aspirations and goals in life?
MR: With my dad’s career as a cinematographer I’ve spent a bit of time in California already and I guess it represents an abundance of opportunities for me in the industry with like-minded people.
AiF: What are your favorite parts of California and what makes them so appealing?
MR: I love Echo Park! It’s so beautiful and to me it doesn’t actually feel like L.A. but more like Berlin in a sense. I adore Malibu too because I love being by the ocean and West Hollywood is always such a great area to be in because there are so many Australians living there.
AiF: What would it mean to you if you won the Heath Ledger Scholarship for 2017?
MR: It would be pretty huge – I guess the prospect of transitioning to the States is pretty daunting considering how young I am but the Scholarship provides so much wonderful support thanks to Australians in Film so it would be an incredible experience.
Heath Ledger Scholarship 2017 presenting partners are Qantas, Visit California, Screenwise and Ausfilm.
AiF would also like to thank Penfolds and Kate Raynor & Associates, official Immigration law partner.