Whether Baz Luhrmann's ambitious take on the literary classic, The Great Gatsby, will be a triumph or a flop, one star is certain to shine. Bryce Corbett meets Elizabeth Debicki — the girl from Melbourne tipped to be our next Nicole.
She slinks through the crowd holding hands with Leonardo DiCaprio. A black-sequinned, figure-hugging evening gown, a champagne glass held aloft, a pair of heavily eye-lined doe eyes under a black bob.
Elizabeth Debicki is ready for her close-up.
Plucked from relative obscurity, the gamine, 22-year-old Australian actress is now on a silver screen near you, playing the key supporting role of Jordan Baker in Aussie director Baz Luhrmann's much anticipated adaptation of The Great Gatsby. And if on-set whispers are any indication, she's destined to be the movie's break-out star.
Think about that for a moment. In a cast that includes DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher — this ingénue from Melbourne's eastern suburbs is tipped to be the stand-out.
"I think I saw almost as many young actors for the role of Jordan Baker as for the role of Daisy Buchanan," Baz tells The Weekly.
"My casting director informed me that the word on the street was that there was a young actor straight out of drama school who could be the new Judy Davis or the new Nicole [Kidman]. You hear this quite a bit — 'The new someone'.
"But when I saw Elizabeth reading on tape, I immediately flew her to LA. And the very same day, she was running around a room at the Chateau Marmont with Tobey Maguire. She was certainly new alright. She was the new Elizabeth Debicki."
When The Weekly spoke to Elizabeth, more than a year after watching her perform on set at Sydney's Fox Studios and with only days to go before she took to the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival to introduce Gatsby to the world, she was feeling like anything but the country's new cinema sensation.
"I'm feeling sheer terror, to be honest," Elizabeth said. "There have been several screenings of Gatsby that I could have seen, but I have made a point of accidentally missing them all. It's my first big movie and I'm terrified. It's like the opening night of a play. You have done all the work, you have created this baby, now you just have to let it go out into the world and let it be scrutinised."
Read more of this story in the June issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.