Movies

Miranda Tapsell produces, co-writes and stars in Top End Wedding

TV WEEK chats to Miranda about the rom-com that highlights the Northern Territory and Tiwi Islands

By Cynthia Wang
Lauren is living her best life. On the same day her boyfriend proposes, the Adelaide attorney earns a promotion. But her tough-as boss wants her in action soon, so Lauren is given just 10 days to get hitched.
But when Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) and Ned (Gwilym Lee) arrive at her parents' home in the Northern Territory, her dad Trevor (Huw Higginson) is a mess because his wife Daffy (Ursila Yovich) has gone missing. Can Lauren find her mum in time to reunite the family and pull off her ideal wedding?
For two-time Logie winner Miranda, who co-wrote Top End Wedding with pal Joshua Tyler, the film is a personal take on her favourite romantic comedies.
"It just blows my mind that I was this 13-year-old girl growing up in Kakadu, just dreaming that this would one day happen to me," Miranda, 31, tells TV WEEK.
"It's so fulfilling to be an actor and speaking so authentically and honestly as an artist about the society I see. It's what I've been wanting to do for so long."
Top End Wedding got a rapturous reception at the Sundance Film Festival (Image: Supplied).
In the film, she showcases her native roots, the topography of the Northern Territory and Tiwi Islands, and a different sort of love interest.
"I feel like a lot of male protagonists in rom-coms don't tend to be very generous or very kind, yet they still seem to get all the rewards for that," Miranda says with a laugh.
"I wanted to make sure that's not what Ned's personality was, that he was very patient with Lauren despite her indecision – and that he was always willing to support her through anything she was going through."
Lauren and Ned share in special wedding traditions (Image: Supplied).
In a nod to her parents, Miranda features a particular pop song to comedic effect – "My dad loves cheesy '80s love ballads," she reveals – and put her great-aunts on screen.
"It meant so much to me, that my mum just started crying," she says. "It sort of overwhelmed her and touched her."
Miranda reflects, "There are so many stories now that are shifting the gaze and giving communities agency. There's permission to embrace who they are and be joyous in that."
Top End Wedding is in cinemas May 2.

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