EXCLUSIVE: Cast of the Shane Warne biopic ‘Warnie’ on playing the Australian icon

The stars of the highly anticipated biopic give us the inside scoop on the show.
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When a TV show based on the life of cricket legend Shane Warne was announced just six months after his shock death last year, his family, friends and fans were concerned that the biopic would focus on the headlines rather than his achievements.

“There’s the public image of Warnie and there’s the private image of Warnie and we’re really going to be working hard to make sure we deliver on both,” Nine’s Hamish Turner said of the two-part television event last year.

Woman’s Day talks to the cast about starring in the most talked about TV event of the year.

The series will cover Warne’s relationships with wife Simone Callahan and long-term girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley.

(Image: Supplied)


Playing someone as widely known as Shane, you must have felt immense pressure…

A lot of pressure, if I’m honest. The weight of that pressure is good though, I know how much people love him because I grew up loving him on the cricket field too. He means a lot to a lot of people, and I worked really hard to make sure that this is an accurate portrayal and does him justice.

What’s your favourite Warnie memory?

I remember running around the house as a kid and having the cricket on in the background… someone would always call out “Warnie’s on” and everyone in the house would come in and watch. You always knew something was going to happen. His love and passion for his family and the people around him really stood out to me.

Warnie was a multi-faceted guy! What was the most surprising thing you learned about him as you prepared to play him?

I learned a lot. I didn’t know just how revered he is in India. He’s seen as not only a fantastic cricketer but also an amazing leader and tactician.

Some people thought that with his death being too raw, it was a little too soon to start on the film. What are your thoughts on this?

Obviously it was sensitive, but once I’d read the script and saw that [writer] Matt Ford had been working on the project for seven years or so, I knew that the project was coming from the right place of authenticity and love. I’m honoured to be a part of it.

Williams is stepping into Warnie’s shoes.

(Image: Supplied)


What was it like slipping into Simone’s shoes?

From the very outset, I felt an immense sense of responsibility to ensure that Simone’s inherent strength was brought to the forefront. That was my number one priority upon agreeing to the project.

How did you get her voice and mannerisms down pat?

There was actually a really helpful 60 Minutes interview from 1993 that I kept referring back to throughout the entire shoot. As well as her voice (which is a slightly higher register than mine) and general mannerisms, the interview really captured a beautifully candid Simone, right when she’d just got engaged to Shane. You really get a sense of her grounding nature, even just through her ability to take the mickey out of both herself and Shane. It’s so clear that she completely holds her own.

How important was it to show Simone’s side, since it’s a movie based on Shane?

What was most important to me was to ensure that I brought as much humanity as possible to the role. I think the one thing that remains unanimous is that Simone truly was Shane’s anchor throughout their entire relationship – his constant reminder of where he came from and who he really was at his core. Simone inherently knew and loved Shane well before the world did, and that was something that I remained very protective of while portraying her.

There was obviously a lot of media attention around Shane and Simone throughout their tumultuous marriage. What are your thoughts on it all?

I was about six years old at the time, so didn’t really have many thoughts about it! I will say that media attention can be really difficult for the people being scrutinised, and I hope that 
in doing this show we have represented the human beings behind the headlines.

Kennedy is putting Simone’s strength at the forefront of her performance.

(Image: Supplied)


Were you an Elizabeth Hurley fan before you got the part?

As a young child I became totally besotted with her after watching Austin Powers and Bedazzled.

How did you prepare and research for the role?

Well, I had to alter my accent a bit, for one. Then, the way she holds herself is quite different from the way I do. She really owns and embodies the feminine, so I tapped into that energy a bit more in my day to day. I watched and read everything I could get my hands on and became such a fan. Over the years she has had to deal with the intensity of always being in the spotlight yet she has remained level-headed, never boring and witty to the core.

What were your personal thoughts on Shane and Elizabeth as a couple, before you took on the role?

I think they were proof that polarity can be the perfect recipe for passion. From the outside they seem so different, but in my opinion that’s probably what made their relationship so electric. I’m also quite inspired by the way they spoke about one another after their break-up. You could feel the mutual love and respect.

Do you think it’s important that Liz’s relationship with Shane plays a big part in the biopic?

She was a massive part of his life, and even though it wasn’t extremely long, their relationship was significant within the scope of both of their lives. She was the one that got away.

Hurley was “the one that got away.”

(Image: Supplied)

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