Claudia Karvan Biography
Claudia Karvan is an Australian actress, producer and writer born on 19th May 1972 in Sydney, Australia. She is popularly known for her role as ‘Frankie Paige’ in the television series ‘Love My Way’. In 2007 she was inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame in acknowledgment of her contributions to the Australian film and television industry.
Claudia Karvan Career
In 1983 Claudia Karvan began her screen acting in the film Molly. In 1987, she went on to appear in Phillip Noyce’s Echoes of Paradise and appeared alongside Judy Davis in Gillian Armstrong’s High Tide that same year. When she was 17 years old Karvan secured a leading role in the Australian comedy/caper film The Big Steal.
In 1993, Claudia Karvan won an FCCA (Film Critics Circle of Australia) Award for Best Actress for her role in The Heartbreak Kid. She has starred alongside many of Australia’s leading men, including Guy Pearce in Flynn (1991) (playing the young fiancee of Errol Flynn) and Dating the Enemy (1996), Ben Mendelsohn in The Big Steal (1990) and Hugh Jackman in Paperback Hero (1999). She was nominated for an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 1999 film Passion.
In 1996, Claudia Karvan was awarded her first Australian Film Institute award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama for the GP episode titled “Sing Me a Lullaby”. She won the award again in 2005 and 2007 for her role as Frankie Paige in the television series Love My Way. As a producer of Love My Way, Karvan received further AFI awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007 for Best Television Drama Series.
In 2003 Claudia Karvan won the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actress for The Secret Life of Us, then in 2006 for Love My Way, and again in 2010 for Saved.
In 2006, she had a role in Footy Legends, a film about rugby league. She also played the role of Hailey’s (Joanna Levesque) mother in the American film Aquamarine. That year, Karvan appeared in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as Sola Naberrie, the older sister of Padmé Amidala. She also filmed scenes for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, but her scenes were cut and appear only on the DVD release.
Claudia Karvan Movies and TV Shows
- 1983: Molly as Maxie Ireland
- 1987: Echoes of Paradise as Julie
- 1987: High Tide as Ally
- 1990: The Big Steal as Joanna Johnson
- 1991: Holidays on the River Yarra as Elsa
- 1993: Touch Me as Christine
- 1993: Flynn as Penelope Watts
- 1993: Broken Highway as Catherine
- 1993: The Heartbreak Kid as Christina Papadopoulos
- 1994: Exile as Jean
- 1994: Redheads as Lucy
- 1996: Lust and Revenge as Georgina Oliphant
- 1996: Dating the Enemy as Tash
- 1996: Natural Justice: Heat as Asta Cadell
- 1998: Two Girls and a Baby as Catherine
- 1999: Paperback Hero as Ruby Vale
- 1999: Passion as Alfhild de Luce
- 1999: Strange Planet as Judy
- 2000: Risk as Louise Roncoli
- 2005: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as Sola Naberrie
- 2006: Aquamarine as Ginny Rogers
- 2006: Footy Legends as Alison Berry
- 2008: $9.99 as Michelle (voice)
- 2008: Long Weekend as Carla
- 2009: Daybreakers as Audrey Bennett
- 2011: 33 Postcards as Barbara
- 2012: Scratch as Holly
- 1988: Princess Kate as Amanda
- 1995: Natural Justice as Asta Cadell
- 1996: Twisted as Cassie
- 1996: G.P. as Jessica Travis
- 1997: Fallen Angels as Yvonne
- 1998: The Violent Earth as Jeanne
- 1998: Never Tell Me Never as Janine Shepherd
- 2000: The Lost World as Catherine Reilly
- 2000: Farscape as Natira
- 2001: My Brother Jack as Cressida Morley
- 2001–2003: The Secret Life of Us as Dr. Alex Christensen
- 2004: Small Claims as Jo Collins
- 2004–2007: Love My Way as Francesca ‘Frankie’ Paige
- 2005: Small Claims: White Wedding as Jo Collins
- 2006: Small Claims: The Reunion as Jo Collins
- 2009: Saved as Julia Weston
- 2010–11: Spirited as Suzy Darling
- 2012–2014: Puberty Blues as Judy Vickers
- 2013: Better Man as Bernadette McMahon
- 2013: The Broken Shore as Helen Castleman
- 2013–14: The Time of Our Lives as Caroline Tivolli
- 2014: Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell as Rupert Murdoch
- 2016: Jack Irish as Sarah Longmore
- 2017: Newton’s Law as Josephine Newton
Claudia Karvan Children and Husband
Claudia Karvan is married to Jeremy Sparks whom she first met when she was 22. The couple has two children a daughter Audrey (born in 2001), and a son Albie (born on 18 May 2006). She is also stepmother to singer Holiday Sidewinder, Sparks’ daughter from a previous relationship with Australian actress Loene Carmen.
Claudia Karvan nterview
Interviewer: Your show Spirited, Foxtel’s highest-rating drama series, has an offbeat premise – a dentist and mother-of-two moves into a penthouse haunted by a late 1970s British punk rock singer, Henry. Where did the idea come from?
Claudia Karvan: My co-producer, Jacquelin Perske, was keen to make a romantic escapist drama-comedy, having grown up on Bewitched. When she first pitched it to me, I thought it sounded a bit cheesy, to be honest, and could risk being a stinker. But I trusted Jacquelin’s instincts implicitly – her knack for developing themes audiences could relate to, such as unrequited love and mortality, and for crafting it all into an entertaining show. We found our audience.
Interviewer: The show can be quite raunchy at times.
Claudia Karvan: I’m glad you said that! It’s quite a sexy show. And luckily, I don’t have to do the sex scenes – that’s the beauty of being co-creator and co-producer, I get other people to do them. Rodger Corser [who plays the ex-husband of Karvan’s character, Suzy Darling] really gets into some very brave “action” while Jonquil [Belinda Bromilow] can perform the best hilarious horsey orgasm you’ve heard. Women are building shrines on the internet to Matt King [who plays the punk].
Interviewer: Your character Suzy is fond of doing cartwheels. In the first season she manages to lose a tooth doing one – was this based on a real-life cartwheel pratfall?
Claudia Karvan: Ha. I do turn a cartwheel when I’m feeling inspired in my day-to-day life and I usually get called a show-off. But yes, the inspiration for the first cartwheel/gymnast display in season one came from a personal accident. I foolishly cut my lip and chipped a tooth doing a handstand in the shallow end of the pool while waiting for my kids to finish their swimming lessons. I embarrassed my kids but inspired the writer’s room the next day with my fat lip.
Interviewer: You’re one of a handful of highly successful actors in Australia who’ve been able to carve out a flourishing career locally without having to head off to Hollywood. Has this been about generating your own projects?
Claudia Karvan: Yes. My agent, Robyn Gardiner, insisted that I either create my own work in this country or leave. It’s meant I haven’t had to uproot myself and my family for greener pastures.
Interviewer: You’ve starred in a couple of major Hollywood films, including last year’s vampire thriller Daybreakers, with Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. Do you enjoy working on these big-budget productions?
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Claudia Karvan: I had a ball on Daybreakers. Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe were great company and had a lot to teach all of us. On big films there is a lot of sitting around, though, and it can be soul-destroying. In television it’s so fast that you’re always working and running off your instincts. But it was on Daybreakers that I understood and appreciated the creative licence that can be taken when you embrace the supernatural, and it was this that gave me the impetus to charge forth into Spirited territory.
Interviewer: You’ve won most outstanding actress Logies for The Secret Life of Us, Love My Way, and most recently, Saved. What type of roles attract you?
Claudia Karvan: Roles borne from complex and surprising storytelling that have enough subtext to keep me satisfied. I’m happy if I can stab a vampire in the neck or behave like a misanthrope or turn a cartwheel. As long as I don’t have to stand around looking alluring, I’m happy. There has to be some grist, conflict, humour or well-tuned drama. I’m probably best known for the kitchen-sink dramas but I actually find comedy the hardest.
Interviewer: You’re also known for your commitment to rehearsals. You once said it’s the place where actors do all their worst acting. Is this about recognising problems before they reach the set?
Claudia Karvan: For me rehearsals are an opportunity to bash out what for an artist would be a rough sketch. It’s an opportunity to test the waters, dip your toe in, get your subconscious moving and create a memory for the character. It rarely looks like much from the outside and might be frightening for the director involved, but it’s a time for building foundations, not creating a finished, polished performance. And yes, it saves an enormous amount of time on set, which can be very expensive.
Interviewer: You’re also passionate about the importance of the writer, and their relationship with the actor. But in practice there isn’t usually much direct contact between them, is there?
Claudia Karvan: Traditionally there is very little communication between the writer and the actor in film and TV – although there is a very strong tradition of writer/director filmmakers in this country, so in that case the actor is being directed by the writer. I’ve always gained an enormous amount from talking to writers, but it’s important not to usurp the role of the director. Three-way conversations can be fruitful if the willingness to collaborate is there. Often an actor will ask questions of a writer that would never occur to a director.
Interviewer: You starred opposite Hugh Jackman in Paperback Hero and Guy Pearce in a few films, including the gender role-reversal film, Dating the Enemy. Who do you prefer working with?
Claudia Karvan: They’re both fabulous. I’ve worked opposite Guy three times – he’s now a close friend and like a brother to me. I just made a film called 33 Postcards with Guy and he always makes me laugh. Both are humble and hard working. And Hugh is very tall.
Interviewer: Did you always know you wanted to become an actor? You were just 11 when you appeared in the film Molly, and 15 when you appeared in Phillip Noyce’s Echoes of Paradise.
Claudia Karvan: I really fell into acting – I didn’t know I would become one. Jackie Weaver saw me in a school play when I was about seven or eight, and she sincerely thought I was good, chasing my mum out the school gate to tell her so. I must have had some early knack for it, I guess. When I was appearing in films as a teenager I actually looked forward to getting back to the cotton-wool environment of a school and having a teacher look after me, away from the chaotic world of adults.
Source: The Australian