We are so delighted to share our recent chat with actor Coco Jack Gillies with you.
Coco has given us such a special insight into the very special relationship that she has enjoyed with her grandmothers and how this helped her prepare for her role in the new Australian film, Ruby’s Choice.
“My dad’s mum, where do I start! My Nan Marlene has been an incredibly huge influence in my life. She is an indigenous woman and she has taught me so much about our culture. She’s also taught me the importance of optimism. She was a member of the stolen generation and she has lived through very tough times and yet she is hilarious. She has never lost her spark! And I think that’s such a beautiful thing. She has gone through so much and yet she always has a smile. She has no idea how much she influences me. Nan if you’re reading this…I love you.”
It became very clear during our chat, that family is incredibly important to 17 year old Coco and it was lovely to hear that there was also a real sense of family on the set of her latest film, Ruby’s Choice, starring the wonderful Jane Seymour. “Jane definitely took on the mentorship role with me. She would call herself Mumma Jane whenever we spoke and I’m still in touch with her. Jane is an icon and yet she’s also so down to earth.”
The warmth between Jane and Coco has been captured beautifully throughout Ruby’s Choice. Jane Seymour plays Ruby, a grandmother with undiagnosed dementia. When she accidentally burns down her own home, she comes to live at her daughter’s home and moves into the bedroom of her granddaughter Tash played by Coco. Whilst the movie explores the profound impact of dementia on the whole family, at the same time, family members discover things about themselves because of the upheaval that Ruby’s illness creates. As Coco also explains “Jane’s portrayal of Ruby shows her inner light despite her illness”.
Coco’s own family have suffered the impact of dementia. One of her granddads continues to battle the disease and her other grandad sadly passed away from the disease recently. It’s a familiar story to so many of us, as dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of death for women. As Coco says. “It’s important that we talk more about dementia. It’s as if dementia has been a taboo subject for far too long.”
The relationship experienced between Ruby and her granddaughter Tash really shines a light on the impact that grandparents can have on their grandkids even when they’re not well.
As Coco so wisely shared: “It’s so easy to forget how lucky we are and looking at our grandparents and the older members of our community you really get a strong reminder that having gratitude and remembering to stay positive is what gets you through. That’s how you live a happy life.”
To see the Ruby’s Choice trailer and to learn a little more about this fabulous film simply click here or head to the Learn More tab below: https://www.palacecinemas.com.au/movies/rubys-choice