Aussie thespian Toni Collette will play an unwieldy nanny in P.J. Hogan’s upcoming project Mental. According to THR, Screen Australia has announced that it will invest in Hogan’s comedy pic, which will re-unite Collette with the creator of dark comedy Muriel’s Wedding.
Mental will star Collette as a quirky, hot-tempered, charismatic nanny named Shaz who works for the colorful Moochmoore family. Casting is underway down under for the five teenage girls who will play Shaz’ charges.
Hogan (Confessions of a Shopaholic, My Best Friend‘s Wedding) helmed the 1994 comedy Muriel’s Wedding, which Collette starred in. The quirky and sometimes uncomfortable comedy was a break out hit that now has quite a cult following, and helped launch both their careers. The prospect of another comedy project both written and directed by Hogan has intriguing potential.
The timing couldn’t be better, as Collette’s Showtime series United States of Tara was cancelled last week after its third season. Collette has amazing range, and has taken on a span of roles from the uber dramatic to the uproariously funny. Just look at her Showtime series, in which she plays a mother with multiple personalities.
Screen Australia’s CEO Ruth Harley had this to say about the project, “I’m thrilled to announce Screen Australia’s involvement in Mental. PJ Hogan is a hugely talented filmmaker whose studio-financed films have…attracted a consistent level of critical acclaim. Add into the mix the delicious prospect of PJ teaming up again with Toni Collette, one of Australia’s most gifted comic actresses, and we look set to see a wildly entertaining film.”
Storybridge Films is producing along with Zucker Productions.