Mia Wasikowska Biography: In Her Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Mia Wasikowska is an Australian actress and director. She is best known for her roles in films like Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Jane Eyre (2011). In this biography, Wasikowska tells her story in her own words.
Mia Wasikowska Bio: Age, Early Life, Family, Education
Wasikowska was born on October 25, 1989 in Canberra, Australia (Mia Wasikowska age: 29). Her parents, John Reid and Marzena Wasikowska, are photographers and raised Mia and her siblings Dan, Jess and Kai in Canberra. Wasikowska attended Cook and Ainslie Primary Schools as well as Canberra High School. She completed her education at the nearby Karabar High School Distance Education Centre so as to earn her diploma while pursuing a career in acting.
Prior to graduating from high school, Wasikowska devoted much of her time to ballet. Between the ages of nine and fourteen, she studied dance at the Canberra Dance Development Centre, where practiced up to 35 hours per week in the hopes of pursuing a career in ballet. This dream was shot down when Wasikowska suffered a heel injury and grew disenchanted with the impossible standards of the ballet world.
Following her exit from dance, Wasikowska moved onto a new dream: acting. She had grown up enamored with European and Australian cinema and felt inspired by the way actresses in her favorite movies explored imperfection. Though Wasikowska had no acting experience of her own, she doubled down on her efforts to secure an audition. She reports a teenage memory of locking herself in her bedroom and contacting 12 Australian talent agencies she found through Google. Though only one company got back to Wasikowska, she called the rest time and time again until a meeting was arranged.
Check out the full autobiographical interview at the top of the page.
Mia Wasikowska Bio: Acting Career, Movies
Wasikowska first appeared onscreen in 2004 on two episodes of the Australian soap opera All Saints. Two years later, she was cast in her first movie, Suburban Mayhem, which earned her a nomination for a Young Actor’s Award from the Australian Film Institute. Later in 2006, Wasikowska appeared in the short film Lens Love Story but had no lines.
The next year, Wasikowska remained quiet on the set of the horror movie Rogue. Stephen Curry, one of her fellow actors, remembers that the cast “didn’t hear a peep out of her for three weeks” and consequently nicknamed the actress “Rowdy.” Following Rogue, Wasikowska was selected instantly from a pool of 200 actresses for the movie September. The following year, her next short film I Love Sarah Jane premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for awards at festivals worldwide.
2008 brought Wasikowska more success in the form of the HBO drama In Treatment. The actress played the role of a depressed gymnast in nine episodes of the show, which critics received positively. It was at this point in her career that Wasikowska enrolled in correspondence classes so as to complete her education while filming in Los Angeles.
Audiences were particularly impressed with Wasikowska’s American accent in In Treatment. She claimed to have picked it up from the American movies she had watched throughout her childhood. This talent landed Wasikowska roles in other American films, including Defiance (2008) and That Evening Sun (2009). The latter was originally intended for only American actors in the spirit of Southern Gothic tradition.
However, Wasikowska – who taught herself a Southern accent by watching Coal Miner’s Daughter prior to her audition – impressed the directors well enough to become the only American cast member. She earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance, in addition to the Best Ensemble Cast Award presented to each member at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Perhaps Wasikowska’s biggest role yet is that of Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010). Wasikowska acted alongside Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter in this fantasy noir, cited as the 31st highest-grossing film in history. Wasikowska secured the role by sending in an audition tape from Australia, then appearing in Los Angeles for four rounds of readings.
Wasikowska’s passion for the character of Alice began at an early age. She recalls reading Lewis Carroll’s books growing up and watching the 1988 film adaptation Alice over and over again. Her investment paid off, earning Wasikowska Teen Choice and Australian Film Institute Awards as well as a slew of nominations.
Also in 2010 came the indie comedy The Kids Are All Right, which starred Wasikowska alongside Annette Benning, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson and Mark Ruffalo. The film received eight award nominations at festivals across the country and a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Another notable role of Wasikowska’s is that of Jane Eyre in the 2010 title film, directed by Cary Fukunaga. The actress began reading Brontë’s novel shortly after filming Alice in Wonderland and found Fukunaga’s script two months later. Wasikowska received high praise for this role, which she played opposite Michael Fassbender as Byronic hero Mr. Rochester.
Mia Wasikowska Bio: Exclusive Interview
In February 2011, Wasikowska sat down with uInterview to discuss her role in Jane Eyre and the preparation it required. She underscored the uniqueness of Jane’s character and its profound effects on readers and film audiences through the ages. “She’s a character that’s lived for, you know, many generations,” Wasikowska told uInterview exclusively. “And when you think about how old the story is, it’s a real testament to her character and the story in that … people still connect with her now.”
Wasikowska described the difficulties of playing a character as familiar as Jane. “Unlike an original character, where the audience sort of takes them for what you give them, with Jane, people have an idea of who she is and they really know her character,” she explained. “So there’s an obligation to hopefully deliver or [hope] that people connect and believe you as her.”
When asked how she prepared for the role, Wasikowska stressed the importance of reading Jane Eyre in its original form. She told uInterview, “I did a lot of research and … went through the book and underlined, you know, things that I thought were important to remember.” Wasikowska also cited observing “a lot of visual references” as useful tools and emphasized the relationship between language and performance. “I like to … [make] sure that I was comfortable with the language,” she explained, “because it’s not a language that we really use anymore; it’s very poetic and lush.”
From December 2010 to February 2011, Wasikowska stepped in for Amanda Seyfried as Helen, the female lead in Albert Nobbs. Later in 2011, she famously cut her hair to play a terminally ill teenager in Restless and appeared in Lawless with Shia LaBeouf. The same year, Wasikowska played the lead in Stoker, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival two years later. Wasikowska was named one of the world’s most influential people in the 2011 Time 100 ranking and joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences soon after.
2012 was another busy year for Wasikowska. She began filming The Double early in the year, followed by the vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive, which features her as the younger sister of Tilda Swinton’s character. Wasikowska began filming for indie drama Tracks that October in her native Australia.
In 2013, Wasikowska directed her first film segment in the Australian short film collection The Turning, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival that summer. Wasikowska concurrently filmed the movie Maps to the Stars in Canada, joined by Robert Pattinson. The next year, Wasikowska played the lead role in a widely successful film adaptation of the Flaubert novel Madame Bovary.
In 2015, Wasikowska acted alongside Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain in the Victorian romance Crimson Peak, replacing Emma Stone as the female lead. She went on to star again as Alice in the 2016 film sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. Wasikowska starred in The Devil All the Time the next year and, in 2018, appeared in the indie film Damsel with her former costar Robert Pattinson.
Later that year, Wasikowska starred in the thriller Piercing and made a guest appearance on the TV series Black Comedy. Wasikowska is set to act in Judy and Punch and Blackbird in 2019, followed by the 2020 films Bergman Island and The Devil All the Time.
Mia Wasikowska Bio: Personal Life, Dating, Height, Husband, Quotes
Mia Wasikowska dated Jesse Eisenberg, her costar in The Double, from 2013 to 2015.
She is also rumored to have dated Robert Pattinson in the past. She is currently unmarried.
She is 5’4” tall.
“I really love doing things that are different and challenge me in different ways. And I think to remain interested and excited by acting it’s really great to have such diverse opportunities, and I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to do that so far.”
“It’s so unsatisfying to play a nice, sweet girl. It’s so dreadfully boring and almost painful! I like to play characters who have their own fire.”
“I think I have a reputation for being quite shy, but I don’t think I’m too shy. I guess I lived in a bit of a fantasy space in my mind.”
“It’s never been about the blockbusters and making a huge ton of money. It’s always been about wanting to do projects about the things that I think are important to be out there because there’s a lot of stuff that probably doesn’t need to be.”