Chris O’Dowd and Jessica Mauboy are the starring in Wayne Blair’s musical comedy drama The Sapphires based on the real story of four aboriginal girls who form a singing group and travel to during the Vietnam War. “I had no clue about these four aboriginal women in 1968 who were known to perform for the American troops,” Mauboy told Uinterview exclusively. “I wanted to be a part of that and tell that story to Australia.”

Irish actor Chris O’Dowd plays the role of Dave Lovelace, the talent scout who discovers the four girls. Though O’Dowd had initially been studying politics and sociology while at University College in Dublin, he soon transferred to London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He won wide attention for his performance in Bridesmaids (2011). A former contestant on Australian Idol in 2006, Mauboy’s first hit single was “Burn” from her album Been Waiting in 2008.

Though the cast for Sapphires came together at the last minute, O’Dowd now laughs at the compressed schedule. “I came on board quite late, well after the girls,” he told uInterview. “I like to think I was Wayne’s first choice after the first five people turned it down.”

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Q: The movie is based on a true story. How much did you learn about the Sapphires before filming? - Uinterview User

MAUBOY: It'€™s funny for me, like I had known about obviously the history of the Stolen Generation, just in terms of the aboriginal history. I had no clue about these four aboriginal women known in 1968 who were known to perform for the American troops, but yeah, it was really interesting. I wanted to be a part of that and tell the story for Australia and within my community. O'€™DOWD: I didn't know anything. I didn'€™t know Australia was a real place. I always thought it was this fairytale world of puppets and jungles made of fruits. It'€™s a real place I just want everybody to know that it's a real place, it'€™s now a fictional place, it'€™s a not real place. It'€™s where Gisele is from -€” the model.

Q: You both get to perform in the movie. What are your musical backgrounds? - Uinterview User

O'€™DOWD: Well, I was runner up for Australian Idol. I had very little music [pedigree] and it'€™s slowly been getting worse. I kind of learned a little bit of piano for the movie. This is what happens with acting jobs a lot, when you have to learn something for a role, like I'€™ve done it before, like horse riding and stuff. As soon as you'€™re doing this, you're like, 'I'€™m loving this! I'€™m going to keep doing this after the film.' And then afterwards, you wrap and you just never touch the piano again. That'€™s what happened to me. But this one'€™s got a lot of pedigree. MAUBOY: Yeah, I guess music has always been a part of my childhood and up-bringing. Both parents were not that great at singing vocally. O'DOWD: You just come out here and slag them off? MAUBOY: But we were very encouraging and played the flute and the guitar. O'€™DOWD: You play the flute too? MAUBOY: I don'€™t play the flute but yes, you just kind of sang in church. That's what I did around my community. And then Idol came up and that opened more doors, especially this one.

Q: Jessica, this was your first movie. How did you get cast in it? - Uinterview User

MAUBOY: It was actually really scary and a long process for me. I had heard, obviously doing my first audition and meeting with Wayne [Blair], the director, I read the script, fell in love with it, but had no idea it had the longest audition process. I think it took around eight months, and it was an open audition, so anyone could, if there was a camera lying around, they could send it off and it was kind of picked from there, but once I guess they kind of got their ideal characters, myself, Miranda, Shari, it was kind of like an instant click, obviously the personalities. It was like we had known each forever, but yeah it all worked out. O'€™DOWD: I came on board quite late, like well after the girls, I like to think I was Wayne'€™s first choice after the first five people turned it down. But it worked out quite well. Yeah, I came on board quite late. These girls were just a joy to be around.