Kath & Kimderella Cast: Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Glenn Butcher, Glenn Robbins, Jessica de Gouw, Magda Szubanski, Marg Downey, Mark Trevorrow, Mick Molloy, Peter Rowsthorn, Richard E Grant, Rob Sitch, Frank Woodley
Director: Ted Emery
Synopsis: When foxy empty nester Kath Day-Knight (Jane Turner) wins the trip of a lifetime to a tiny European kingdom with her spoilt princess daughter Kim (Gina Riley), she embarks on a fairy-tale adventure filled with power, love, lust and even a royal wedding.
Accompanied by Kim's second best friend, Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski), they find themselves on a journey that will change their lives forever.
Complete with ancient castles, mad queens and sustainable energy, Kath & Kimderella throws the foxy ladies into a world even more frightening than a mid-winter sale at Fountain Gate.
Kath and Kim must negotiate a vagazzling world of palace politics, a love that dare not speak its name and a nation stuck firmly in the 1980s. Why does the Prince hide behind a mask? What does the King's page keep locked in his closet? What are those noises coming from the tower? And can Kath convince the King to change his wicked ways?
Written by Turner and Riley and directed by Ted Emery, Kath & Kimderella is shot on 35mm film, on location in Italy and Melbourne.
It is a rollicking romp filled with love, laughs and magic.
And, of course, a spot of outlet shopping.
Release Date: September 7th, 2012
About Kath & KimderellaFor the writers and creators of Kath & Kim, Gina Riley and Jane Turner, the comic characters Kath and Kim have dominated their lives for nearly 20 years.
Now, after four hugely successful television series and a feature-length telemovie, the ladies from Fountain Lakes are hitting the big screen in Kath & Kimderella, a rollicking romp filled with love, laughs and magic that takes the pair around the world into a right royal realm.
The story begins when Kath wins the trip of a lifetime to a tiny European kingdom and embarks on fairy-tale adventure with her spoilt princess daughter, Kim, and Kim's second best friend, Sharon (Magda Szubanski).
It is the first time the creators have taken Kath and Kim out of their suburban setting.
Foxy empty nester Kath Day-Knight (Jane Turner) and her spoilt daughter, Kim (Gina Riley), first emerged in the mid 1990s as a sketch about a hen's night in Australian television series Big Girl's Blouse. They grew into something larger when the characters developed a life of their own.
"We were in my kitchen mucking around and Jane started talking as Kath, and then I started going, 'The marriage is off, there's a shortage of baby's breath!'" Gina Riley recalls.
"Kim was inspired by a bride from the documentary series Weddings, who was a total princess, and a couple that Rick (McKenna) and I met while on holidays on Dunk Island. They were on their honeymoon and everything was just, "Nah, I don't like it, nah, I don't want it, nah". She'd leave and the new husband was like, 'All my friends call her Mona because she always complains'.
"She is the absolute, quintessential me generation. She's a complete representation of everything that is bad about capitalism and western society: complete self obsession, what she can get out of life, nothing is ever good enough, everybody else should move out of the way for what she wants."
Jane Turner developed her alter ego, "a nice elegant cashed up lady", through a range of different characters, many of them suburban mums.
"That's my stock in trade really, suburban mothers, unfortunately," Jane Turner says, laughing. "But Kath is great. If I could be cool Kath I would be. She's so upbeat. She's really positive, she's foxy and she's a real go-getter. I love the way she knows her opinion on anything. If anyone asks me, I don't know what I'd say, but I know what Kath would say. I love that self assurance."
Ted Emery, one of the most successful comedy directors in the industry, has worked with Jane Turner and Gina Riley since the beginning.
He says there's no formula to good comedy but it is important to keep it simple and observe the society you inhabit.
"Jane Turner and Gina Riley made an observation that there is some great humour to be had between a mother and daughter," Ted Emery says of Kath & Kim. "It's a very simple observation, it's well made and there is a lot of humour in it."
Rick McKenna, Gina Riley's husband and executive producer of the Kath & Kim productions, agrees.
"What Gina Riley and Jane Turner tapped into in creating the family in Kath & Kim is that everybody can relate. Everyone has an Uncle Kel, an Aunty Kath, a sister Kath, a daughter Kim. They are great character performers they portray those with a magnifying glass. Even if it's only vaguely like your uncle or aunty or mum or dad, you see a shade there and you latch on and relate."
But after the four successful television series and a feature-length telemovie, Gina Riley and Jane Turner felt that they'd taken the characters everywhere they could go within the confines of their suburban setting in Fountain Lakes.
"Doing a film was always something we wanted to tackle and it was great to have some established characters so we weren't too lost in the big world of filmmaking," Jane Turner says.
But it wasn't easy, not least because they were faced with the daunting prospect of competing with their own success.
"Series four was so massive. With regionals its peak audience exceeded 3 million viewers, it was a 56 per cent share. In a multichannel world no comedy show will ever see those figures again," Rick McKenna says.
"We knew that if we made a film we'd really have to hit it out of the park visually, comedically, performance wise and storyline wise."
So Gina Riley and Jane Turner took time off, working on other projects, before they reunited to consider making a film.
"What we tend to do is try to pick the zeitgeist," Jane Turner says, of their storylines.
"It was Rick McKenna who said 'Princess Mary, that's an interesting thing, I reckon you could do something, that Aussie princess thing'," Gina Riley says. "That was the seed of the idea, an Aussie on the world stage. What if Kim met a prince?"
"We also had a lot of environmental issues because that's important to us personally," Jane Turner says. "And there's a fairytale aspect. We wanted to make a film that we'd want to go and see. We put in music, dancing, suspense, fashion and food."
Once they had developed the idea, the pair would meet daily at Jane Turner's house, beavering over a computer in the morning before an early lunch. They had a script written - more than 20 drafts in all - within six months.
"It was very different writing a feature," Gina Riley says. "I thought it would just be like writing a couple of episodes but it seems that everything has more importance with a feature film."
"It's very intense," Jane Turner agrees. "Because it is on a big screen every shot counts. Everything seems much more heightened because people are going to watch it in a controlled, intensive environment and pay for it. It's not like television.
They also faced the challenge - and excitement - of writing new characters that were full-bodied enough to hold up a film and react well with the existing, very familiar characters.
"The two young characters, Isabella and Prince Julio, were quite difficult to write and that was right out of our comfort zone," Ted Riley says. "You do want them to be romantic leads but in a comedy film, no sentimentality and soppiness."
Casting, as always, was critical.
"Many of the cast we'd either worked with in the past or admired their work from afar," Rick McKenna says. "There are many familiar faces - Marg Downey, Glenn Butcher, Frank Woodley, Mick Molloy and Mark Trevorrow. Barry Humphries even pops in! And of course we also have our wonderful cast mates - Magda Szubanski, Peter Rowsthorn and Glenn Robbins."
A wide net was cast and hundreds of young actors auditioned to fill the roles of Prince Julio and Isabella, played by Erin Mullally and Jessica de Gouw.
The production team approached Rob Sitch, who plays the leading role of King Javier, and internationally acclaimed actor, Richard E Grant directly. Each accepted immediately.
"I think I said yes before I knew what I was," says Rob Sitch, who had worked with Jane Turner when each was starting out in comedy. "I think it's rare to be asked by people who are creators and writers and I knew it would be as organised and clever and funny as it was."
The producers looked far and wide before casting Richard E. Grant as the King's page Alain, a character who required a fine balance of evilness and humour.
"I met Richard E. Grant socially about three years ago and he asked me what I did," Rick McKenna recalls. "I said I produce a little show called Kath & Kim and he said, "Look at moi, look at moi!" He tells this story about how first saw Kath & Kim while he was sitting on a plane and he watched an episode, The Hours, three times back-to-back. The air-hostess had to come and ask him to be quiet because he was laughing so loudly."
Richard E. Grant says he jumped at the chance to work on the film: "I said yes, without even reading the script. I'm such a huge fan of the show that I was thrilled to be asked."
While they had initially considered filming in Melbourne and relying on stock footage to represent the castle, the draw of Italy proved too strong and the crew spent several weeks filming in Italy at Nerola's Orsini Castle, in Sorrento and along the Amalfi coast.
"You get to see more ancient castles in Italy than you get to see out in Warrandyte!" Emery quips. "The set was just alive," says Jane Turner. "We were filming in this beautiful little Italian village and these ancient squares and we'd start work at 6am and the beautiful light was coming in and they'd come around with short black coffees and delicious pastries and then 10 minutes later it's hot pizza and they're all young and gorgeous and Italian."
While filming in Italy felt like "being in a Fellini film", says Gina Riley, with the photogenic, young Italian crew, it wasn't always easy, not least because of the language barriers between the Australian and Italian cast and crew.
"It was really tough," Rick McKenna says. "We had a wonderful, highly skilled Italian crew but you just have simple disagreements (maybe sounds softer) over things because of difficulties in understanding each other. There was one day where I asked for three porters and they say they're 700 euros ($1000) each a day. I'm saying 'you're kidding, hotel porters for 700 euros each a day? No!' I rock up to set the next day and there are these minivans called Portas, each with a driver and a carrier. We'd been communicating over this for three days over this. I thought the hotel was supplying us with three porters and ripping us off for three guys in monkey suits. There was something like that every day." (They were worth every euro as it turned out)
Emery, who hadn't directed a feature film for nearly 10 years, had the added challenge of adapting "the 35-millimetre film beast with its time-consuming and rigid requirements to the equally exacting, freewheeling vision of Gina Riley and Jane Turner".
"It was machine versus creative vision," he says. "You don't want the technical side of it running the shoot, you want to create the sandbox for the creative thing to play in."
It was no easy task.
"We were so naïve," admits Gina Riley. "A film is a monster that has a life of its own and you have to be there to wrangle that monster the way that you want it to go. You can't change things easily, that script is pretty much set in stone. Locations, people, extras, everything is rigid and needs to be with the volume of people involved in and affected by every little decision, but that is not the way we had worked in TV.
Gina Riley and Jane Turner wonder if Kath & Kimderella may mark the end for two of Australia's most enduring and endearing comedy characters, a finale befitting their longevity and enormous popularity. But they've said that before, however "the lure of the wig, the funny frock and a laugh with mates is sometimes over-poweringly strong"
Kath Biog Kathleen Darlene Day-Knight
D.O.B.: you know your bees wax why don't you mind it
Zodiac Sign: Leo (hence the mane ... my clowning glory)
Marital status: Married and loving it
Education: 34 Adult education diplomas, recently completed "Brain Power' and "Drop Box"
My Day On A Plate: Breaky: 2 prunes and a yakult
Mid Morning: a chino with a friend at Croutons-on- the Bay
Lunch: chicken feet (fat removed) with a decanted hoisin dipping sauce
Arvo Tea: Mug of Jarrah
Kel's cod on the hots rocks (yum) with a Donna Hay quinoa
Favourite A-HA Moment: Emptying my mind a la the Dalai Lama
Who am I wearing?: Fella Hamilton's citrus story
Current Celebrity Crush : Keith Urban (he loves curly hair)
Kim Biog Kim Craig -knee - Day
D.O.B.: 25 (but I don't look my age)
Marital status: Up in the air
Education: Fountain Lakes: Year 10 Fountain Lakes High- (incomplete)
Cake Decorating Course (incomplete)
Nail Design Course (incomplete)
Work History: 6 months at Call Centre (left because of stress... theirs)
2 weeks as a Door Bitch at the Tulip Farm (took a package, literally)
Current Employment: Trophy wife
Who do you admire?: Lara Bingle... like me she makes a little go a long way.
Philosophy : It is all about me
Sharon Biog Sharon Karen Strezlecki
Marital status: Desperate and Dateless
Job: Part time, Night shift at the Repat.
Full time, Kim's second best friend
Hobbies: River dancing, stalking, and eating my feelings
Medical History: Septic monkey bite ( Bali 2001), Carbuncles , pash rash, Munchausen by proxy (under control at the moment with broad spectrum placebo)
Sports: Netball, Indoor Cricket
Greatest moment: Touching Shane Warne's Baggy Green
Kel Biog Kel Graham Knight
Age: Wrong side of 50
Zodiac Sign: Virgo (OCD)
Marital status: left at the altar four times... now married to the foxiest thing since sliced bread
Occuptation: Purveyor of Fine Meats
Achievements: Regional Sausage King (Pork and dill 2006) Fountain Lakes Retailer of the Year (2008)
Goal: To win Masterchef and create my own Marion's Box
Favourite Author: Bryce Courtney
What am I wearing?: Fletcher Jeans, a Roger David knit and Vintage Crocs
Favourite accessory: My distressed pleather man bag
Brett Biog Brett Craig
Marital status: Not sure today / will ask Kim when I get home
Occuptation: Head of Sprinkles at Krispy Kreme
BFF: Cujo... my rotty
Goals: Not getting up Kim's goat
Best achievement: Being a dad to a gifted daughter... Epponnnee Ray
Favourite Labels: Rivers, Yugo Boss, Gazman
Eupponee Rae Biog Epponnnee Rae (spelt E double P , O triple NN, E . (dash umlaut , close italics ) Rae
D.O.B.: 5 / 6/ 2007
Education: Pre-prep( accelerated program) Eatin' College ( Fountain Lakes)
Achievements: Runner Up " Glitz", Third Place "Wow" wear, (Little Miss Princess Pageant) Top Ten Junior Masterchef (best soggy nachos) Solo exhibition Bon Beach Shire Regional Gallery ( Installation)
Goals: Model/ actress
Trude Biog Trudy Hancock
Born With silver spoon in her mouth
Education: Timbertop. 1974
Marital status: Doctors wife. Married to Graham Melbourne's "go to" plastic surgeon.
Children: Zoë (Geelong Grammar , Head of boats) and Harry (hedge burner)
Hobbies: Jillarooing..." Love it! Member of the Liberal party since 1970
BFFs: Peter Costello (woof) and Michael Kroger... 'That's awkward'!
Prue Biog Prudence "Buz" Ballieu
Employment: 2 hours a week at Abode ( South Yarra)
Marital status: Adrian Psychiatrist ( FRAAC,OMG FIGJAM).
Current Project: Renovating Kooyong Koot Rd (again)
Favourite restaurant: Koots of Kooyong, Spoonful(with the girls)
BFFs: Stuart Rattle (he loves a throw) and Paul Bangay ( he clips my box (hedge)