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GOING BEAR – Interview with Blinky Bill star Deborah Mailman

Article image for GOING BEAR – Interview with Blinky Bill star Deborah Mailman

GOING BEAR – Deborah Mailman speaks about her first animated film Blinky Bill – and her remarkable career

To give voice to Blinky Bill’s mother in Blinky Bill: The Movie, Deborah Mailman had to do something she’d never done before as an actress – with no cameras or other actors in the room, she had to create a character using nothing but her voice. A newbie to animation, she found the process invigorating.

Since bursting onto the film scene in her AFI award-winning performance in 1998’s Radiance, Mailman has proved herself one of Australia’s most versatile actresses.


Her formidable and diverse list of credits include: The Secret Life of Us; Redfern Now; Play School; Rabbit Proof Fence; Offspring; Bran Nue Dae; Mabo; and The Sapphires.

She has also pulled off a remarkable hat-trick by having roles in all three Australian family films of 2015: Paper Planes; Oddball; and Blinky Bill.

On top of all this, she is part of the barrier-breaking ensemble cast of the hilarious sketch-comedy show Black Comedy. Mailman likes a laugh.


Mailman is part of a new generation of indigenous actors who see far greater popularity of films and TV shows featuring indigenous stories than 20 years ago, with Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires being the most popular films ever made in Australia to feature indigenous themes.

But while she is conscious of the impact pop culture can have in shaping and changing people’s perceptions about indigenous issues, Mailman says she is not driven by such considerations when choosing roles.

Indeed, Mailman has unintentionally set a record as an indigenous actor for having played the most roles unrelated to race.


In this lively interview, Mailman discusses making Blinky Bill and reflects on her remarkable career.

Please enjoy.

View the Deborah Mailman interview here:

View a trailer for Blinky Bill: The Movie here: