Toni Collett (born 1 November 1972), credited professionally as Toni Collette,[1][2] is an Australian actress and musician. She is particularly known for her work in independent films as well as supporting roles in studio films. She has received numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award, in addition to nominations for an Academy Award and one Tony Award.

Toni Collette
Toni Collette by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Toni Collett

(1972-11-01) 1 November 1972 (age 47)
Alma materNational Institute of Dramatic Art
Australian Theatre for Young People
  • Actress
  • singer
  • musician
Years active1990–present
Dave Galafassi (m. 2003)
AwardsFull List

Born in Sydney, she is oldest of three children. Her interest in acting sparked after performing in a high school production of Godspell. She subsequently attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art for 18 months before dropping out to take part in a stage production of Uncle Vanya. She also appeared in stage productions at the Belvoir Street Theatre, under directorship of Geoffrey Rush. She made her feature film debut in 1992 and made her breakthrough with the comedy-drama film Muriel's Wedding (1994), for which she earned a Golden Globe Award nomination.

She subsequently achieved international recognition for her role in The Sixth Sense (1999), which became the highest grossing horror movie at the time and for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She subsequently took on roles in independent films, such as the period-drama The Hours (2002), the drama Japanese Story (2003), the comedy-dramas The Way, Way Back, Enough Said and Lucky Them (all 2013), the horror-drama Hereditary (2017) and the mystery Knives Out (2019). She received a BAFTA Award nomination for her role in About a Boy (2002) and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Her Broadway performances include the lead roles in The Wild Party (2000) and The Realistic Joneses (2014), the former of which earned her a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. On television, she has played the lead roles in the Showtime comedy series United States of Tara (2008-11) and the Netflix miniseries Unbelievable (2019). For the former, she won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

In addition to acting, Colette has her own production company, Vocab Films and is the lead singer of the band Toni Collette & the Finish. In 2006, the band released their debut album Beautiful Awkward Pictures, which contained eleven tracks, all of which were written and composed by Collette. She is married to actor and drummer Dave Galafassi with whom she has two children.

Early lifeEdit

Collette studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Kensington, New South Wales

Toni Collett was born in Plumpton, a suburb in Sydney. Her father, Bob Collett was a truck driver while her mother was a customer-service representative for a courier company.[3] Collett's father was conceived as a result of an affair his mother had with an American Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy stationed in Australia during World War II. Despite a public appeal, Collett has not discovered who her biological grandfather was.[4] She has described her family as, "[not] the most communicative" but that despite her parents' lack of money, they always made them feel cared for and that they were a supportive family.[5][6] She has fond memories of growing up in Blacktown where she and her mother would spend every Saturday afternoon watching a Bill Collins movie matinee.[7]

She described her younger self as having “crazy” amounts of confidence.[8] When she was 11, she feigned appendicitis so successfully that even the doctors were convinced, rushing her to the emergency room and removing her appendix.[8] She attended Blacktown Girls High School where her early hobbies included playing netball, tap-dancing and swimming.[6][9] She would often take part in singing in local talent competitions as well.[10] Her earliest ambitions were to perform in musicals as she loved to sing and dance.[11]

Her first acting role was onstage in the musical Godspell at 14 years old, winning the role over several other prospective candidates.[12][13] She decided to become an actor when she was 15 years old.[14] She was deeply influenced by seeing Geoffrey Rush perform on stage in The Diary of a Madman. At age 16, with her parents' approval, she left school to pursue a career in acting. She explained her decision to leave school saying, “I was 16. And it’s not like I wasn’t good at school, or I didn’t enjoy it, I did. I just loved acting more. I don’t regret that decision, but I can’t believe I made it…”[9] She later attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art where she dropped out after 18 months to take a theatre role in director Neil Armfield's stage production of Uncle Vanya.[7] Collett added back the extra "e" in her surname, which her grandfather had removed, as she felt it sounded better as a stage name.

In her twenties she found it difficult to adapt to the change of being in the media spotlight and, as a result, struggled with bulimia and panic attacks.[7] During this period she travelled extensively, shaved her head five times and bought a flat in Brixton, London in order to "explore different ideas and just look at life and try to understand it."[9]

Acting careerEdit

1992–1998: Breakthrough and early rolesEdit

Collette made her television debut in 1990, in a guest appearance on the Seven Network drama series A Country Practice. In 1992, she made her feature film debut as part of the ensemble comedy-drama Spotswood (known in the U.S. as The Efficiency Expert), which starred Anthony Hopkins and Russell Crowe. She played Wendy, a factory worker who harbors a secret attraction towards Ben Mendelsohn's character. Of her role, Andrew Urban of Urban Cinephile said that "Toni Collette has a lovely role and does it with minimalist excellence."[15] For her performance, she earned her first AACTA Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress. Between auditions for roles, she worked part-time delivering pizzas.[16]

During her final year at NIDA, her agent informed her of a film that she felt would be a good role for Collette, but had not yet materialized. A year later, Collette's agent apprised her that the project had been financed and that she would be able to audition.[17] The project would eventually become Muriel's Wedding. Although Collette auditioned for the role on the first day of casting, she didn't win it until three months later.[18] In order to prepare for the role, Collette gained 42 pounds in 7 weeks.[19] The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $57.5 million on a budget of $9 million. James Berardinelli of ReelThoughts called her "vibrant and energetic", while Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle opined that Collette played Muriel with "disarming earnestness".[20][21] She received her first Golden Globe Award nomination, for Best Actress and won an AACTA Award for Best Actress.

In 1996, she had parts in three critically acclaimed films - the comedy-drama Così, the period comedy Emma and the drama Lilian's Story. In Così, which reunited her with Muriel's Wedding castmate Rachel Griffiths, she played an actress recovering from drug addiction. In Lillian's Story she played an eccentric woman who is sent to a mental asylum in her youth. David Stratton of Variety, in a review for the former, said that Collette "[gave] a terrific performance", and when reviewing the latter, found her to be "poignant" and took note of her range and depth.[22][23] In Emma, an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel of the same name, she played Harriet Smith, a close friend of the titular character. Originally dismissive of Austen's works, she found Emma to be "warm and witty and clever".[24] Jane Ganahl of the San Francisco Chronicle said that, "[Harriet was] played with heartbreaking empathy by Toni Collette".[24]

She starred alongside Lisa Kudrow, Parker Posey and Alanna Ubach in Clockwatchers (1997) which depicted the lives of four friends working in an office. Dustin Putman of TheFilmFile called it a "jewel of a film" and praised the performances of the cast, particularly Collette whom he referred to as "outstanding".[25] Her later releases of the 1990s - 8½ Women and Velvet Goldmine were both critically panned and commercial failures. The latter, however, has grown in stature since its release and has become a cult film.[26] Collette credited Velvet Goldmine with revitalizing her passion for acting and said that it had freed her from some distress she had been facing that time.[27]

1999–2004: The Sixth Sense, Broadway and international recognitionEdit

When Collette first received the script of The Sixth Sense (1999), she nearly refrained from reading it, fearing it would be "some formulaic Hollywood action drama". However, she found herself moved by the story and agreed to audition, ultimately winning the role over other high-profile actors such as Marisa Tomei. She was originally ambivalent about receiving the role, as it meant she would be unable to take part in Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead (1999).[27][28] She played the role of Lynn Sear, a single mother who struggles to raise her son Cole (played by Haley Joel Osment) who is able to see and speak with ghosts. David Edelstein said that her performance was "wonderful", while John Anderson of the Los Angeles Times called her "a revelation".[29] Journalists took note of Collette's climactic scene, in which Cole reveals his secret to Lynn, as the film's highlight; Gary Thompson of The Philadelphia Inquirer said that "the scene in the car when [Cole] divulges his secret is so riveting... and it’s so well-acted by Osment and Collette".[30]

M. Night Shyamalan cast Collette in The Sixth Sense (1999) which catapulted her into international fame

The Sixth Sense became an unexpected box-office juggernaut, grossing $670 million on a budget of only $40 million. It became the second-highest-grossing film of 1999, beating several other films such as The Matrix, Toy Story 2, and American Beauty.[31] The Sixth Sense gathered six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture which made it the fourth horror movie to be nominated in that category. Collette gained an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She reflected, "There was some definite feeling we all had that it was going to somehow be special. And it did actually come to pass that the film did really well and has been loved by a lot of people."[32]

In 2000, she made her Broadway debut with a leading role in The Wild Party, playing Queenie, a masochistic showgirl who hosts a lavish party with her husband. The role was originally written for Vanessa Williams but ultimately went to Collette after Williams became pregnant.[33] Charles Isherwood felt underwhelmed by the musical and Collette's performance, writing, "[Collette's] Queenie is flat and one-dimensional; she doesn’t convey the warmth that invites emotional investment".[34] Ben Brantley of The New York Times was more favourable, stating that, "Ms. Collette... gives the evening's most fully realized performance" but criticized her chemistry with Yancey Arias.[35] For this role, Collette was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Collette turned down the title role in Bridget Jones's Diary because she was committed to perform on Broadway at the time.[36] She followed this with a supporting role in the action thriller Shaft (2000). The film received generally positive reviews and grossed $107.2 million on a budget of $46 million. In 2001, her only role was in the HBO TV movie Dinner with Friends (2001). She played Beth, a middle-aged woman who struggles to come to terms with the fact that her husband is leaving her for another woman. Steven Oxman of Variety said that she was "well suited" to her role, while Bruce Fetts of Entertainment Weekly praised her "flawless" American accent.[37][38] The show earned a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie.

In 2002, she had supporting roles in two critically acclaimed films. In The Hours, based on the novel of the same name, she played Kitty, a sexually repressed woman who plans to undergo an operation to cure her infertility. Laura Clifford of Reeling Reviews said that she was "impressive in a small scene as the vivacious Kitty".[39] The film received positive reviews and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. In About A Boy she played a woman suffering from depression who attempts to commit suicide. Daniel Saney of Digital Spy said that she was "as impressive as ever" while Sheila Johnston of Screendaily priased her "powerful presence".[40][41] She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the latter and won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for both performances.

Collette played the lead role in Japanese Story (2003) as an Australian geologist who develops an intense relationship with a visiting Japanese businessman. The film was screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Her powerful performance led to numerous reviewers welcoming her back to playing lead roles, the first time since Muriel's Wedding. John Patterson of The Guardian wrote that she gave a "shattering performance, masterfully controlled and detailed, and all the proof her fans ever needed of her special brilliance."[42] Richard Porton of the Chicago Reader remarked, "Collette's pitch-perfect performance and the stunning evocation of the forbidding and beautiful outback make this film unexpectedly rewarding."[43] Many critics praised her emotional range, with some regarding the performance to be the best of her career.[44] Her two releases of 2004 - The Last Shot and Connie and Carla were both negatively reviewed and box office failures.

2005–2011: Supporting roles and United States of TaraEdit

Collette's only film in 2005 was In Her Shoes, a comedy-drama about the relationship between two different sisters and their estranged grandmother, co-starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine. Based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner, the production received generally positive reviews from critics, and became a moderate independent success, earning a total of US$82.2 million worldwide.[45] Collette was subsequently nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actress for her performance of a successful-but-lonely lawyer with low self-esteem, which Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle noted the focus of the film: "As usual, Collette's face is a fine-tuned transmitter of her emotions, moment by moment, and she becomes the locus of audience feeling."[46]

In 2006, Collette starred in Little Miss Sunshine, a comedy-drama-road movie about a family's trip to a children's beauty pageant. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006, and its distribution rights were bought by Fox Searchlight Pictures for one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival.[47]Brian Tallerico of said she "[did] great in [a small] role" but Stella Papamichael of BBC felt that she was "underused".[48][49] Released in July 2006, the film received major critical acclaim, resulting in several accolades such as four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, whilst Collette herself earned her second BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of the family's worn-out matriarch.[50] A box office success, Little Miss Sunshine went on to gross US$100.5 million worldwide and became one of the most successful independent films of the mid-2000s.[51]

Collette at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in London's Royal Opera House in February 2007

That same year, Collette also played supporting roles in the thriller films Like Minds, The Night Listener and The Dead Girl. Although the latter was released to positive reviews during its limited North American run,[52] none of these films fared well at the box office, with Robin Williams-featuring The Night Listener emerging as the biggest-selling production with a global gross revenue of US$10.5 million.[53] In her first television engagement in five years, the HBO-BBC joint miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006), Collette played an Australian government employee who tries to cope with the events following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting tsunami in Thailand. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Robert Bianco of USA Today said that it was, "inexcusably tasteless, tone deaf... and dull." and Brian Lowry of Variety remarked that the film, "[grasps] for higher ground that it never reaches."[54][55] Despite this, significant praise was given to the performances of the cast.[56][57] For her role, Collette earned her first Primetime Emmy nomination and third Golden Globe nomination. [50][58]

After completing her duties as a jury member at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, she took part in two releases of 2007 - Towelhead and Evening. While the former received mixed reviews the latter was almost universally panned. In a review for Towelhead, Kelly Vance of East Bay Express, called it "one the most intelligent films of the year" and praised Collette's performance. While reviewing Evening, Dustin Putman called it "flawed in more ways than one" but lauded Collette for "[enlivening] her scenes with pathos."[59][60] In 2008, she played a small role in Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger also serving as an executive producer. Her scenes were shot in only a week.[61] The film received tepid reviews and failed to recoup its $6 million budget. Bernadete McNulty, writing for The Telegraph, said of the film, "Collette’s presence may have got this Australian debut from writer/director Cathy Randall off the ground [but] her slight role is insufficient to make it fly the distance."[62] Her other film of 2008, The Black Balloon was much better received. Frank Hatherley of Screen Daily praised the film and Collette's performance, writing "Collette gives another of her warm, full-blooded portraits" and Roger Ebert venerated her performance as being the heart of the film.[63][64]

In 2008, Collette accepted the leading role in the Showtime comedy-drama series, United States of Tara. Created by Steven Spielberg and Diablo Cody, the show revolves around a wife and mother of two with dissociative identity disorder, coping with her alternate personalities. For the role, Collette had to play multiple characters in the show. Collette found the role required her to prepare a bit more than she normally did. However, after she understood the characters better, she found it easier to play them.[65] The show was originally planned for a twelve-episode season, but was renewed for a second and third season after it gave the network its highest ratings since 2004.[66] The series and Collette's performance received positive reviews. Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle called her a "tour de force" and Ariana Bacle of Entertainment Weekly praised Collette's "flawless" transition between personalities that felt so "insanely distinct" that they could have each been a different actor.[67][68] Collette won both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy in 2009 and was nominated for both again the following year.

Collette next starred as a single mother of a precocious child in Jesus Henry Christ (2011). The film received negative reviews; James Plath of Movie Metropolis called her 'terrific" but John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter felt that Collette was severely underutilised.[69][70] She later had a supporting role in the horror-comedy Fright Night (2011). The film reunited her with filmmaker Craig Gillespie who had previously directed her in several episodes of United States of Tara.[71] Debbie Lynn Elias of Behind The Lens called her "pitchfork perfect" while Emmet Asher-Perrin of said that she was "charming as always."[72][73] Fright Night received positive reviews and was a modest commercial success grossing $41 million on a $30 million budget.

2012–2017: Focus on independent films and return to BroadwayEdit

Collette's first release of 2012 was the independent comedy-drama Mental. She played a hitchhiker who is hired as a nanny to take care of five mentally ill sisters. Despite giving the film a negative review, Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times said that Collette "rips into her woolly role as if channeling a leftover personality from her United States of Tara days"; Luke Buckmaster of Crikey called her "charismatic and all-inhabiting".[74][75] She received her third AACTA Award for Best Actress nomination for her role. Later in 2012, Collette played a small supporting role in the biographical drama film Hitchcock. Deborah Ross, writing for The Spectator, gave the film an unenthusiastic review and said that the film, "wastes many of its cast members - particularly Toni Collette."[76]

In 2013, Collette earned critical acclaim for her work in the independent films The Way, Way Back as Pam, opposite Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, and Enough Said as Sarah, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. For her work in The Way, Way Back, Collette received several glowing reviews. Andrew O'Heir of Salon Magazine praised her "brilliant, understated performance";[77] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone dubbed her work "stellar";[78] James Berardinelli described Collette as a "chameleon" and said that she gives a performance far and above what the role required.[79] Her performance in Enough Said was also well received. Katie Smith-Wong of FlickFeast praised her for bringing humor to the film but Joseph Walsh of CinVue said that she was underused.[80][81] In the fall of 2013, Collette starred in the CBS drama Hostages, which received solid reviews but weak ratings. RedEye described her performance as "fascinating",[82] Newsday as "superb",[83] and USA Today as "nuanced" and "grounded."[84] The series aired for fifteen episodes and, due to a combination of low ratings and a closed narrative, did not return for a second season.

Collette at The Way Way Back premiere at the State Theatre, Sydney in 2013

In the comedy-drama Lucky Them (also 2013), which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, Collette played a music critic who is assigned to write a piece on a disappeared musician and childhood sweetheart, subsequently tasking herself to track him down. The film earned mostly positive reviews, with Collette receiving the bulk of the praise.[85][86] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the movie was "centered by smart, soulful work by the wonderful Toni Collette" and that she played her character "with warmth, realness and emotional transparency that make you stay with her even when she's pushing people away".[87] The film also screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Joe Bendel of Libertas Film Magazine ranked her performance as the fourth-best of the festival, and upon release, Mike D'Angelo of The Dissolve wrote that Collette "is capable of anything."[88][89]

After a 14-year absence, Collette returned to Broadway in 2014, starring in Will Eno's play The Realistic Joneses, in which she co-starred alongside Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei. The play examines a couple who project its insecurities and fears onto their next-door neighbors with the same last name. The play opened to positive reviews, with Collette and the entire cast earning high praise.[90] A rave review from The New York Times wrote that "Ms. Collette exudes a touching, exasperated dignity as Jennifer."[91] Variety called her work "terribly funny,"[92] while The Hollywood Reporter claimed that "Collette, whose naturalness can cut through even the very deliberate theatrical artifice of Eno's dialogue and scene construction, anchors the play with her somber restraint and deadpan delivery."[93] The New York Post, which was more critical of the play, highlighted Collette's performance: "Collette does some heavy lifting to fill in Eno's blanks. You can read deep sadness in the wide planes of her expressive face, in her lost, unfocused eyes."[94] Collette and her co-stars won a Drama Desk Special Award for Best Ensemble Performance.[95]

In 2014, Collette appeared in the black comedy A Long Way Down, the Melissa McCarthy-starring comedy Tammy, the comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness, the drama Glassland, and lent her voice to the animated film The Boxtrolls. Except for the lattermost, none of these films were significantly successful, either critically or commercially, and her presence in each were considered to be wasted.[96][97][98][99] Collette starred opposite Drew Barrymore in the comedy-drama Miss You Already (2015), about two women whose friendship is tested when one of them starts a family while the other falls ill. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to generally positive reviews, with Billy Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic asserting that "Collette's work is so compulsively watchable that Miss You Already is worth a watch for that reason alone."[100] Collette then played the matriarch of a dysfunctional family in the horror film Krampus (also 2015), which was a moderate commercial success, grossing $61.5 million against a budget of $15 million.[101] Collette's sole release of 2016 was the crime thriller Imperium opposite Daniel Radcliffe as an FBI analyst targeting a white supremacist group. Despite its limited release, the film garnered positive reviews, with Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times calling it "impressively dimensional...tense, gripping and disturbing," and found Collette to be "excellent" in her role as Radcliffe's character's supervisor.[102]

In 2017, Collette starred in a myriad of films, all to varying degrees of success. The action film, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, starring Vin Diesel, was a commercial success, grossing $346.1 million[101] and earned mixed reviews, though Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Collette for "embrac[ing] the cold-blooded extremes of her role" as a CIA operative.[103] Her next two films—the war drama The Yellow Birds and the comedy Fun Mom Dinner—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.[104] Both films garnered mixed reviews,[105][106] though Collette's work was appreciated, particularly in the former, with Michael Rechtshaffen of the Los Angeles Times taking note of how she and co-star Jennifer Aniston "deliver uniformly naturalistic performances."[107] Her other roles that year include the mystery drama Jasper Jones, for which she was nominated for the Australian Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress,[108][109] the action-thriller Unlocked, and the comedies Madame and Please Stand By.[110][111]

2018–present: Hereditary, mainstream films and NetflixEdit

Collette at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Knives Out (2019)

In 2018, Collette gave what many critics considered to be the best performance of her career in the horror film Hereditary, in which she played the matriarch of a family haunted by the supernatural following the death of her mother.[112] Collette was initially reluctant to take on the role, but was ultimately convinced by the script's grounded approach and its exploration of grief and loss.[113] She considered the role to have been the most difficult of her career. In an interview with Vulture, she reflected, "There was no easy moment in this movie... I was shooting 14-take scenes, talking about great loss and difficulty in relating to my family".[114] The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, and it became A24's highest-grossing film, earning $80.2 million[115] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly praised Collette for her "real dramatic power and force," while Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune complimented her "fierce performance with a human pulse".[116][117] Furthermore, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine asserted that "it's Collette, giving the performance of her career, who takes us inside Annie's breakdown in flesh and spirit and shatters what's left of our nerves. Her tour de force bristles with provocations that for sure will keep you up nights. But first, you'll scream your bloody head off."[118] She won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance. That same year, she appeared in the critically acclaimed comedy Hearts Beat Loud, which also premiered at Sundance, and the poorly-received comedy Birthmarked.[119][120][121]

In 2019, Collette again ventured into the horror genre in Dan Gilroy's Velvet Buzzsaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. A satire about the art world, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to polarizing reactions.[122][123] She then played a supporting role in Rian Johnson's critically acclaimed mystery thriller Knives Out, alongside an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Christopher Plummer, among others.[124][125] The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was a commercial success, grossing $300.1 million.[101] Critics especially highlighted the performances of the film's cast: David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter considered Collette to be "divine as a deeply sincere phony."[126] Collette then took on the role of a detective investigating a troubling rape case in the Netflix miniseries Unbelievable (also 2019).[127]

On February 3, 2020, it was announced that Collette was cast as Laura Oliver in the upcoming Netflix thriller series, Pieces of Her.[128]

Production careerEdit

In 2017, she formed a production company, Vocab Films, with Jen Turner and acquired the rights to Graeme Simsion's novel and screenplay The Best of Adam Sharp.[129] In July 2017, it was announced that Vocab Films would team with RadicalMedia to develop Julia Dahl's novel Invisible City for television.[130]

Music careerEdit

In October 2006, she began touring Australia to promote her first vocal album Beautiful Awkward Pictures, released on Hoola Hoop Records with the band Toni Collette & the Finish, for which her husband plays drums.[131] Collette appeared on the Australian television show Cool Aid and performed the song "Look Up" from the album. In July 2007, Toni Collette & the Finish headlined at the Sydney show of Live Earth.[132] She sang a cover of T. Rex's "Children of the Revolution" with The Finish.[133] In 2012, she expressed her desire to make another album, but said that she found it difficult to find enough time to commit to the project.[134]

Personal lifeEdit

Collette married musician Dave Galafassi on 11 January 2003.[135] The couple have a daughter, Sage Florence, born on 9 January 2008,[136] and a son, Arlo Robert, born on 22 April 2011.[137]

She is a supporter of animal rights and PETA.[138] Back in 2005, she urged then-Prime Minister John Howard to end the Australian sheep farming practice of mulesing, which many animal rights activists consider cruel.[139]



Title Years Role Notes
Spotswood 1992 Wendy Robinson
This Marching Girl Thing 1994 Cindy Short film
Muriel's Wedding 1994 Muriel Heslop
The Thief and the Cobbler 1995 Princess Yum Yum's Nanny Witch Voice (Miramax version)
Clockers 1995 Virginia Martin
Così 1996 Julie
The Pallbearer 1996 Cynthia
Emma 1996 Harriet Smith
Lilian's Story 1996 Young Lilian Singer
Clockwatchers 1997 Iris Chapman
The James Gang 1997 Julia Armstrong
Diana & Me 1997 Diana Spencer
The Boys 1998 Michelle
Velvet Goldmine 1998 Mandy Slade
8½ Women 1999 Griselda/Sister Concordia
The Sixth Sense 1999 Lynn Sear
Shaft 2000 Diane Palmieri
Hotel Splendide 2000 Kath
The Magic Pudding 2000 Meg Bluegum Voice
Changing Lanes 2002 Michelle
About a Boy 2002 Fiona Brewer
Dirty Deeds 2002 Sharon
The Hours 2002 Kitty
Japanese Story 2003 Sandy Edwards
The Last Shot 2004 Emily French
Connie and Carla 2004 Carla
In Her Shoes 2005 Rose Feller
Little Miss Sunshine 2006 Sheryl Hoover
The Night Listener 2006 Donna D. Logand
Like Minds 2006 Sally Rowe
The Dead Girl 2006 Arden
Evening 2007 Nina Mars
Towelhead 2007 Melina Hines
The Black Balloon 2008 Maggie Mollison
Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger 2008 Mary
Mary and Max 2009 Mary Daisy Dinkle Voice
Jesus Henry Christ 2011 Patricia Herman
Fright Night 2011 Jane Brewster
Foster 2011 Zooey
Hitchcock 2012 Peggy Robertson
Mental 2012 Sharon "Shaz" Thornbender
The Way, Way Back 2013 Pam
Enough Said 2013 Sarah
Lucky Them 2013 Ellie Klug
A Long Way Down 2014 Maureen Thompson
Tammy 2014 Missi Jenkins
Hector and the Search for Happiness 2014 Agnes
The Boxtrolls 2014 Lady Portley Rind Voice
Glassland 2014 Jean
Blinky Bill the Movie 2015 Beryl and Cheryl Voice
Miss You Already 2015 Milly
Krampus 2015 Sarah Engel
Imperium 2016 Angela Zamparo
Jasper Jones 2017 Ruth Bucktin
XXX: Return of Xander Cage 2017 Jane Marke
The Yellow Birds 2017 Amy Bartle
Fun Mom Dinner 2017 Kate
Unlocked 2017 Emily Knowles
Madame 2017 Anne Fredericks
Please Stand By 2017 Scottie
Hereditary 2018 Annie Graham Also executive producer
Hearts Beat Loud 2018 Leslie
Birthmarked 2018 Catherine
Velvet Buzzsaw 2019 Gretchen
Knives Out 2019 Joni Thrombey
Dream Horse 2020 Jan Vokes
Stowaway 2020 Post-production
I'm Thinking of Ending Things TBA Post-production
Nightmare Alley TBA Zeena Krumbein Filming


Title Years Role Notes
A Country Practice 1990 Tracy Episode: "The Sting: Part 1"
Dinner with Friends 2001 Beth Television movie
Tsunami: The Aftermath 2006 Kathy Graham Television movie
United States of Tara 2009–2011 Tara Gregson 36 episodes
Rake 2012 Claudia Marshall, Premier of New South Wales Episode: "R vs Mohammed"
Hostages 2013–2014 Ellen Sanders 15 episodes
Devil's Playground 2014 Margaret Wallace Episode: "I Will Bring Fire onto This Earth"
Wanderlust 2018 Joy Richards 6 episodes
Unbelievable 2019 Det. Grace Rasmussen Miniseries
Pieces of Her 2020 Laura Oliver[140]


  • Beautiful Awkward Pictures (2006) – Toni Collette & the Finish

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Free spirit". The Sun-Herald. 21 July 2004.
  2. ^ Osenlund, R. Kurt (26 October 2015). "Toni, Collected". Out.
  3. ^ "She Expanded Her Home to House Her Financial Enterprises", The Dear-Bought Heritage, University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc., pp. 437–456, ISBN 978-1-5128-1759-1, retrieved 5 January 2020
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External linksEdit