The Dressmaker shows more to Moorhouse than Muriel

Jocelyn Moorhouse.
Jocelyn Moorhouse.

AFTER 18 years of being out of the director’s chair, Jocelyn Moorhouse was “itching” to get back in.

The Australian director and producer, who boasts classic Muriel’s Wedding (1994) and the star studded How To Make an American Quilt (1995) on her filmography, makes her directorial comeback with The Dressmaker.

The Dressmaker stars Kate Winslet, nailing an Australian accent, as a woman who returns to her rural hometown after pursuing a career in fashion in Paris and must deal with sinister secrets and gossipy locals.

“Filmmaking is in my blood, it was hard not directing,” Moorhouse said.

“I have had fun producing my husband P.J. Hogan’s films (Peter Pan and Mental), but being a director is all encompassing, and I am a mother of four kids who need you to be all encompassing.”

Moorhouse said her career continued to be a family affair, with her children dipping their toes into the film industry in her latest project.

“This one is so special, I had to talk to my kids and say ‘mum wants to do this’,” she said.

“My oldest is 25 and was an intern on the film and my nine-year-old was an extra and a flower girl.

“My other kids who are 12 and 19 have autism so they do not like being away from home.”

While she continues to shape her career with other projects, Moorhouse said Muriel’s Wedding continued to be part of her life.

“Maybe once or twice a month someone will ask me or P.J. about it or they find out I produced it or he directed it and they want to talk about it,” she said.

“We don’t mind, we are really proud of it and it was based on people that P.J. knows and are still here so it is a nice reminder.”

She revealed that while there would not be a sequel to Muriel’s Wedding, the titular character could be making a comeback of sorts.

“We are in the process of turning it into a stage musical,” she said.

That’s not so terrible, Muriel.

The Dressmaker is in cinemas today.