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This Little Love of Mine: Saskia Hampele Interview

This Little Love of Mine: Saskia Hampele Interview

‘This Little Love of Mine’ is a wholesome, funny and entertaining G-rated Australian made tropical romance. A glorious showcase for Far North Queensland and also shining a light on an upbeat local cast and talented filmmaker intent on putting a smile on the dial. Enjoy my wonderful discussion with cool, glowing star, Saskia Hampele.

How good are you at game Coconut Toss as depicted in the film?

SH – Most of those shots I actually made perfectly (laughs).

Film insurance companies don’t like actors riding horses.

SH – Getting the script, one of the most exciting parts of playing this character, was the chance to ride a horse along the beach. We were going really fast at times, no helmets. All good but we had a drone following us and those horses did not like the drone creating interesting moments veering off into the bushes, but I can ride safe. Also filming all day, the tide had risen, they didn’t enjoy that either.

How did you score a project shot in beautiful Palm Cove QLD?

SH – Pinching myself the whole time having come out of covid lockdown, whisked away to location. Got lucky.

Has covid affected work, abandoning projects or picked up any?

SH – Last year we were going to do a season of The Heights (TV series which Saskia stars) but covid put an end to that indefinitely. Usually the biggest time of year, Pilot Season, was at a standstill. ‘This Little Love of Mine’ was the first production green-lit in Australia showing the world we could still work under covid rules.

Chemistry is important, you with Liam seemed fragrantly effortless.

SH – That’s nice, thank you. My husband has hung out with him and I know his wife. So although we hadn’t spent a lot of time together when we both found out gaining the roles, it was a happy feeling.

Liam as Chip seems like a nice guy, a good co-star.

SH – He is exactly that, no pretence. Good fun to work with and he threw out a few improvised lines throughout, making us laugh.

Landing the role of Laura, was it an easy process?

SH – Funny story as I auditioned to play Gem (eventually went to flourishing talent, Lynn Gilmartin) because planning before covid hit, this film had a major international star attached. So, to my surprise as it went back into production circling through suggestion, I play Laura. Apparently, Liam and I were envisioned as the leads.

(Character) Laura is likeable, uptight at first maybe then improving.

SH – Director Christine Luby and writer Georgia Harrison were keen to create a well-padded female lead that many could relate to, making decisions for her not to have to be unlikable just so she could have a journey through the film. To me that was different.

Are you a hopeless romantic at heart in real life?

SH – (laughs) I like romance and enjoy a good juicy rom-com but my husband and I forget our wedding anniversary each and every year, usually remembering five days late.

If a scene requires you to cry, what’s the preparation?

SH – Spoiler alert: the movie only has one scene of me crying. In this case, not much prep because the shoot was going so quick. But in other roles, I draw deep on personal experiences.

In your own words, why should people seek out this breezy film?

SH – Having just experienced the tragic year of covid, I made this film to tell a sincere, easy to relate love story. If viewers want to go to a cinema and switch off to be transported to paradise with a heart-warming chuckle, this is the movie for you.

Will we see the continuing story of Laura and Chip?

SH – Hadn’t thought of a sequel but if people love it, why not.

Does a Neighbours fan base still reach out after five years since being on the show?

SH – Of course, especially when in the UK. People recognise you whilst there’s a few die-hard fans in particular who keep in contact. One of my most asked questions is: will you return to Neighbours.

What are you like with accents, can you drop in / out on a whim?

SH – Pretty good with accents although mastering is a true art.

Do you like the fact more people are experiencing films streaming?

SH – Loving cinemas is natural in our industry. I love going to the movies but hard for Australian movies to compete most of the time against blockbusters, so it allows more local content to be seen.

First thing that comes to mind please:

Can you surf – Barely.

Oldest item of clothing you own and potentially still wear – As a hoarder of clothes, I kept things my mum wore through the 1960s.

If not an actor, what occupation would you be doing – Astronaut was first thing that came to mind (laughs).

*I jokingly suggested due to her short elevation; they have potential height restrictions to be accepted into the program. Saskia replied: are you making assumptions of my height (laughs).

Habit or something unusual nobody knows about you – Used to do Horse Vaulting, gymnastics on horseback.

Dream actor or director you haven’t worked with yet – Taika Waititi.

In selected Australian cinemas now & coming soon to digital on demand.

Shane A. Bassett

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