October 30, 2011
From her home on the Minnamurra River, south of Wollongong, to the big smoke of Los Angels, UOW Performance graduate Clare Bowen is no stranger to the spotlight. Quite the leading lady, Clare sat down candidly with UOW made me do it today to discuss humble beginnings, pipe dreams and what’s next.
A global nomad and a childhood cancer survivor, reared on a healthy diet of the arts, Bowen was bred tough…and destined to walk the broken road of a performer.
‘It’s a tough industry’ she said, ‘but nothing I can’t handle!’. And handle it she did.
Upon completion of her degree here at UOW in 2006, theatre-trained Bowen was approached by none other than UOW tutor David Field with an offer that would change her life: The lead role in his breakthrough film ‘The Combination’.
‘It got so real then’ said Bowen, still baffled by the snowball of success that followed her stellar portrayal of Sydney; a quintessential Australian girl immersed in the Lebanese cultures of Western Sydney. ‘I still pinch myself at time just to be sure thing are actually happening’ she says. But when it comes to Clare Bowen, one might say happening is an understatement!
Following the Combination, Bowen has featured in numerous Australian Films and television series: the Clearing, Home and Away and The Clinic just to name a few. But true to her roots by nature, Bowen still had a yearning for the stage. ‘I’d always dreamed of playing the lead in a musical’ said Bowen, who’s dream became reality when she was cast as the leading Wenlda in the Tony Award winning musical ‘Spring Awakening’ with the Sydney Theatre Company.
Bowen said she was ‘honoured’ to play Wendla, a curious 14 year-old experiencing changes in her body and her thinking in Germany, circa 1849. ‘She is innocent and curious and meets a boy who opens her eyes to exciting and terrifying new experiences… a beautiful and challenging role’ says Bowen of her character.
In the months following the 2010 season of Spring Awakening, Bowen was ‘back to the business’ of being an actress. ‘I’d be in a casting one morning, a photo-shoot across the other side of the city at midday, back to the casting for a call-back then off to a meeting with my agents right after that’, ‘its normal to me’. But Bowen’s ambition extended far beyond what the Sydney acting scene has to offer.
‘it was LA or bust!’ says Bowen, who now spends a month abroad driving her career LA-style and a month at home in Minnamurra, recharging the batteries. ‘It never really stops though, when you love something, you are tethered. You just can’t let it go’.
Since basing herself across both continents, Bowen has secured management in both Australia and the US, and more excitingly, her first role in an American Film. ‘It’s a whole different world over there’, says Bowen, who has just been cast in Jared Moshe’s ‘The Return of Wade McCury’, set to commence filming next month.
Sworn to contractual silence, Bowen could not reveal much, but it is sure to be another giant leap toward the spotlight for this talented, persistent and ambitious local.
Source/Credit: University of Wollongon