‘Country’ hospitality

Stars bring 'North' to Oz

SYDNEY — Charlize Theron and Niki Caro delivered some slick shtick before the 1,000 or so who turned out for Roadshow’s Jan. 23 Aussie preem for “North Country” at Sydney’s ornate State Theater.

“When “Whale Rider” started to do good business in the States, I got a lot of scripts, most of them with little girls and large mammals,” Caro said.

“You can imagine how happy I was when I received a script about a female miner.”

“So you’re saying I’m not a little girl?” Theron interrupted.

“No, and you’re not at all like a whale either,” Caro quipped.

Before entering the theater Theron stepped through traffic barricades and dodged peak-hour traffic on busy Market Street to sign a couple of autographs for the waiting crowd.

Preem was without incident, despite concerns from local distributors following an incident 10 days earlier in which Heath Ledger was spritzed with water guns at the Sydney preem for “Brokeback Mountain.”

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