O’Dowd Brings ‘The Sapphires’ to Gotham

Soderbergh makes special appearance to support pic

In “The Sapphires,” “Bridesmaids” star Chris O’Dowd plays the music manager of four Aboriginal teens who aspire to sing to American troops during the Vietnam War. While that’s definitely not your average scenario, Harvey Weinstein believes “it’s impossible not to relate to this story,” he said at the March 13 preem at the Paris in Gotham. “It’s a continuation of the Rabbit Proof Fence about mixed race Aboriginal children who were kidnapped.”

O’Dowd said he drew on his Irish heritage to embody the lead character in the TWC pic. “This is a story about a suppressed group of people and the Irish in their time have been oppressed but have always puffed out their chest and sang about it,” he said. “That’s exactly what this girl group does in the film.”

Steven Soderbergh made an appearance to support the film’s helmer, Wayne Blair, whom Soderbergh directed in the stage play “Tot Mom.”

“Talk about fresh? This film has music, scale, hope, scope and it’s active,” raved Soderbergh.

At the Hudson Hotel afterparty, O’Dowd danced the twist with fellow cast member Deborah Mailman and sang on stage with Jessica Mauboy, who plays lead singer Julie in the film.

“Things that happen in the script are more devastating than what I experienced as a child because the worst is over for the aborigines in Australia,” said Mauboy, an Aborigine raised in the Northern Territory. “The movie has taken awareness of the history of the Aboriginal-Australian race conflict to another level.”

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