“This kind of award feels like you have a country in your corner,” “Succession” star Sarah Snook said onstage Wednesday night, accepting the breakthrough prize from her Aussie countrymen at the 8th annual Australians in Film awards.
Of accepting the breakthrough honor, Snook said, “There’s been a bunch of articles in my career so far like ‘Ah, Sarah about to break…about to break.’ And I’m like ‘Sweet. I hope I don’t actually break’…But having this award is wonderful and it feels special to me, given it by a room full of my peers and my friends and people I haven’t seen for a while and who I love and people who I don’t get to see unless I’m in Australia.”
Snook is enjoying a particularly exciting time in her career starring as Shiv Roy on the HBO series, which has quickly become one of the industry’s latest obsessions. In fact, as Jason Clarke took the stage at the Intercontinental Century City to present to his friend and former co-star, the actor admitted he’d binge-watched two seasons of the show over the course of four days. Clarke also marveled at Snook’s current IMDb rating, quipping, “Starmeter 83? Holy f—! 83, I mean that’s Tom Hardy numbers!”
Receiving the recognition from their fellow countrymen and noting the struggle of forging careers in entertainment so far from home was the overarching theme of the evening for Snook and fellow honorees Naomi Watts and Ruby Rose. Also celebrated at the ceremony were Warner Bros.’ Bill Draper, director Rachel Perkins and breakthrough honorees “Hotel Mumbai” director Anthony Maras and Dacre Montgomery (who accepted his award via video message).
Before accepting her award, Rose told Variety, “I need to hang out with Australians. It reminds me where I came from and I think we all have an understanding and a respect for each other that we all did that jump across the pond and we all, we all worked a little harder to get to where we are.”
Though Rose’s presenter Vin Diesel arrived a little tardy to toast to his friend and former co-star after traveling from the U.K. set of “Fast 9,” Diesel gushed over the “Batwoman” star.
“It’s so evident she is a trailblazer… but who she is to me, to my family, to my daughter, transcends all of this Hollywood stuff. Ruby came into my life at a very critical time [referencing the loss of his friend Paul Walker],” Diesel recalled. “Never in a million years could I have imagined that the hole in my heart could be filled by this actress, this talent.”
Isla Fisher went the comedic route while introducing close friend Watts, making jokes about the Oscar-nominee’s long career and the roles Watts had beaten her out for. In one of her early humorous jabs, Fisher cracked, “this is such a huge honor to be chosen by my favorite actress on the planet Naomi to give you this award, particularly considering she really only reached out to Nicole Kidman first. And then Russell Crowe, and Eric Bana and Hulk Hogan and Teresa Palmer and a couple of Minogues…”
When Watts took the stage, she earned quite a few laughs herself before getting real about what she loves most about being Australian. “I think it’s not about how long you’ve lived in a place or how much blood you have, it’s about what constitutes your character. It’s someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, but often doesn’t wear sleeves, takes live seriously but not themselves,” Watts said, listing some of the cultures finer and funnier points. “Australia is home. My identity was formed there, I go back every change I can get because my heart is Australian and it was in Australia that I started to learn how to act.”