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May 2017
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My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel…” It is the end of a four-day press run in New York for the new Starz series American Gods and Emily Browning is reciting to her castmates, the show’s developers—Michael Green and Brian Fuller—and the story’s original creator, English author Neil Gaiman, the infamous rejection letter penned “to all those at MTV” by fellow Australian and rock music’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ Nick Cave. “It’s incredible—he was nominated for an MTV Award for Murder Ballads and he wrote MTV a letter saying, ‘Thanks but no thanks,’ and essentially that art is not a competition,” says Browning over coffee the following morning.

As Browning recalls it, her dinnertime recitation of Cave’s letter emerged from news that episodes of American Gods would be screened in front of a panel to determine whether the series might qualify for Emmy consideration. “I was telling them how scary that is to me and I ended up reading them the letter that Nick Cave wrote,” she explains.

In the hours before Browning journeys back to her adopted home of Los Angeles, the young star appears understated and authentic, her dry, self-deprecating humor ringing true to the country she called home for some twenty-plus years, the country where at just eight years old she got her start in the television movie The Echo of Thunder and where over the following five years, she would hold her own alongside Billy Connolly in the comedy The Man Who Sued God, Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom in the retelling of the life of the infamous Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, and Julianna Marguiles in the Australian-filmed, American-released horror flick Ghost Ship. But her big break came in 2004 in the shape of A Series of Unfortunate Events, which saw Browning share screen time with Hollywood heavyweights Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep, and Connolly for the second time.
Yet despite her two decades in front of the camera racking up an impressive list of IMDB credits spanning myriad genres including everything from crime dramas (Legend, in which Browning plays Tom Hardy’s wife) to musicals (the British drama God Help the Girl, for which she took the lead), the young star speaks frankly and openly about the fears that go hand-in-hand with a burgeoning acting career.
There is the wavering skepticism surrounding award ceremonies—”If our show won awards that would be really exciting and wonderful, and yet I’ve always had a weird feeling about awards. I really don’t understand how every year there is one person from each category who is the best person at the art that they do”—but equally, if not more so, Browning’s uneasiness stems from a lingering and very real apprehension towards the ostensibly public nature of fame itself. “I have a feeling that if this show is big, it won’t be long before there are stories about me being an asshole because I wouldn’t take a photo with someone—but it is so often because it makes me panic and I don’t know how to respond,” she says. “I’m such a socially inept person in general that I’m like, How am I going to deal with it?” she concedes with a laugh.

Full article: thelast-magazine.com

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