Today, I Am Woman, the biopic of ’70s pop superstar Helen Reddy, arrives in theaters on demand across platforms including Amazon, iTunes, DirecTV and Dish. Australian actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey plays Reddy from the age of 25 through 48 in the film, and she tells ABC Audio it was intimidating to have to play someone who is not only hugely famous, but who is still with us.
“She’s such an icon and she’s loved by so many people…and everyone has very personal experiences with her work,” Cobham-Hervey says of Reddy, a singer, actress and activist whose smash hit “I Am Woman” became an anthem for 1970s-era feminists.
“It was very important to me to sort of do as much research as possible and find as many ways to sort of embody her as I could,” the actress, who didn’t actually sing in the film, adds. “Getting to study her…and try and mimic her sort of vocal quality and her physicality and, of course, copying those incredible performances…that was such a joy. But, yes, it’s a very daunting thing to step into.”
Cobham-Hervey hopes young people who may not know Reddy hits like “I Am Woman,” “Angie Baby” and “Delta Dawn,” let alone her activism, will have their lives changed by the film — just as she did.
“Personally, I have been so inspired by learning about Helen, and it’s really pushed me to…take charge of my own life,” she gushes. “She’s so determined and driven…you can’t watch this movie, I think, and not come out catching a bit of her confidence.”
She adds, “I think it’s incredibly important for young women to look back to all the women that came before us, that fought for the things that have made our lives possible.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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