Penrith schoolgirl Annie Rose Buckley - who has strong links to Parkes - has just returned from a ‘fairytale-like’ experience at the Premiere of Disney’s latest movie hit “Saving Mr Banks”.
Annie - daughter of Corrina and Dean, and the granddaughter of former Champion Post Editor, Bob Aitken and his wife, Ann- was plucked from obscurity the previous year to play a starring role in the film alongside movie greats Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell!
“Saving Mr Banks” is the story of Pamela Travers – author of the children’s literary classic “Mary Poppins” – and her six weeks of negotiation with Walt Disney for the movie rights of the famous book.
The film cleverly utilizes flashbacks to Pamela Travers’ early life growing up in country Queensland, and highlights a very close bond with her father Travis Goff.
Annie Buckley plays the role of Travers as an 11 years old schoolgirl in support of Thompson’s masterful performance as the senior Travers.
The film was the star performer at the recent London film festival – consistently winning five and four star reviews from the critics – and is due to open across Australia on January 9, 2014.
Hanks and Thompson were acclaimed for their performances and Annie has also received many favourable mentions.
The Disney organization generously flew Annie and her family – mother and father Corrina and Dean Buckely and twin brother Max – to Los Angeles for the premiere at Disney Studious.
Annie walked the media ‘gauntlet’ down the red carpet with her screen father Colin Farrell, and enjoyed the screening with other movie greats like Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews – stars of the original Disney Mary Poppins movie.
She and her family ‘had a ball’ at the traditional Hollywood ‘after party’ – and enjoyed further Disney Hospitality at Disneyland before returning to Australia.
The family had seven weeks at the Burbank Disney Studious, Los Angeles, and on location on a nearby ranch whilst making the film in the latter stages of 2012.
Annie won the coveted role of Ginty Travers after auditions involving some 300 aspiring actresses. She had no acting experience apart from a series of television commercials by way of her association with the Bratz Agency in Sydney.
Her brother Max has also featured in several television commercials, and enjoyed brief exposure as an extra in “Saving Mr Banks”.
The Buckley family was lavish in their praise of the Disney organization – and the friendship and warmth of all members of the cast and production crew.
Annie’s father Dean Buckley said the family will treasure their unique experience forever!
Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club will host the Lower Mountains’ own special premiere evening at the Glenbrook Cinema on Sunday, January 5.
Annie Buckley will be the star attraction at a pre-screening function where she will be interviewed by her journalist grandfather and Executive Director of Rotary Down Under magazine, Bob Aitken.
Bob and Ann Aitken will be well remembered by local residents, being heavily involved in the community for a long period of time before moving to Sydney.
Corrina did all her schooling here.