Written by Vicky Roach
The Actress, The Nudity And A Role Too Good To Refuse
VIVA Bianca says the fact she has played two scantily clad, sexually assertive female characters in a row is just a coincidence.
I'm not about to be typecast,'' says the 28-yearold actress, who just finished shooting the second series of sex, sword and sandals saga Spartacus in New Zealand.
Bianca admits, however, that the nudity required for her latest role in the erotic Kings Cross thriller X did give her pause for thought.
"The main thing I had to consider was whether it was the right decision to play another character who is associated with sex, and in a project where I would in some way be revealing my body,'' she says. "But the role was too good to refuse.''
Bianca plays a high-class call girl in director Jon Hewitt's gritty, low-budget " love letter'' to the notorious inner-city suburb where he lives with his actress wife Belinda Mcclory, the cowriter of X.
"It's a very fine line when you're dealing with nudity, sexuality, prostitution and women,'' Bianca says.
"But ultimately (Holly) is the hero of the story. She's an intelligent, strong woman.''
These are qualities she shares with Ilythia, the marvellously manipulative senator's daughter Bianca plays in Spartacus.
"Both of them are incredibly complex, dynamic, independent, feisty women,'' she says. " I don't think anyone could describe those characters as victims.''
But while Bianca thinks it unlikely she will be cast as someone demure or passive any time soon -- "I don't present that way'' -- she doesn't intend to be pigeonholed this early in her career.
"What I would really like to do now is some cute American comedy like Bridesmaids, something really playful,'' she says. "I'm actually great at comedy and I'm really open to expanding and broadening my repertoire.''
The daughter of lauded screen composer Cezary Skubiszewski adopted a stage name early in her career -- encouraged by her father.
A regular at industry awards nights, he had become accustomed to celebrity hosts stumbling over his Polish surname, but he thought an actress would need something that rolled off the English speaking tongue more easily.
"My father's demo reel has a whole montage of different famous actors on stage, calling out his name . . . and the award goes to Cezary Skoo . . . Skoobi . . . Skoobichowski,'' Bianca laughs. (For the record, it's pronounced scubee-shev-ski.)
The actress eventually opted for one of her dad's pet names for her as a child.
She accepted the lead role in Hewitt's fifth feature when filming on the second series of Spartacus was delayed because of lead actor Andy Whitfield's long battle with cancer. Whitfield died in September.
Bianca and co-star Hanna Mangan Lawrence spent a month filming at Kings Cross -- mainly at night.
"Hanna and I really lived and breathed this movie,'' Bianca says. "By the end, we were like two women on the edge.''