Actress "honoured" by role of Mother Teresa
Renowned English actress Olivia Hussey has spoken of her delight at being chosen to play Mother Teresa of Calcutta in a new television series.
The series, made for Italian TV, is to be shown around the time of the beatification of the world's most famous nun.
"For 20 years, I have dreamt of having this role, and I knew that Mother Teresa would not have been displeased," said Ms Hussey. "I never met Mother Teresa, but I spoke to some of the sisters of her order: the light on their faces has impressed me greatly."
And now, at the age of 52, she is to play the champion of the poor in this new Italian production that has been filmed in Sri Lanka, and cost $A19.22 million to make.
Hussey is the daughter of Catholic parents, but practices a non-confessional religion, and believes in a spirituality that has no bounds of faith or race.
"Every day I pray at least one hour. I prayed also for Pope John Paul II when I saw him ill, at the World Youth Day in Canada," she said.
"For me, Mother Teresa was the mother of all, and knew how to speak to everyone with simplicity and infinite tenderness. She incarnates my conception of the true religion: that which opens the heart and comes close to human beings."
The film, which will be shown in two parts, begins in Calcutta in the 1950s, with Mother Teresa still teaching. It shows how the meeting with a poor dying man caused her to change her life and eventually found the Order of the Sisters of Charity.
A likeness: Mother Teresa (themakeupgallery.com)
Movie Set Transforms RHE into Calcutta (Read Productins)
After Juliet (The Age 3/4/02)
Official Website of Olivia Hussey
Mother Teresa's Cause
Vying for a piece of Mother Teresa's past (International Herald Tribune/New York Times)
Film out of Mother Teresa festival (MSNBC)
8 Aug 2003