It is appropriate that in the year of Linda Kozlowski’s 10th wedding anniversary to Australia’s favourite son Paul Hogan that the now 42-year old actress is starring in a third Dundee film. What’s more, as she happily admits, the two characters finally get married in this movie. “Yeah it’s true; Mick and Sue do the deed”, the actress says laughingly from her Santa Barbara home.
Ty Rose designed Kozlowski’s wedding dress for the film, and the actress had as say as to how her on-screen dress would look. “We went to the shop in Sydney’s Double bay and checked out some of the fabrics”, she recalls. “We then put together, with the costume designer and myself, the look.” Comparing the wedding dress she wears in the movie, to the one she wore on her wedding day ten years ago, Kozlowski laughs at the comparison. “God when I got married it was the eighties and Princess Di and opulence were in. I remember wearing this GIGANTIC wedding dress, which was bigger than a house; Paul couldn’t even get near me. Now, simple gowns are in and so beautiful. I kept on thinking: Oh I wish they had these when I got married.”
The wedding sequence was shot up in Queensland’s Gold Coast, with Linda describing the experience as “kinda fun” due to the couple’s 10th anniversary, “so it was almost as if we were renewing our vows” except for those nagging cuts and stops all the way through, she adds laughingly. “Plus your hair is all weird and not very romantic.”
After 14 years of Mick Dundee first bursting into our lives, the laconic Aussie, still tanned, bronze and looking good at 60. Kozlowski feels that the time was right to revisit the legendary character, “because Paul was waiting for a good idea for a third movie. So when this came along, he just sort of went with that.” The actress also believes that the timing was right for this movie “because Australia was back in the news again, with the Olympics and the new Survivor show; it’s all just floating around in the universe all of a sudden.”
In this third instalment, Mick Dundee, girlfriend Sue and son Mikey, leave the tiny town of Walkabout to LA after Sue is transferred following the mysterious disappearance of its bureau chief. Mick of course gets into his usual array of mischief. Though Paul and Linda haven’t worked together in some time, this time around, Kozlowski feels that their working relationship seemed “incredibly comfortable”, further admitting that when making the first film, she didn’t dare speak out if there was something that bothered her. “For instance, I so HATED that red dress they made me wear with the holes cut out of it, but I just went into my trailer and cried for three hours and didn’t really say anything.” Now, however, a much more confidant Kozlowski would speak out. “Oh yeah, it’d be a case of me yelling: I’m SO not wearing this dress.”
There is no doubt that the relationship between Hogan and Linda remains on a steady footing, as does, it seems, the fictitious relationship between Mick and Sue, though Linda feels that Sue has changed since the first two films. “I don’t think she’s as shocked by his antics anymore and now knows what to expect from him. I also think a little bit of his coolness has rubbed off on her.” The couple, as in real life, has a child now, and so it was easy for Kozlowski to relate to the character’s maternalism. “It definitely helps being a mum in real life, having played mothers before being one. Obviously, you never really know what it’s like to play a mum until you have a baby.”
Even though a new generation of moviegoers have materialised since the first film, Kozlowski argues that with the first two movies constantly being screened, “new fans are springing up out of the woodwork. This is very much a pure family movie in every sense of the word and there’s no substitute for that kind of film.” Linda loved returning to Australia to shoot the first section of the film “because the crews there are so wonderful and don’t take it all so seriously”, but happily concedes that she hated shooting in Los Angeles. “Apart from the smog, we were on Hollywood and Vine, which is so ugly and full of gangs. One of our crewmembers got sworn at a lot and even got flashed. Not a pretty place after the laid back experience of working in Australia.”
So it is no wonder that she and Hogan choose to live in Santa Barbara. “I’ve never been a part of the LA scene anyhow, so it suits my temperament. It’s also a great place to raise a child.” Kozlowski thought that Crocodile Dundee would turn her into a star, but the film merely effected Hogan. The actress is philosophical, saying that she “was blessed with a child and was happy to eventually retire” only to return once more as Mick Dundee’s partner. “It was nice playing her again; I felt at home.”
Linda hopes that the third film may ignite some interest in her, and doesn’t rule out a return to acting nor a fourth Dundee film “if Paul has it in him to do another one.” The couple still retains their Byron Bay property. “It’s on and off the market, but when push comes to shove, we don’t have the heart to sell it.”
Linda is looking forward to returning to her adopted homeland for the movie’s opening. “It’s been a long time since I did all that.” A long time for Mick Dundee fans as well.