MARTA DUSSELDORP BIOGRAPHY
The award-winning actress gravitated towards performing early in life. She took ballet lessons from the age of four but it was her first speaking role in a school play which sparked her interest in acting.
“I would have been about 10 or 11,” she recalls. “I did my first play and got my first laugh. I remember hearing 300 people who were in the school hall laugh out loud and I thought, “This is brilliant to be able to bring joy to people.”
“When I started using my voice, I realised the power of narration. I became addicted to telling stories – initially it was with my body through dance and then I discovered my voice.”
After finishing school, she studied at the University of NSW for two years, majoring in theatre and film, before being accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts.
Soon after graduating in 1996, she received her big break in Bruce Beresford’s Paradise Road, acting opposite Glenn Close, Frances McDormand and Cate Blanchett.
Since then she has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. Her film credits include the critically acclaimed Praise, Innocence and Burning Man.
On the small screen, Marta has starred as Detective Sam Lawson in six Blackjack telemovies. Her other TV credits include the telemovie Hell Has Harbour Views, the award-winning mini-series After The Deluge, Jack Irish opposite Guy Pearce, the ABC legal drama Crownies and more recently Janet King.
Regarded as one of the country’s best stage actors, she was one of 12 actors who, in 2005, were offered exclusive contracts by the Sydney Theatre Company to form The Actors Company.
During her three years with the STC, she appeared in The War of the Roses, which won her a Helpmann Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009; Serpent’s Teeth, Mother Courage and Barrie Kosky’s eight-hour The Lost Echo.
Her other notable theatre credits include Melbourne Theatre Company’s Three Sisters and The Balcony, Company B’s national tour of The Underpants, an international tour of Cloudstreet and Like A Fishbone for the STC/Griffin Theatre; the STC production Victory opposite Judy Davis and most recently Never Did Me Any Harm, a dance theatre work by acclaimed choreographer Kate Champion.
With a career spanning more than two decades, her resume is teeming with highlights but she counts her theatre credits as her most memorable. “Playing to an audience is exhilarating and dangerous, one of the truest forms of human contact you have,” she says.
However, she’s relishing the opportunity of sinking her teeth into a complex character she can develop over the course of a series.
“That’s the beauty of television; you have the opportunity to explore an amazing character over however many episodes and you don’t get that with a play,” she says. “Right now I’m in heaven. This is something I used to dream of.”
Marta, 41, is married to actor/director Ben Winspear, whom she met more than a decade ago when they were both working at the Sydney Theatre Company. They reside in Sydney with their two daughters.