At the Altar with Pia Miranda.
Pia Miranda

Pia Miranda, star of Aussie films Garage Days and Looking For Alibrandi throws the confetti as Australia prepares to cross the threshold into gay marriage.

Pia shares what it’s like to play a lesbian in the Midsumma event, Standing On Ceremony – The Gay Marriage Plays.

We were 20 minutes into the interview when I realised that I hadn’t yet asked Pia Miranda any questions.

Chatting like old school friends, whilst she cradled her 4-month-old baby in her arms, I was captured by her humble charm. I awoke from a warm, deep spell and spat out abruptly, ‘What’s it like to play a lesbian?’ (no pun intended).

I waited, expecting a carefully crafted, politically correct and elusive sort of reply, but instead, Pia met me eye to eye on the matter, with her trademark breeziness and nonchalant candour. ‘I’m pretty cruisy with my sexuality so it’s not a big deal. It’s kinda nice. It’s nice to feel soft lips instead of prickles every now and then, so I’m all for it.’

Out of the nine short plays, Pia plays two lesbians and a homophobic Christian woman.

Her talent stretches across the spectrum of the gay marriage issue to represent a lesbian approaching the altar with cold feet to a preachy, Bible-quoting homophobe loaded with fear, ignorance and contempt.

On the latter, Pia stated, ‘The play is based on an actual Facebook thread that happened. [Beverly] is arguing against the case of gay marriage and she’s being kind of ganged upon. She is the most interesting and most difficult character because I don’t agree with her views but I don’t want to judge her, I want to try and find compassion and to humanise her as much as I can.’

Upon confessing that real-life homophobia sparks a reaction of anger inside of me, Pia soothed me with her words of wisdom. ‘The thing is, most of them are never going to change their minds…I think we get more out of the story if we just assume people are trying to do the best they can. I try to be as nonjudgmental as possible and I try to let people have their own views. Just because I think one way, doesn’t mean others have to.’ Gazing up at his mother, baby James giggled and squealed playfully in her embrace, whilst her four-year-old daughter Lily, played gleefully outside with her dad.

Growing up in a Christian community, Pia shared the truth about her beliefs. ‘People need someone to be angry at. I don’t know why…It’s so uncool that they’ve latched on to the idea that being gay is a terrible thing but they’ve not taken into consideration the other things that Jesus said. If you ignore everything just remember one thing: don’t judge people. He was all about kindness and understanding. I’m sure if Jesus were here, he’d be at Mardi Gras!’ her laughter rang like jubilant wedding bells.

On finding inspiration to play a love-struck lesbian, Pia spoke out about her inner feelings on Sapphic love, ‘It’s not like I really have to dig deep or anything. It wouldn’t have shocked me if one day I met a woman and married a woman.’

The star spoke about her fluidity with ideas of gender and sex. ‘I really don’t have a problem with my sexuality on either side…A lot of my friends are gay. I don’t think of sexuality that much in terms of gay and straight, but the person…and I quite enjoyed it actually.

I quite enjoyed playing a lesbian, it was a way to get in touch with the real feminine side, like a woman who loves a woman, that’s so beautiful….There’s a softness in my performances when I’m playing a lesbian because they’re two people who are in a very loving relationship…Are you coming to see the plays?’