“Nobody is able to make anything right now and California has got worse since I came here so I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to be making such a beautiful movie, with really talented Australians, on the outskirts of Sydney,” she said.
But quarantine was tough initially. And in a small hotel room, certainly not glamorous.
“It’s taken a lot of getting used to,” Seymour said. “First of all the aeroplane only had 50 people on it and the airport was pretty much empty. The minute we landed, we were treated like we were presidents or something.
“We were told ‘you go here, you go there, you do this, you do that’. I was trying to carry two bags that I couldn’t lift and obviously no one could touch your bags … It took about three-and-a-half hours just to get to the hotel – they wouldn’t tell which hotel you were going to – and you don’t sit near anybody. Then they take you up one at a time.
“There’s the army, there’s the police, there’s guns, there’s process, then you get put in a room with no key and they close the door.”
Food is dropped off at meal times without any contact.
“You don’t actually see human beings for two weeks and you can’t get fresh air,” Seymour said. “Sadly I’m looking at the back side of someone else’s buildings. But it works and that’s a very, very good thing so I have no complaints.”
When she injured her leg exercising, Seymour spent 12 hours at an intensive care quarantine unit before returning to the hotel.
She described Ruby’s Choice as “a film that matters” because of its subject, with dementia affecting one of her uncles as well as country singer Glen Campbell, who was the subject of a documentary Seymour produced.
“It shows you how it impacts an average family and how it impacts them actually for the better ultimately,” she said.
Jacqueline McKenzie plays her character’s daughter with Coco Jack Gillies as her granddaughter.
Seymour hopes to get out of quarantine on Sunday in time to try on costumes and meet the hair and make-up team before filming starts the following morning.
Life in lockdown improved when she was able to get a coffee machine and could supplement hotel food with Uber Eats. When frustrated, she paints what she calls her “squiggle paintings”.
“I just close my eyes and run the black marker all over the page until I want to stop,” she said. “Then I turn it around and try to turn it into something. I’ve got a whole series of them so something very good has come out of my quarantine.”
Garry Maddox is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.