MENTAL is a feature film written and directed by PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding). MENTAL is a black comedy about a dysfunctional family of five girls who are certain they all suffer from some kind of mental illness, because if they’re not crazy, then they’re just unpopular. Mother Shirley is sent to Wollongong Psychiatric Hospital, and their philandering politician dad, Barry, is nowhere to be seen. Shaz, an eccentric hitchhiker, is hired by Barry, to run his home and be a nanny to his daughters. Shaz saves the girls by helping them discover that they don’t have to conform to society to be normal. With a bit of disciple, and a lot of love they can climb every mountain. MENTAL uses references and songs from The Sounds Of Music.
Bethany auditioned for the role of 12-year-old Jane Moochmore, the youngest of the 5 Moochmore girls when she was 11 years old. She auditioned via self-tape in February 2011, had a call back in May, but it wasn’t until the end of June 2011 before she found out she had the role. She had one week to pack before travelling to the Gold Coast in QLD to start filming for four months. Not only did Bethany have to have all her hair hacked off literally, but she also had it dyed bright red. A professional wig maker made her a wig with beautiful long red hair. The storyline has her Aunt Doris brutally cutting off her beautiful red hair so it could be sewn onto her prized creepy life-size Queen Victoria doll.
This was a dream role, working with the brilliant team of PJ Hogan and Jocelyn Moorehouse, and the opportunity to have an ensemble lead role with Toni Collette, Rebecca Gibney, Anthony LaPaglia and Liev Schreiber.
Bethany's nickname on set was chicken, because of the wonderful chicken hat she wore as part of her costume.