1. What or who inspired you to want to work in the field of Film & Television?
It’s literally all I’ve ever wanted to do for a living. The escapism, creative outlet and job satisfaction are an irresistible combination. In general, the people you meet in the industry are open-minded, creative souls and waking up and going to work every day is nothing short of a pure joy. I also get to wear make-up to work, which confuses my father no end and the food is free, which is just how I like it.
2. Any advice to those thinking of pursuing a career in Film & Television?
Be prepared for rejection. This industry can be an unflinchingly callous beast and is not for the faint-hearted. A thick skin is a must. Very few industries are so ready to remind the individual how little it owes you. The flip-side of this is that when you can get the work, it is a thing of beauty. Being paid to play “pretendies” is almost so ridiculous - you feel as if you’re getting away with something you shouldn’t. Be prepared to work your guts out, repay people’s faith in you and above all - be prepared for anything.
3. What does your perfect Sunday look like?
We do Family Fun-Day Sunday. We turn the phones off and focus completely on ourselves. We start with Dad’s infamous pancakes (usually with a healthy dose of food-dye, just for that extra healthy kick), straight into Mum’s incendiary bacon rolls and then draw up the Family Olympics schedule. Each of us comes up with three disciplines that have never been played before. For example, tea-bag juggling, guinea-pig racing or balancing a balloon on your nose, and we battle hard. Then we settle in for a movie under the big doona on the couch and I pretend not to sleep.
4. Ambassador of the Port Shorts Film Festival, that’s pretty cool. What attracted you to this project?
Oh my God, this is my yearly highlight. The setting (Rex Smeal Park) is the single most beautiful outdoor cinema in the world, the films are world-class, the people involved
are spectacular humans and the beer is cold.
So I’m told. I don’t usually partake, but I’ll make an exception in this case. This festival
is garnering some serious respect within the industry and is the result of the incredible talent and dedication of the Port Shorts team. I’m so blessed to be able to call these guys my close friends and will be an ambassador for Port Shorts until my last breath.
5. How can people get involved with this year’s festival in Port Douglas?
Come on down to Rex Smeal Park on Friday & Saturday October 14 & 15. It’s that simple. The atmosphere is unlike any film festival in the world and this year I’ve organised for the moon to rise straight over the screen during the third film. You’re welcome. To get your tickets for the best event in the north, go to portshorts.com for all the details.
6. What excites you about future developments in your field?
In Australia, the toughest constraint has always been budgetary. Now with the advancements in drone and digital technology, more and more filmmakers can produce large-scale, high-production-value stories on a tight budget. It is creating more avenues for Australian storytellers to have their voice heard and their ideas realised to their full potential.
7. Is there a day that presented you with an interesting challenge or a funny story you can share with us?
I was shooting the movie The Cup at Flemington racecourse. We were recreating Damian Oliver’s famous win aboard Media Puzzle at the 2002 Melbourne Cup. There were 500 extras, 100 crew and a large contingent of media covering the day. As I sat on my horse, being walked through the mounting yard (having just won The Cup), I approached the huge throng of extras, who proceeded to all start cheering manically toward me and the horse, who freaked out and reared up. Whilst it tried to throw me off,
I somehow managed to stay in the saddle. When I yelled out “I’m a natural!”, the horse reared up again and before I knew it I was flat on my back in front of hundreds of strangers. One of the more embarrassing, most painful experiences of my career and the moment I realised it’s better to occasionally shut my yap. Only occasionally though...
8. Is there a project or role you have always coveted? If so, what is it?
I think playing Denise Drysdale would be great. We are a very similar height.
9. What do you love about our region?
I love everything about Douglas Shire. The people, the environment, the views and the cane-toad racing. The laconic sense of humour, generosity and hospitality. The weather is stunning and there’s always something spectacular to see and do. The restaurants, the pubs and the tours. Everything from the Daintree
to floating down the Mossman River makes it my favourite destination in Australia and a place I one day hope to retire and see out my days swimming, fishing and being around a bunch of people who never fail to make me smile.
10. If you hadn’t caught a big break in film and television where might your path have taken you?
God knows where I’d be. I’ve never found anything that fills my bucket like the ridiculous game I’m in. I trained as a baker when I was 18 and I was awful at it. This is a way better fit for me and I don’t end up with dough on my shoes.
11.Coffee or Wine?
Coffee is an awful drink. No matter how many times
I try it, it still tastes like coffee. I believe I’m the only actor in Australia who cannot stand it. Wine however, is awesome cos it tastes, almost always, like wine.