The Trailer For The Original Vampire Fantasy Series Firebite Has Just Dropped

AMC+ released the trailer and key art for the original vampire fantasy series Firebite, which premiered Thursday 16 December on the premium streaming bundle with new episodes to follow every Thursday. The eight-episode series takes a new spin on the vampire genre, following two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Rob CollinsCleverman, Extraction) and Shanika (Indigenous Australian star Shantae Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert. The series also stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game), amongst others.

Created, directed, and written by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) alongside Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), with Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe) joining as director, Firebite is an AMC Studios original production with See-Saw Films.

The Australasian Intimacy Coordination Network Holds Inaugural Regional Conference For Industry Professionals

There are many titles for those who create the choreography, direct the movement, and facilitate the physical and psychological safety for screen and stage ‘intimate scenes’ – that is, those vulnerable story-telling moments which may involve nudity, medical, toilet, bathing, kissing, simulated sex or simulated sexual abuse or assault. Their titles have included “intimacy choreographers, intimacy coaches, intimacy consultants, intimacy professionals, intimacy directors” and increasingly popularly, “intimacy coordinators.” These roles have been more in demand in Australia since MEAA established Australia’s Stage and Screen Intimacy Guidelines in 2020, and SPA added these to their Screen Safety protocols in 2021. Sometimes these roles have been combined with other on-set roles, such as “fight coordinators, on-set welfare coordinators, covid-safe coordinators” and even “standby wardrobe” – all of which has made it tricky up until now to decipher which expertise or services these different titles comprise.

Adeeb Razzouk, courtesy of Key Intimate Scenes

The Australasian Intimacy Coordination Network (AICN) is a new organisation that exists to bring together those who self-identify as intimacy professionals for stage and screen in the Australasian region. Co-founded by Stephanie Power of Intimacy Coordinators Australia in Melbourne and Michela Carattini of Key Intimate Scenes in Sydney, “the network was a simple way of getting us working together, and sharing the expertise within Australia, rather than always looking overseas.” says Carattini. “We don’t all have the same expertise,” she adds, “each artist has their own strengths and niche areas, which makes them better suited for some projects and less so for others, so we now have a body that can point clients in the best direction for their specific needs.”

Michela Carattini, courtesy of Key Intimate Scenes.

With 33 members in the network and growing, the inaugural meeting was attended online from all over Australia, including from Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide. Power, who hosted the meeting, explained “[Michela and I] both had a mutually shared vision to create for our region of the world a more inclusive practice space, one that recognised existing knowledge, training, industry skills, and informed cultural diversities. As the first network of Intimacy Professionals in our region, our mission is to provide culturally appropriate platforms that foster support, associations, shared knowledge, and professional development across the Australasian region, [as well as] to firmly establish an Australian identity in Intimacy Coordination that has a globally recognised professional standing.”

Michela Carattini, courtesy of Key Intimate Scenes

The meeting addressed region-specific conversations on the practical implications of the work, including titles, insurance, rates, and qualifications. Asabi Goodman, based in Brisbane, stated she was “so glad to know that there are so many of us in Australia working together to safeguard and empower actors to tell bold, intimate stories,” while Adeeb Razzouk, based in Sydney, hopes to broaden the accessibility of the work to Arabic-speaking artists. Topics the network plans to continue to develop include collaborations, professional development, in-person training opportunities, academic research, and local suppliers for modesty garments, barriers, and other “intimacy kit” necessities. For more on the AICN, search FB groups or contact helloAICN@gmail.com.

Steph Power, courtesy of Steph Power

Asabi E. Goodman in The Revolutionists. Photo credit: Naz Mulla

Dine, recline and revel in cinematic time at ‘Lovers By Lakeside’ this Valentine’s Day

Indulge in the ultimate romantic picnic at Lovers by Lakeside overlooking stunning Australian Botanic Garden views, nestled in the comfort of your special spot watching a classic romantic comedy.  

Settle in for a night of wonder, romance, and teenage 90’s slang as you watch this year’s chosen film, 10 Things I Hate About You starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles on our spectacular 10 metre outdoor screen. 

Prepare for a night filled with laughs and of course… love! Visit the southwest of Sydney for a magical night out that will make you feel like a film character amongst such beautiful nature settings. 

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, this year there are exclusive VIP tickets and delicious hampers on offer for the first time to make your lakeside picnic just a little more special. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Charcuterie box for those who prefer a picnic feast, or the Veggie Garden box for a lighter option. The Sweets for my sweet box hamper is also up for pre-order for all the sweet tooth couples. 

SEATING OPTIONS (PER COUPLE) 

  • Ultimate Sweethearts – Numbered bean bag seating, a box of chocolates, a box of popcorn, prime viewing front of screen plus VIP parking
  • Laidback Lovers – Bean bag seating, a box of popcorn, and next-level viewing behind VIP seating
  • Privacy Seekers – Designated spot in general admission seating

HAMPER OPTIONS (PER COUPLE) 

  • Charcuterie Box– Wood smoked ham shavings, dry-cured salami, green olive mortadella, southcape double brie, Black Jack aged cheddar, house-made dips (beetroot and hummus), marinated black and green olives, sweet potato rosti, marinated olives, fresh seasonal fruits, wafers, sesame lavosh, and crisps
  • Veggie Garden Box– Herbed cashew cheese, marinated mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, marinated black and green olives, pickles, sweet potato rosti, house-made dips (beetroot, hummus and pesto), fresh seasonal fruits, wafers, sesame lavosh, crisps, dried fruits and nuts
  • Sweet for my sweet box- Buttercream vanilla cupcakes, rocky road, chocolate pretzels, french macarons, doughnuts, milk chocolate pots with strawberries and marshmallows, fresh seasonal fruits and assorted candy to decorate  

EVENT DETAILS

  • When: Monday,14 February, gates open at 7:30pm, film from 8:15pm 
  • Where: Lakeside Lawn, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan 
  • Film: 10 Things I Hate About You  
  • Ticket Price: $45 – $110
  • Parking: Free (grass area) or VIP parking car park 
  • Age: Adults only (sorry no kids at this one) 
  • Drinks/Alcohol: This is a BYO event. Food included in Ultimate Sweetheart and Laidback Lovers package plus the extra hampers available for purchase

Ensure the selected hamper package is mentioned when pre-ordering tickets to the event. 

For more information on the event visit the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan website here.

Walt Disney Australia Release Schedule As Of January 2022…The Countdown Begins NOW

2021 has been a tough year for the movie industry. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to drastically affect the world, the year’s biggest films were caught in the crossfire which resulted in a number of setbacks and cancellations brought upon by the pandemic. However, Walt Disney Australia has decided to put some of these skepticisms to rest, with the company revealing their Australian release schedule for all their films until 2023. Without further ado, check out Walt Disney Australia’s release schedule as of January 2022.

The New Trailer And Poster For The Star-Studded “Death On The Nile” Just Dropped

A new trailer for 20th Century Studios’ “Death on the Nile is here. This tale of passion and jealousy, which is directed by and stars five-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh and features an all-star ensemble cast, opens in Australian cinemas February 10, 2022.

Based on the 1937 novel by Agatha Christie, “Death on the Nile” is a daring mystery-thriller about the emotional chaos and deadly consequences triggered by obsessive love. Kenneth Branagh, back as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot, is joined by Tom Bateman, four-time Oscar® nominee Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright. Death on the Nile, which reunites the filmmaking team behind 2017s global hit Murder on the Orient Express, is written by Michael Green, adapted from Christies novel, and is produced by Ridley Scott, Kenneth Branagh, p.g.a., Judy Hofflund, p.g.a. and Kevin J. Walsh, with Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Jenkins, James Prichard and Mathew Prichard serving as executive producers.

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirots Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couples idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this dramatic tale of love gone wrong features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travellers and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement. 

Filmed with 65mm Panavision cameras in late 2019, “Death on the Nile” transports audiences to the 1930s, recreating many of the locations that served as inspiration for Christie’s glamorous, high society thriller. 

With audiences returning to cinemas, Disney has committed to an exclusive theatrical release for Death on the Nile. 20th Century Studios production president Steve Asbell says, Kens sweeping, elegant vision for this classic story deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Were so proud of this film, our brilliant cast, and the stellar work that went into bringing Death on the Nile to screen. We know that audiences cant wait to experience Hercule Poirots next adventure, and were thrilled to continue working with Ken as he lends his masterful storytelling vision to the newest film in this celebrated franchise.

James Prichard, chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd., says, More than 100 years after the publication of Agatha Christies first novel, her crime fiction works remain immensely popular and continue to be discovered anew by people around the world. Im thrilled that Disney and our partners believe in this franchise, which has helped introduce millions of new fans to Christies classic works. Were honored to be in business with Disney, Ken, and all who are dedicated to preserving the long legacy of these titles for future generations.

A Sneak Peek At The New York World Premiere Of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: Ansel Elgort, Corey Stoll, Rachel Zegler, Josh Andres Rivera, Steven Spielberg, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno, Brian d’Arcy James, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Kevin McCollum, Alan Horne, Kristie Macosko Krieger, and Tony Kushner attend the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

 

West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg, had its New York world premiere in New York City earlier last month, sponsored by Dolby Cinema. In attendance were director-producer Spielberg; cast members Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Brian dArcy James, Corey Stoll, Josh Andrés Rivera, Rita Moreno (who also served as one of the films executive producers) and Rachel Zegler; screenwriter and executive producer Tony Kushner; producers Kristie Macosko Krieger and Kevin McCollum; and choreographer Justin Peck in attendance. Photos from the premiere are available now.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: Rachel Zegler attends the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

 

ABOUT THE FILM

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, West Side Story tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Brian dArcy James (Officer Krupke); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); with Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works); and introducing Rachel Zegler (María). Moreno  one of only three artists to be honored with Academy®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony® and Peabody Awards  also serves as one of the films executive producers.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: Steven Spielberg (L) and Ansel Elgort attend the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

 

Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the films creative team includes Kushner, who also served as an executive producer; Tony Award® winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award® winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia), who arranged the score, Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie), who supervised the cast on vocals; and GRAMMY®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago), who serves as executive music producer for the film. The film is produced by Spielberg, p.g.a., Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger, p.g.a. and Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum. West Side Story has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show. Original choreography by Jerome Robbins, based on the stage play, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, play conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Bernstein.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Ariana DeBose, Steven Spielberg, and Rachel Zegler attend the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

 

From 20th Century Studios, The Walt Disney Company will release West Side Story in Australian cinemas on BOXING DAY, 2021 (with Advance Screenings 17, 18 & 19 December, 2021).

“Measure Of A Man” Single From “The King’s Man” Is Now Available

The music video of Measure of a Man” was released, following the singles premiere last week on Clara Amfos Hottest Record on Radio 1 in the U.K. A collaboration of two of the U.K.s most groundbreaking artists, FKA twigs and Central Cee,  Measure of a Man (released by MARV Music) is from the upcoming 20th Century Studios film,  The Kings Man, and was released by MARV Musica joint venture of MARV and Warner Records.

Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man, in a story that follows one man who must race against time to stop a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gathering to plot a war to wipe out millions.

The Kings Man is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance. Matthew Vaughn, David Reid and Adam Bohling are the producers, and Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Stephen Marks, Claudia Vaughn and Ralph Fiennes serve as executive producers. The Kings Man is based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, and the story is by Matthew Vaughn and the screenplay is by Matthew Vaughn & Karl Gajdusek. The Kings Man opens in Australian cinemas January 6, 2022. 

ABOUT FKA TWIGS

Throughout her career, including three EPs (EP1, EP2 and M3LL155X), Mercury Prize and Brit Award-nominated debut album LP1, and most recent album, MAGDALENE, FKA twigs has established herself as one of the most innovative artists, performers, producers and directors of her generation. MAGDALENE was declared one of the best albums of 2019 – by NPR, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Billboard, Complex, Crack, Loud & Quiet, PAPER, TIME, USA Today and Vice, among others—and received twigs’ second GRAMMY Award nomination for “cellophane” as best music video. Pitchfork declared, “MAGDALENE is not just on the vanguard of pop, it’s in a breathtaking class of its own.” 

FKA twigs has taken a complete approach to every facet of her art and career, and has been honored with a Webby Special Achievement Award for her “incredible contributions to digital culture.” She’s directed and starred in campaigns for Nike, Google Glass, Calvin Klein and Apple, and made her big-screen debut in “Honey Boy.” Most recently FKA twigs collaborated with Hiro Murai on her acclaimed “Sad Day” short film. 

ABOUT CENTRAL CEE

Currently breaking globally in a way no U.K. rapper has done before, since Central Cee dropped breakout single Loading” (now certified GOLD) in October 2020, his rise has been exponential. He counts two U.K. Top 10 singles, a further three Top 20s and over 600 million global streams. His first mixtape Wild West is the years highest selling U.K. debut album, and his latest single Obsessed With You is a certified viral smash, now certified Silver after peaking at number 4, and still remaining within the Top 10 after 12 weeks. But Central Cee is just warming up, with a new mixtape on the horizon.

CCs independently released debut mixtape Wild West is the highest selling independent album of 2021 and on track to be 2021s only U.K. debut album to go Gold. He is breaking internationally, with an ex-U.K. audience share of over 60%, and his 2021 U.K. headline tour sold out in just two minutes. Central Cee went on to win Best Male Artist and Breakthrough Artist of The Year at the GRM Awardsaccolades which add to his already incredible position as Spotifys Radar Artist and YouTubes Artist On The Rise.

With co-signs from The Guardian, Pitchfork, NME, Clash, Complex, Crack, Lil Baby, Big Sean, Wizkid, Virgil Abloh and Drake, Central Cee went on to be hand-picked to star in Drakes latest Nike NOCTA Campaign.

In a couple of years where the unexpected has become normal, Central Cee has been making his name heard, displaying a grime-esque flow over melodic, forward-thinking beats. His blend of concise lyricism, layered with introspective thought and social commentary, has given listeners from his area, someone to champion as a new and rising voice in West Londons rap scene. With over half a billion collective streams, Central Cee is impossible to ignore.

Legendary Actress Betty White Dies Aged 99

Iconic actress Betty White has passed away, less than three weeks before celebrating her 100th birthday.

Betty White made the world laugh starring on popular sitcoms such as “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and she won two Emmys for her work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” playing Sue Ann Nivens.

ABC News confirms that White was actually planning to celebrate her 100th birthday with a star-studded event featuring several celebrities including Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman.

Considered as a pioneer of early television and known as the First Lady of Television, with an amazing career spanning eight decades, White was among the first women to exert control in front of and behind the camera and even the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth).

White became a recurring panelist of various American game shows such as Password, Match Game, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares, and The $25,000 Pyramid. She also became the first woman to receive the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for the show Just Men! Her most popular roles include playing Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977), Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (1985–1992), and Elka Ostrovsky on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015).

White received eight Emmy Awards in various categories in the span of her career, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she’s a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee and she even earned a Guinness World Record in 2018 for working longer in television than anyone else in that medium.

ABC News confirms that A film honouring White will still be released on her birthday as planned, and it will be shown in more than 900 theatres across the US from January 17.

 

Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Actor Spotlight: Find Out More About Angelo Montano

Acting came early for Angelo Montano, appearing at the age of four in the fondly acclaimed Australian series A Country Practice in 1981. For the next 40 years, he has built on his career as an actor, taking on roles in award-winning Aussie dramas like UnderbellyPacked to The RaftersBikie Wars, and Neighbours

Angelo has not been limited to playing characters on television, having also tackled big-budget international tent pole movies with Disney’s Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and fighting alongside Asia’s No. 1 Mega Star Jackie Chan First Strike

With a long list of productions, movies, and streaming series, currently underway locally, Angelo’s has recently scored a major movie role set to start filming on the Gold Coast this summer. His long list of credits has placed him in the envious position of being asked to audition for three other roles before the end of 2021, which includes a new children’s streaming series.

His olive complexion and good looks, born from Italian heritage, have benefited casting agents when looking for cultural diversity. Angelo slips into the part with ease, whether taking on drama or comedy. From performing on stage in theatre productions to television commercials, he learns and hones his craft and love for acting. 

For Angelo, his acting can benefit from his personal growth, using his life lessons and bringing that to the characters and roles he plays. He also knows that you have to keep working at it with anything you love and put the time in to broaden your education. So, he enjoys nothing more than attending a peer workshop, hoping to improve on his passion so he can put everything into each performance and gig.

After recently taking a forced break for two years to look after his seriously ill young Daughter, who needed full-time care, Angelo has returned to acting. 

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Angelo to discuss his journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? 

Well, what can I say? I enjoy making people laugh and putting a smile on people’s faces; everyone has an amazing story to tell; I enjoy acting, or as I call it, my role play. I love impersonating characters and being funny, nothing better than seeing people happy. I also do many charity works for sick children and help those less fortunate. As I always say, there’s always someone worse off out there. So things are never as bad as it seems.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry? 

I was four years old, living in Sydney in 1981 when a friend from school’s father worked on A Country Practice – he needed a boy to play a hospital patient, so me being an out-there child, jumped at the chance. I was always the entertainer in my family and, as you could say centre of attention (laughs). I then went on a year later and played an autistic child on the show. My love of television was known as a child, sitting like a metre away from the television, learning, and copying every show I watched, even romper room. I always wanted to be famous. Because to me, it was something inside that said if people around you are smiling and laughing, you keep doing what you are doing. I had a loving family around me that always laughed and smiled even if times were tough. From then on, I did everything in the entertainment industry, from school lead roles in musicals and cameo television appearances to even being on young talent time as a junior performer. My mum and grandad were my rocks; they took me and sacrificed a lot for me at a young age to follow my dreams.

What do you like most about acting? 

I’ve probably answered that already – getting to play various roles and challenging myself, and being in the moment. As I got older, I learned to act differently; being younger, I was more worried about being seen on a film or television or showing off (laughs). But after years of experience, my goal was to really take on the person I’m playing and be him – focused on playing the best part I can with what I have at hand. You might have an idea of what the role is but so do others. I used to focus on getting the script right and making sure directors were happy. But I took a different approach and thought to myself, hey, be the guy, show them who you are, and always stay in character. As I call it – be the person I’m playing to be. The best thing I love about acting is seeing people say, wow, you were great; it gives me self-satisfaction and determination to do more because I’ve done right by the character and right by the public. Meeting so many wonderful people who share your enthusiasm and passion for the industry is satisfying. But mainly, it’s to tell stories through different people I have played and hope that I do the character justice and deliver an amazing performance.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer? 

Good question. They are totally different in a lot of ways. I’ve worked on many American and Australian productions, and it’s such a massive difference. I enjoy working on large films; sometimes, you feel like just a number or not famous as the main cast. Because of its large scale, it’s a lot more rushed and more pressure, a lot more crew watching your work which is a good thing though you feel like a celebrity at times (laughs). TV series is great because you get to meet many local talented people, make good friends, and network in the industry. I have done lots of various roles in short films as well. In my spare time, I helped many film students and did many projects to challenge myself for future productions. TV series is also good because you can be known for that character and remembered if you execute an outstanding or memorable performance.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them? 

Well, I guess my weak points were focusing too much on the script in my earlier years, worrying about stuffing up the lines, and not focusing on the character I would play. As I grew older, I learned not to worry so much and take on that character and be that person without being in their shoes for real. I always try to use my life experiences and what I’ve learned to better or improve my skills to adapt to the character.

What are your strong points as an actor? 

Being believable and having people say, wow! I guess I naturally have that ability now without sounding egotistical. But it’s taken a lot of hard work and experience to get to where I am. Some are luckier in a sense, while others take time. But if you believe in yourself, you never give up, and I have done this my whole life. My strong points would be my dedication and training to be better to move with the times, the diversity of characters I can play from gangster to policeman to father to villain, and even drama. I love new challenges so I can break away from my stereotypical look.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career? 

Wow, tough question! Directors love filming and have chosen that path, and I love acting to make it come alive for them. Many directors are set in their ways, and they have an idea of what they want to achieve on set. Others have asked me for input to make scenes jump out, so I guess you could say I learned creativity from them, and in the end, we are the same. We all have a story to tell; they do it from behind the camera, we have to make their story and their dream come to fruition through our performance. In the end, it’s a mutual effort for all.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business? 

It’s definitely a lot easier in a sense now with technology. We used to have composite cards and written resumes back in my day. Our agents did the best they could, having so many on the books, so you had to stand out. I remember getting in trouble for watching too much television (laughs). I had to explain to my parents that I was sitting there with a notebook taking down casting directors and directors’ names so I could write them a letter and send my composite cards to them and hopefully have a meeting or a chance to audition for upcoming films or shows. There’s also competing with so many talented people when the roles you thought were perfect for, cast someone totally different from what they wanted. I was lucky in so many ways as I always connected well with panel auditions and directors and casting directors. Nowadays, it’s pretty much a screen test, and I believe it’s like a lottery because nothing beats an actual performance on the spot like an improv or an audition face to face. I think we worry too much now; there are so many difficulties around us in this world with acting and film that we just have to do the best with what we have and do an amazing job to the best of our ability.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life? 

Doing the same character as the scriptwriter envisaged to create and make that person appear in real life. Also, making sure you do the character justice and be creative with it from many angles, I always like to give a different vision as well but mainly stick to the task at hand. It’s also the actors around you that make this magical if you have a talented bunch that gel together; this is where movie magic happens. I love to work with actors who have that natural ability to flow with each other, and this is where it comes to life.

What do you do when you’re not filming? 

Usually, apply for more roles and try to keep myself busy and keep training or networking with others. I love spending time with my beautiful wife Elsa, my little princess Valentina, and my immediate family and friends, who are all so supportive. Nothing is better than being at home after being on set for so long – it’s the precious times we spend with our family and friends that mean the most; after all, they have all supported my journey, and I can’t thank them enough.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far? 

There’s too many to mention. I’d say going to the Logies as an invited guest in 2011 for Underbelly on channel 9 – that was a dream come true. To be in the same room with so many Australian actors and actresses whom I’ve watched on television and being around them was so surreal at that time; I felt I had achieved so much personally. One highlight that has stayed with me was meeting Nicolas Cage while on the set of Knowing; he was an amazing man. I’ve probably forgotten the thousands I’ve met across the years, but they are all special to me as we are all in this field together.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far? 

I’ve become great friends with Ian McFadyen, the writer, and director of the comedy Company, Let the blood run free, and many more productions he has done over the years. I looked up to him as comedy was my life as a child. He is currently directing and writing for our new show called meet the Guido’s; it’s amazing to have such a great man with a wealth of knowledge to learn from and actually fulfill another of my life’s dreams to work with – a man I watched as a child on television.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? 

Hopefully, me, of course (laughs). Probably John Travolta or Christopher Walken; I get compared a lot to these two actors in my work, so that can be interesting. Otherwise, Al Pacino or anyone from the Sopranos.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

It’s a busy time ahead for me. I’ve been cast in some major productions coming up so far. So I have some major lead roles in some big upcoming productions – look out for me on the big screen next year. I’m spending as much time as I can with my family, enjoying my time, and seeing my gorgeous little girl Valentina grow day by day. Other than that, it’s reading scripts and working on my projects on hand and, of course, talking to you beautiful people at FilmCentral magazine.

Is there is anything else or interesting you can tell us.

I’ve had longevity in the industry, and I want to thank all the people who have believed in me and given me opportunities to fulfill my dreams and my love of acting. I spent a lot of time helping out sick children in hospitals collecting for charity’s; it’s very close to my heart, pardon the pun, as my daughter, Valentina, was diagnosed with a major heart condition from birth, and it’s been a wild journey, to say the least having her heart operation – it really shocked our family. I spent weeks walking around the hospital to help sick children to put a smile on their faces. I always said we were lucky because there is someone worse off out there than us at the moment; this gave me personal satisfaction more than anything I had achieved. It made me feel complete to give something back to those less fortunate or going through worse situations than us.  

This Documentary captures behind the scenes of an International theatre collaboration in the middle of a global pandemic!

In 2017 Brisbane based Belloo Creative started a long-term collaboration with Japan’s IDIOT SAVANT theater company and New Zealand’s Good Company Arts. The companies met in Japan at the Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting and in 2018 Belloo Creative brought them all to Australia for a first creative development.

In 2020, just prior to the pandemic, they premiered their new work, House in the Dunes, in a 400-year old temple in Yokohama. But the main goal was a show for the Tokyo Tokyo Festival, to coincide with the 2020 Olympics. Little did they realise that by the time production was due to begin, the world would be facing a once in our lifetime pandemic, hampering overseas travel and decimating the arts sector.

Not to be deterred the work was not abandoned, merely postponed to 2021 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, resulting in a successful season in the small village of Akiruno in July 2021, thereby allowing Belloo to deliver on their vision to provide content globally across artforms that inspire imagination, collaboration and change.

Belloo Creative’s Caroline Dunphy said, “We were preparing for a production in Japan (alongside a New Zealand company) and then suddenly none of us could travel – but our ideas and some form of our art could travel, even when we couldn’t.”

Akiruno is the name of a small village, west of Tokyo, in the mountains, where the Blue Herons nest in spring and summer. The all-ages performance is named after the village and was developed in collaboration with their community, including local actors, working alongside the ensemble of IDIOT SAVANT theatre company (Japan) and artists from Belloo Creative (Australia) and Good Company Arts (New Zealand) over a period of 18 months.

A documentary on the making of this international theatre show, with collaborators from three different countries, in the middle of a global pandemic is now being released with thanks to funding from the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Of the linguistic challenges co-director of Belloo Creative Katherine Lyall-Watson said, “There were so many Zoom meetings with Kay, our wonderful translator – and if you’ve ever done intercultural bilingual meetings, you’ll know that everything takes at least three times as long as it normally would!”

Running at 20mins, this documentary allows a rare insight behind the scenes into the creative process and what it truly takes to collaborate. “We’d always planned to take a documentary filmmaker to Japan with us to make AKIRUNO, and fortunately the Australia Japan Foundation were happy for us to use our funding to create a different sort of documentary – one about the process of collaborating from different countries to make a live performance in Japan,” said Dunphy.

Lyall-Watson had been asked to adapt Japanese folktales from Akiruno into a stage play for the production.   “As a playwright, it’s so strange to write a play and have it staged and never have the chance to see it,” she said. “I hope it will have another life and that I’ll get to see it one day.”

The AKIRUNO documentary will be launched at an online Research Showcase from the School of Creative Practice, QUT today Friday 17th December from 1-2pm (AEST). This will be followed by a live Q&A with QUT’s Dr Kathryn Kelly and Belloo Creative’s Co-Artistic Directors Caroline Dunphy and Katherine Lyall-Watson.

CREDITS:

Documentary concept: Caroline Dunphy & Katherine Lyall-Watson, Filming & Editing: Shaun Charles Dramaturgical research: Dr Kathryn Kelly; Original music: Daniel Belton & Good Company Arts featuring Jac Grenfell, Al Fraser and Eliahpt (Aotearoa NZ;  Original test film design & projection work: Good Company Arts; AKIRUNO rehearsal footage & interviews: Kintaro Iwakura