Dirty Deeds: Interview
Interview by Clint Morris
Interview with Bryan Brown
Actor in Dirty Deeds film.
If ever there were an ambassador for the Australian Film
Industry it would be Bryan Brown. The star of such greats
as Breaker Morant, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith
and Newsfront has always supported the thriving filmmaking
industry here and encouraging writers, actors and filmmakers
to make a go of it Down Under.
And although he toyed with Hollywood for a while (Cocktail,
Gorillas In the Mist, FX), these days, Brown likes
staying on home soil, if only because that's where all the
great movies are now being made. As he discovered when he
read the script for his latest film Dirty Deeds, which
Clint Morris talks to him about.
Brown is at
in Dirty Deeds
Clint: What attracted you to Dirty Deeds?
Bryan: David. David Caesar.
I had seen David's film Idiot Box at the Toronto Film
Festival and thought it was bloody great. I remember thinking
if he's doing this kind of material now, imagine what's down
the road. And those times the late 60's of Australia
also interested me because I was a young guy growing
up in those times.
I was always hanging around those illegal bars. The film
nailed the whole gangster and dirty cops time in Australia
well. The pokies, the brothels - spot on.
Clint: You played a very similar part in Two Hands.
Did you consider this when jumping into Dirty Deeds?
Bryan: Gregor (Jordan)
had been writing Two Hands for several years, and I
was already involved in the other. They're both very different
films. I mean Barry is essentially telling his stories of
crime in Deeds, and Pando (in Two Hands) was just playing
a bit of scrabble and sending people out to kill.
People say that Barry could be Pando's father, so what that
means is that little kid in Dirty Deeds who wants to
kill the vampire is actually Pando.
Clint: As producer, did you get much say in casting?
Bryan: Filmmaking is
a collaborative medium, so I guess I did. Yeah. I mean we
would look at who was right for the people and who wasn't
and I'd always say if I think someone was perfect for a role
or someone wasn't fitting in.
Clint: I hear when you were making the film you were
dancing on the bar at the Broken Hill Pub?
Bryan: Oh yeah. I'm always
dancing on bars. I'm a bloke that loves a drink, and when
you're just free and on the loose like we are on films
Clint: The Australian Film Industry is doing fantastic
at the moment, isn't it?
Bryan: It is. But what
people are forgetting is that when we first started out
say in the 70's all our films were great too, and all
did great -The Breakers, The Sunday Too Far Aways,
Gallipoli, and Jimmy Blacksmith.
Everyone kind of went wow where did that come
from? And I guess in a sense we started too big, so what they
really should have done is release one good one, say every
couple of years and kept it going that way.
It would have saved us the slump. But now with Baz with Strictly
Ballroom and P.J with Muriel's Wedding things are
going great. I mean Rabbit Proof Fence made $7 million.
Do you know what that means for a film essentially
with an Aboriginal theme to make that much money? Bloody
Clint: And is that why you came back to Australia?
Bryan: Everyone thinks
I left Australia to go live in America. That's wrong. I've
always lived here. I never moved. I would go over to America,
make a picture and then return to Sydney. Jack Thompson and
Judy Davis did the same. They never moved and either did I.
My last American picture was Blame it On the Bellboy,
Rachel was doing After Dark, My Sweet and by that stage
my girls were growing up and we just decided enough was enough
and wanted to get back here. Going over there for 10 weeks
on end to make a picture was just too long a stint away from
Clint: What was the biggest difference between working
in America and working here?
Bryan: America is different
to everywhere. It's just bigger. They put so much money behind
every picture. It's just out there.
Clint: Will there be another FX Movie? Say,
an FX 3?
Bryan: Not with me in
Clint: Have your kids watched your films?
Bryan: They saw Breaker
Morant not long ago. They cried. They've all seen Dirty
Deeds and loved it. The young lad especially likes it,
because Dad doesn't die in it. He has a hard time watching
his Dad get killed in movies. He just doesn't like to see
Clint: Which one of your films are your favourite
and least favourite?
Bryan: My favourite experience
would have to be Dead Heart. Don't ask me why
I don't really know, just something in my heart tells me it
was something I had to do.
I can't imagine not making that movie. It's funny because
it's probably one of my films that's hardly got around.
But then again, it seems to be getting seen more and more
these days. I have a least favourite, but I better not mention
it because I wouldn't want the director to be labeled.
Clint: Was it an American movie?
Bryan: Yeah it was.
Clint: A lot of your co-stars Heath Ledger,
Russell Crowe have all gone on to big things in the
states. How do you like that?
Bryan: Well firstly,
heaps of Australians before these guys had opportunities in
the states. In the 70s actors would get big opportunities
in America too it's only now the media is talking about
all these Aussies in Hollywood.
It's never been any different. We've always been over there.
Let me say something about Heath Ledger though, I'm so glad
he's playing Ned Kelly.
Clint: And you didn't get offered a role in Ned
Bryan: Nah. I'm too old,
Clint: What's next for you then?
Bryan: To tell you the
truth, after Dirty Deeds, I'm feeling exhausted. I
would just like to have a decent break for once. Have a think
about what's next. There's plenty of stuff on the tables,
but first of all just a nice break.
Clint: I hear you were spotted in Albury possibly
mulling over a picture about the infamous Commercial Hotel?
Bryan: Yeah I did go
down to Albury. But there's no movie. I simply went down there
to catch up with an old mate of mine, who owns the place.
He's the one who wrote the book on the place, but no, no movie,
just a beer.
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