John Jarratt embraces the dark side in his new film StalkHer .
If you’ve ever wanted to see John Jarratt bleeding and tied to a chair, now is your chance.
The actor, whose terrifying portrayal of Mick Taylor in the Wolf Creek films still sends a chill down our spines, has teamed up with award winning actress Kaarin Fairfax to bring StalkHer to the big screen.
Part thriller and part comedy, the film starts when Jack (Jarratt) is pushed past the brink of his stalking obsession and finally decides to break into Emily’s (Fairfax) home. However, his plans for her pain and his pleasure come unhinged when he wakes up to find himself under her control.
“He’s got a chip on his shoulder, he’s an angry man,” John says, describing his character. “He thinks the world owes him a living. So he’s a typical Baby Boomer man.
“When I start a new project I always create a back story from when my character was born until what they call ‘page zero’. Then I put as much John Jarret in there as I possibly can so it is truthful and off I go.
“We wanted the movie to be gritty and cinematic, along the lines of Misery or A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s a great, gritty drama and so well written.
“I spend a lot of time in the film tied to a chair. We had a lot of fun filming this little slapstick scene where I’m busting for a leak but she won’t untie me. So she has to organise me to go into a bottle and it’s very, very funny.”
StalkHer is also Jarratt’s directorial debut, a dual role he took very seriously and credits as being one of the hardest of his career.
“I had this driving force that set me towards becoming a director,” he says. “I was going through the budget and we got to how much we were paying the director and I said, ‘We’re paying the director HOW much?’ So I said, ‘I’ll do it’. That’s my motivation.
“It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, with the added responsibility of directing. I really enjoy my work and I expect the people around me to enjoy their work. If they’ve got the s**ts they can get the hell out of there. I like a happy set and I like to go to work and have a good time. Otherwise what’s the bloody point?”
“I knew it would be a lot of work, I’ve been around for 41 years so I know it’s not easy. But one good thing about doing a two-hander is that, in this case, we had another very serious actor involved. A brilliant actress called Kaarin Fairfax. When I was doing my part she directed the other bits.
“But overall I’m the director, as in it it is my project. I’ve been there from development to production to post-production and editing.”
Jarratt and his team are no doubt hoping his portrayal of Jack, a character who is both chillingly deviant and darkly comedic, will reach the iconic heights of his Wolf Creek persona Mick Taylor. A role that is still sending a installing fear in the hearts of devoted fans, according to Jarratt.
“When people meet me in person they think I look a lot different to Mick. I don’t really, it’s just that I don’t hold my face in a redneck ass**** kinda way,” he laughs. “I’m not like him at all. I’m a very kind-hearted guy and I like a laugh and a good time.
“Some people are still very uneasy around me, a lot of women who are very sensitive types still feel a bit weird. They’re always very excited to have their photo taken with me, but at the same time they’re pulling back from putting their arm around me while we take a selfie.
“They’re scared that if they touch me I’ll make them explode or something.”
Jarratt is happy for movie goers to call StalkHer a funny film, a dark film or even a confronting film….just don’t call it an Australian film.
“Everybody always says “this is different for the Australian industry, it’s good for an Australian film…Australia, Australia, Australia,” he says. ” But it’s just a film that happened to be made in Australia.
“People talk about a ‘film’ and then they talk about an ‘Australian film’, like it’s something different. I don’t think it is . I think European films are great, Aussie films are great, Hollywood films are great. They’re all basically just a bunch of human beings making movies.
“You make great movies and you make shit movies and it doesn’t matter what country you come from. 50 per cent of the movies that come out of Hollywood have Australians running around in them with American accents so the line is becoming very blurred.”
“I just think StralkHer is a great, entertaining film that we’ve made. That just happens to be in Australia. A movie that we pulled off very well and will have universal appeal.”
StalkHer will be showing in select Brisbane cinemas from Saturday 22 August. For more information visit www.stalkherfilm.com.