TAKING on the director’s role wasn’t a difficult decision for John Jarratt.
The iconic Australian actor, known for his role as the infamous Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek, has directed his first feature film StalkHer set for release later this month.
Jarratt said his prior experience working with directors of all sorts meant he knew he could take on the role with relative ease.
“It was a sensational moment in my life,” Jarratt said.
“I’m also one of the producers of this film and when we were going through the budget and we got to the director, I said – we’re paying him how much? I’ll direct it!
“Saved a fair bit of money that way and I know what I’m doing. I’ve worked with plenty of directors so it’s not like I don’t know what to do. I didn’t find it daunting.”
Starring Jarratt himself as well as Kaarin Fairfax, StalkHer tells the tale of two people destined for each other, yet destined to be each other’s demise.
It follows the story of Jack - a rough, charismatic but jaded pharmacist with a stalking obsession who soon finds out that his prey has claws.
With Jarratt spending most of the film tied to a chair, he admitted the scenario did present a challenge when directing.
“It all takes place in a room one night and I end up tied to a chair next to a woman so at that point it’s a bit difficult to direct,” he said.
“I was able to direct it like a play. Kaarin and I blocked the whole film and worked the whole film like a play, pre-directing it to cover those problems.”
Described as an inappropriate, romantic, comedic thriller and psychodrama, Jarratt said the film was a creative masterpiece that relied on two strong performances and great dialogue.
“The dialogue is very smart, intelligent, very rich and with very disturbed people,” he said.
“It addresses many of life’s modern frailties which men and women go through and also I like the way it treats baby boomers. We’re like young people in old bodies and I think we’re interesting so the film is trying to celebrate that too.
“It was bloody hard work but very fulfilling. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, that’s for sure.”
As well as promoting his upcoming film, Jarratt is also boasting the fact that his portrait made it as a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.
Entitled Jarratt, the painting by Samuel Rush Condon shows a solemn, flannelette-sporting Jarratt against a stark yellow background.
The portrait will make its way to Ballarat as part of the Archibald Prize regional tour at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from October 3.
John Jarratt will be in Ballarat on Wednesday as part of a StalkHer advanced screening at The Regent Cinemas. The screening will be followed by an after party at Jackson’s and Co with Jarratt singing songs from the movie soundtrack.
StalkHer will officially be released in Australian cinemas on August 27. For more information, visit regententertainment.com.au