STEVIE Payne is taking the high-profile and extra attention that comes with being a movie star in his stride, sister Michelle says. But it was also important for Stevie to keep balance.
The 2015 Melbourne Cup winning pair's story is premiering on the big screen in major cities this week, with a regional premiere in Ballarat on Sunday, ahead of a national release later this month.
Ride Like A Girl focuses on Michelle Payne's journey to become the first female jockey to win the Cup with brother Stevie by her side as strapper. The nation fell in love with them both and Stevie now gets to play himself in the true story, directed by Australian actor Rachel Griffiths.
Early movie critics says Stevie steals the show a little and Michelle said her family was particularly excited to see him on screen for the world premiere in Melbourne last Sunday.
Stevie will again walk the carpet with Michelle in their hometown this Sunday but is taking a break from promotional duties with Michelle, who is flying to Sydney, Queensland and Perth for Ride Like A Girl this week.
Michelle said it was important for Stevie to have a break from publicity, similar to after their Cup win.
Stevie volunteers at St John of God Ballarat Hospital and sings in the hospital choir. In between shifts he works on the farm with Michelle, who also relishes time just to be on her property Nottingham Farm.
"(Stevie) is pretty easy-going. He takes it in his stride. He loves watching himself up there on the big screen," Michelle said. "I think it's perfect how they've captured him in a really natural way for the story. He is really witty."
RideLike A Girl details how Michelle continued to ride on through family tragedy and serious injury, against all odds, with support from her family. right through to her defiant "get stuffed" to all who doubted a female could win the race that stops the nation.
Film producer Richard Keddie, who also produced 2015 Warrnambool-based film Oddball, is also set to walk the carpet at the Ballarat showing.
Teresa Palmer, who plays Michelle in Ride Like A Girl, is overseas filming and will miss the premieres.
Michelle could hardly wait to bring the film home to Ballarat, which is showcased in key locations like Loreto College and Dowling Forest racetrack.
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