I had the luxury of interviewing Academy Award Nominated Short Film-maker Peter Templeman about his Sydney Film Festival opening Australian comedy Not Suitable for Children. For audio of the interview, you’ll have to wait a little close to Not Suitable‘s July 12th release. But I do have some highlights from our great chat below.
BH: Were actors like Ryan Kwanten influencing their characters when you were in the latter stages of developing the script?
PT: In some ways. We started to make the character (Jonah) more like that before Ryan was on board because it funnier/tougher proposition for a guy like that [hapless etc] to convince people that he was responsible enough to be a dad. But then certainly once I’d been overseas and auditioned Ryan and he’d auditioned me more or less as well [laughs] and offered the role to him and he accepted; Mike and I were both very aware that he’s a great looking guy that if he had that problem and wanted to get someone pregnant in 3 or 4 weeks there wouldn’t be a movie in it. [Laughs] It’s not a hard ask.
BH: Anyone whose seen True Blood.. they would be lining up.
PT: Yeah at least … the guy had to be really flawed because you had to feel honestly that girls would be happy to have a one night stand with him weren’t in for the long haul. So in that regard we were like ‘we’ve got Kwanten so we have to mess him up a bit’ – and I wanted to soften him up a bit physically as well. [Laughs] And he did his best, he had seconds at lunch time, he did his best but he’s still pretty cut. There’s only so much you can do between seasons of True Blood – when he’s gotta cut up for that. But he gave it a good shot. And also his complexion’s so perfect so that the make-up was so important for those big nights to ‘crusty’ him up a little bit [laughs] … yeah but we knew we were on the right track (with the character) if we’ve got a guy like him playing Jonah.
BH: For really great comedy at the moment, and it might just be my sense of humour, they’re paired with really tragic elements. They [filmmakers] drag you to these really raw moments so that you can release the pressure with those comedic flashes. Is that yours and Mike’s (Lucas co-writer) sense of humour to pair those moments to get to the comedy?
PT: I think that’s your taste largely and my taste also. I definitely find the more pain the funnier it is. I think it’s less Mike’s taste, which I can say from working with him for years and years. Mike’s great with finding the voice of a character and building a character through their voice as I said earlier; he’s really great at that. And he’s prolific; he’s write pages and pages of stuff and then is ruthless with it. He’s happy to lose stuff to get to the core of what we’re talking about. Pain is comedy isn’t it? [Laughs] Even with heavy drama, if I was doing a thriller or something like that, without pulling any punches there’d have to be a bit of comedy in there just because that’s life. Life is that funny stuff happens and it’s really hopeless and hapless for all of us, [laughs] we live and we bounce around on the weight of the world on our shoulders and we’re gone and that’s it and the joke’s on us really. [Laughs]
Blake Howard - follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatman
Not Suitable For Children is released in Australia on July 12th 2012, and is reviewed here.
Not Suitable For Children is opening the Sydney Film Festival.