Time Out

Baker a men­tor to Breath star

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page -

Filmed in the Great South­ern coastal town of Den­mark, Breath is the di­rec­to­rial de­but for Aus­tralian ac­tor Si­mon Baker, who also plays for­mer pro­fes­sional surfer Bill “Sando” San­der­son in the film.

Ben Spence, who is in his fi­nal year at Margaret River Se­nior High School and had no prior act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, said if it weren’t for Baker, the film “wouldn’t have got the same re­sult”. In the film, Baker’s char­ac­ter takes Loonie and his friend Pikelet un­der his wing when the pair of 13-year-olds take a sud­den lik­ing to the surf.

Spence said the men­tor­ship car­ried on and off screen.

“When I first met Si­mon it was nerve-rack­ing, but as soon as we lis­tened to him we re­alised he was just a nor­mal, chilled guy and that made it so much eas­ier,” he said.

“He was guid­ing us the whole way, teach­ing us how to act, and we would just fol­low his lead.

“Si­mon al­ways made us feel com­fort­able on set.”

Hav­ing never been on a film set be­fore, the laid-back teenager said it took a while for him to grasp the role and adapt to life in front of the cam­era.

“Loonie is way more out-there than I am, so it was tough to act that,” he said.

“It was hard al­ways hav­ing to be up, con­fi­dent and so en­er­getic in front of so many crew mem­bers all the time. It was kind of drain­ing in a way.”

Miss­ing six weeks of school for film­ing had its ben­e­fits, Spence said, and he soon got used to the perks of the gig.

“The food on set was so good,” he said.

“It was also pretty cool be­ing treated the way I was, too.

“I was al­ways be­ing asked if I needed any­thing like cof­fee or food . . . it was nice, but re­ally strange.

“I’m just a kid from Margaret River.”

De­spite the star turn, Spence said he was com­mit­ted to fin­ish­ing school and con­tin­u­ing his surf­ing, and his love of the re­gion en­dured.

Breath is rated M and is play­ing at Orana Cin­e­mas in Bus­sel­ton and Grand Cin­e­mas Bun­bury.

Pic­ture: Therese Colman

Margaret River teen Ben Spence plays Loonie in the film adap­ta­tion of Breath.

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