NEW ROLE’S IN CLEVER KOEN’S BLOOD
Shortly after portraying an indigenous spiritual character in a new television drama, actor Hunter Page-Lochard discovered he has a deep connection of his own to the famed figure.
The 22-year-old stars in new ABC series Cleverman, a thrilling fantasy set in a dystopian Australian society in the near future.
It’s part social statement, part sci-fi plot, with a heavy dose of Aboriginal mythology.
Page-Lochard plays Koen, who becomes a Cleverman in the first episode. The Cleverman is a kind of superhero, a major figure in indigenous culture acting as a conduit between this world and the spirit one.
“Not long after we finished, I was talking to my uncle who mentioned that on my pop’s side down the line there was a Cleverman in the family,” he reveals. “He says it’s in my blood. It’s insane. Well, that’s the story anyway — I can’t be 100 per cent sure.”
The revelation came at the end of last year, while the young up-and-comer was making a four-part documentary series about Aboriginal spirit stories and urban legends.
Many of these stories are typically off limits, PageLochard explains.
“Like the Aboriginal bogeyman, who we as kids were warned never to talk about due to cultural protocol, we went off to investigate that,” he says.
Cleverman has generated plenty of buzz among critics both here and abroad.
Despite drawing on storytelling elements from thousands of years ago, it has very current themes of prejudice, government control and social fear.
It will also air in the UK and US after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in February to rave reviews.
“It’s groundbreaking and it’s time for people to see it finally, so I’m over the moon,” PageLochard says. “I think this is a piece of gold.”
CLEVERMAN, ABC, THURSDAY, 9.30PM