Sub­ur­ban may­hem

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - with Jeremy Sims

Jeremy Fuller in Sims South­ern is a stand­out Cross’s pe­riod as cop drama Fran­cis

Wild ac­tor, Boys. Sims An has ac­com­plished come to ac­cept di­rec­tor some and will never saucy for­get soap Chances. his bot­tom-bar­ing an­tics in

Boys. Q. nasty You What’s as look cop­per like it like you’re Fran­cis chan­nelling hav­ing Fuller? a ball your on in­ner Wild A. man I don’t who have has a an slightly ‘‘ in­ner skewed nasty cop’’, sense I of play jus­tice a nice and fair play, and, yes, it is fun to play him, be­cause he’s fight­ing so damn hard to bring peace and jus­tice to this law­less town. He also has a few per­sonal demons. Q. You ride horses, woo Anna Hutchi­son and shoot guns. Is this your dream job? A. Well, my dream job would have all those things, plus a pair of jodh­purs and a loud hailer, and prob­a­bly an ex­tra two or three ze­ros at the end of the pay packet. Oh, and it would bring peace, un­der­stand­ing and hap­pi­ness to all of hu­man­ity. But this is def­i­nitely a start. Q. You re­cently di­rected fea­ture film Be­neath

Hill 60. Any other projects on the hori­zon?

A. Yes, we are aim­ing to shoot Last Cab to

Dar­win in the sec­ond half of next year. Q. You’re still re­mem­bered for bar­ing all as the

mis­chievous Alex on Chances. What are your mem­o­ries of that show?

A. Well, it would have been a far more cut­tingedge af­fair if I had bared all. Sadly, in that time slot, we were only al­lowed bums and boobs. My mem­o­ries are hazy, but there is a cer­tain de­mo­graphic who will never al­low me to for­get it. It was a pretty wacky way to get started in the in­dus­try. Prob­a­bly the best part was that I got to live in Mel­bourne, which I loved. Q. True or false. You based your per­for­mance in Un­der­belly: The Man Who Got Away, on

MasterChef’s Matt Pre­ston.

A. True. Bearded, but true. Q. You’re the fa­ther of two young girls. How has father­hood changed you? A. I’m ac­tu­ally the fa­ther of three young girls, and right now I am cook­ing and or­gan­is­ing a birth­day party for the seven-year-old, while my three-year-old is an­noyed I am writ­ing these an­swers and not play­ing with her – she wants me to be­come a one-eyed ogre or she’s go­ing to lose it. I’m pretty changed, but other peo­ple are bet­ter at ar­tic­u­lat­ing ex­actly how. Q. I hear you reckon Bob Dy­lan is the ul­ti­mate wild boy. Please ex­plain. A. Bob is my Bud­dha. He has al­ways been the purest and clear­est ar­tic­u­la­tion of what an artist should be – enig­matic, pos­sessed, bril­liant, un­fath­omable, ironic, pro­found, pro­lific, pop­u­lar and al­ways slightly ahead of the rest of us. He is part Plato and part shaman, and he wears a nice black hat like Fran­cis Fuller, too. CRE­AT­ING a tele­vi­sion or film adap­ta­tion of a book is al­ways a risky busi­ness.

While those who have never read the novel be­fore may ap­prove, fans of the man­u­script are nor­mally al­ways dis­ap­pointed.

So when Alex Dim­i­tri­ades ( pic­tured) took on the adap­ta­tion of the best-sell­ing Chris­tos Tsi­olkas novel The Slap, he knew he was in for a chal­lenge.

The eight-part drama fol­lows a fam­ily and their friends whose lives are ripped apart af­ter one of them slaps an­other’s one’s child, re­sult­ing in le­gal ac­tion.

‘‘ One al­ways hopes that they do the novel jus­tice,’’ Dim­i­tri­ades says, who plays Harry – the man who slaps the child.

‘‘ I think gen­er­ally Chris­tos’s writ­ing style lends it­self to adap­ta­tion quite well; read­ing the book, it’s not far off read­ing the ac­tual script.

‘‘ They’ve put to­gether a re­ally good team be­hind the cam­era and in front of it as well. It’s been cast mag­nif­i­cently and ev­ery­one’s done a re­ally great job.’’ So will it win over fans of the book? ‘‘ I bloody well hope so,’’ says the ac­tor, best known for his role in The Heart­break Kid. ‘‘ I might be bi­ased . . . and it could be com­plete crap. Who knows? But I gen­uinely think that we’ve done a good job there and I’m cer­tainly keen to see more of it.’’ While there was an el­e­ment of pres­sure on set, the ac­tor says there was also an in­tense ex­cite­ment among the cast. It in­cludes Melissa Ge­orge ( In Treat­ment ), Jonathan La­Paglia ( Cold Case) and Tas­ma­nian Essie Davis ( The Ma­trix Reloaded ).

‘‘ Peo­ple were just dy­ing to get on this thing,’’ Dim­i­tri­ades says.

‘‘ There were ac­tors who couldn’t even get in the door and it was like, ‘ Wow, it’s a real priv­i­lege to be in that com­pany’. We all knew we were em­bark­ing on some­thing spe­cial.

‘‘ In the ini­tial read-through there was very much a buzz in the room. We felt a lit­tle bit blessed I think.’’

With the se­ries ex­am­in­ing the con­tro­ver­sial topic of whether it’s ac­cept­able to dis­ci­pline an­other per­son’s child, Dim­i­tri­ades says the show is sure to cre­ate plenty of pub­lic de­bate.

He isn’t pre­pared to weigh in on the de­bate, de­scrib­ing his opinion as ‘‘ per­sonal’’, but hopes the show will en­cour­age oth­ers to share their thoughts on the sub­ject.

‘‘ I think that’s the power of the se­ries, that it does re­flect upon us to think about our own ac­tions and other peo­ple’s ac­tions and how would you be in a sit­u­a­tion and what would you do, and is it their fault re­ally,’’ he says.

‘‘ I think there will be three par­ties . . . the pos­i­tives, the neg­a­tives and the neu­trals – to what de­gree and what ca­pac­ity I’m not sure.

‘‘ I think it’s a topic which re­quires a lot of dis­cus­sion . . . and that’s what good art should do, it should ini­ti­ate dis­cus­sion be­cause es­sen­tially the mes­sage of this story is that peo­ple need to com­mu­ni­cate and un­der­stand each other.’’

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