Scary guy rides wave
ACTOR Ben Oxenbould has a problem. Women won’t talk to him.
Thanks to an upcoming indie film role, he is about to be as reviled as John Jarratt following his portrayal of Wolf Creek’s sadistic lunatic Mick Taylor.
Oxenbould plays brutal and psychotic surfing ‘‘ legend’’ Bull in thriller Caught Inside.
Set on the confines of a surf charter boat miles out at sea, Caught Inside won the Showtime Audience Award at last year’s Sydney Film Festival and gained official selection for the Indie Spirit Film Festival Colorado 2011 and the New York Surf Film Festival 2011.
But it was at a screening at the SXSW festival in March this year in Austin, Texas, that Oxenbould discovered the sharp end of Bull’s knife.
‘‘ We had a Q& A session after the screening and none of the women would talk to me,’’ Oxenbould says.
‘‘ They were so freaked out by it. Playing a bit of a baddie is a huge stretch for me, which is good, but once that comes out no one will speak to me.’’
He’s not worried though about the possible stigma from such an intense role.
‘‘ I like to rattle the cage a little bit,’’ Oxenbould smirks.
Oxenbould, 42, is best known for playing the titular character in the film Fatty Finn at age 11 and then Ben in the early ’ 90s Australian sitcom Hey Dad!.
Recently he has been seen in the adventurous Fox8 series SLiDE, where he plays a self-absorbed workaholic with little time for his estranged daughter.
Oxenbould says the ensemble of young actors in SLiDE reminded him of his ‘‘ child actor’’ days but there were differences.
‘‘ One thing I did notice was that these kids are just so incredibly talented – all the kids that are on the show,’’ he says. ‘‘ Possibly kids these days are not so caught up in convention. I just thought they were just a little bit more intelligent than I was when I was a teenager. They also seem to learn the craft very quickly.’’
As for SLiDE shocking other parents, Oxenbould believes that could be a good thing.
‘‘ I’d like to think that most parents have a good relationship, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case and it may shock a few people,’’ he says. CAUGHT INSIDE Now showing State Cinema