A burning ambition to succeed.
IT’S no secret Jonathan Teplitzky’s new cinematic masterpiece Burning Man is based on his life experiences. Someone just forgot to tell the film’s leading lady, Bojana Novakovic, about it.
‘‘ I didn’t realise it before I went in to the first rehearsal,’’ Novakovic ( pictured) says from her hotel suite in Sydney, where she has been busy ‘‘ playing lots of dress- ups’’ at fashion shoots.
‘‘ I think that was a good thing. The script was so brilliant, I had so many ideas. Jonathan was really open to me doing my own thing.’’
Admittedly, what we have here is a different storyline to Teplitzky’s tragic plight. We follow Tom, a young, cocky British chef whose life is out of control. Played by Matthew Goode, star of
Watchmen and Match Point but perhaps best known as Colin Firth’s lover in Tom Ford’s A Single Man, this Tom has a fast and furious sex life.
The opening sequence, for example, shows Tom’s buttocks in full frame and not much else, before he goes on to woo women all over town, including Rachel Griffiths. Breasts and buttocks are integral to the tragic yet darkly humorous tale of a man seeking solace through sex, writes Marie- Christine Sourris
Just another macho male living recklessly after divorce, or so we think. Then there is a car crash, flashbacks, food flying everywhere and disjointed memories.
It is visual chaos, but terribly sophisticated visual chaos. Slowly, Teplitzky unravels what it all means and it isn’t long before we realise we’ve been set up for one heck of a plot twist.
Enter Novakovic as the mysterious Sarah, the love of Tom’s life.
‘‘ When I walked out of A Single Man, Matthew was the person I remembered most,’’ Novakovic says. ‘‘ I remember seeing so much love in his eyes, which is of course what that character warranted.
‘‘ When they said Matthew Goode [ was in this film], it just made sense to me.
‘‘ But Matthew is also very, very cheeky and quite naughty, I know that now.
‘‘ That also made perfect sense to me, because he had to play such an a--- hole.’’
Novakovic says the film’s dark humour helps audiences connect with the characters ‘‘ because it helps takes some of the heaviness away and makes it very real’’.
Then there were her own sex scenes, which also served to lighten the mood.
Was Novakovic uncomfortable with the ample nudity?
‘‘ On the day it’s always difficult, but the decision wasn’t difficult,’’ she says.
‘‘ For this film, I was comfortable with it because the story warranted it. I really believe in those scenes. Breasts in this film are incredibly necessary to see. I didn’t even think about it really.’’
After cutting her teeth in Aussie films and guest TV stints, the NIDA graduate found fame several years ago in hit Foxtel series Satisfaction. Since then, her dance card has been filled with Hollywood jobs.
After The Edge of Darkness came the M. Night Shyamalan thriller Devil, followed by the Bondi- shot Burning Man, before Generationum with the ‘‘ amazing’’ Keanu Reeves. Then it was time for a comedy with another Aussie,
True Blood ’ s Ryan Kwanten, in Not Suitable for Children.
‘‘ That was so much fun,’’ she says, laughing. ‘‘ He’s so generous and humorous and has great ideas – a perfect gentleman. He made me laugh a lot.’’
Despite constant reports she’s moved to LA, Novakovic insists her feet are firmly rooted Down Under.
Probably because there is the small matter of the Ride On indie theatre company, for which she regularly produces works such as The Story of Mary Maclane by Herself, the show Novakovic wrote with musician Tim Rogers and opens at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre on November 25.
‘‘ I don’t really base myself anywhere,’’ she says. ‘‘ I base myself wherever I’m working.
‘‘ I’m in Melbourne for the next three months doing the shows. But because I spend a lot of time in LA auditioning, I do write a lot of stuff while I’m there . . . and then I bring it back here.’’
Her life sounds frantic, but Novakovic sums it up with: ‘‘ I love what I do. It’s great.’’