Fab four head to Sydney

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - NEALA JOHN­SON

IT’S a Thurs­day night in mid- Jan­uary. The Sydney Opera House is lit up and a full moon hov­ers over the land­mark. “Not a bad place to be shoot­ing,” Iain Mor­ris says. “But there’s a lot more salsa mu­sic in this scene than we’d en­vi­sioned.”

In­deed, the Brazil­ian vibe fl oat­ing across the wa­ter from an event at the Opera House wouldn’t re­ally fi t with any scene in the movie Mor­ris and his fel­low writer- direc­tor Da­mon Beesley are shoot­ing: The In­be­tween­ers 2.

The se­quel to the big­gest Bri­tish com­edy fi lm of all time, 2011’ s The In­be­tween­ers Movie ( which grossed an im­pres­sive $ 9.2 mil­lion lo­cally), the new fi lm fol­lows geeky, sex- crazed English teens Will, Si­mon, Neil and Jay on a “men­tal gap year” back­pack­ing Down Un­der.

Rest as­sured, lovers of cru­dity and de­bauch­ery, there will be “bush” jokes.

This night at Cir­cu­lar Quay marks the last hours of a shoot that started in early De­cem­ber at the Gold Coast’s Wet’n’Wild wa­ter park, then moved to By­ron Bay and the South Aus­tralian out­back town of Mar­ree.

The scene be­ing fi lmed in­volves three of the gang – Will ( Si­mon Bird), Neil ( Blake Har­ri­son) and Si­mon ( Joe Thomas) – ask­ing for di­rec­tions to a night­club where their DJ mate Jay ( James Buck­ley) is “rock­ing da house”.

Af­ter a few takes, Mor­ris and Beesley ask the lads to take it to a “higher level”. “A higher level of act­ing?” Har­ri­son asks. When they go again, Thomas ven­tures a lit­tle too high.

“OK Joe, none of that,” Beesley chides. “How much cof­fee have you had to­day?”

When they fi nally get the level just right, Mor­ris si­dles up to ex­plain how he gets the best out of his cast, who have been play­ing these char­ac­ters since 2008 – across three se­ries of their cult TV show and ( al­most) two fi lms.

Mor­ris says on the fi rst sea­son of the show, he’d tell the ac­tors they needed “en­ergy and pace”.

“Now it’s all short­hand, but they know what’s needed and how to be funny, so it’s just re­mind­ing them to keep up the en­ergy,” he says.

While there’s a lot of love be­tween the cre­ators and their cast, there’s lit­tle re­spect on dis­play – es­pe­cially since Mor­ris and Beasley are di­rect­ing for the fi rst time on this new movie. “We keep re­mind­ing them of that,” Bird says. “They don’t re­ally know what they’re do­ing. I don’t think they know about fo­cus, for ex­am­ple. And will the char­ac­ters be wear­ing the same cos­tume in­side the car as they are out­side the car? They’re not trained di­rec­tors, that’s a fact. They’re not trained at any­thing.”

While the ac­tors take very lit­tle se­ri­ously, they are a long way from the awk­ward school- leavers they’re play­ing.

The youngest, Buck­ley, is mar­ried with two kids and turned 27 last week. Har­ri­son is 29, Bird turns 30 this week and Thomas is near­ing 31.

When Bird was asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of a se­quel while plug­ging the fi rst fi lm three years ago, he said the clock had ticked be­yond that: “We were al­ready too old for the char­ac­ters when we started the se­ries.”

Yet some­how, Mor­ris and Beesley con­vinced the lads to do it again, Down Un­der.

“They missed us ter­ri­bly. Their lives were empty with­out us,” Har­ri­son says.

Added Buck­ley: “I was just sick of the phone calls. They were not say­ing any­thing, just breath­ing down the phone.”

So will the fi lm offi cially be the last we’ll see of these char­ac­ters?

“This is the end of The In­be­tween­ers,” Mor­ris says.

“Prob­a­bly.”

THE IN­BE­TWEEN­ERS 2 Opens at Vil­lage Cine­mas on Thurs­day

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