Absolute thrill for Betts
CHRIS Betts is one of a cast of support actors who worked on Absolute Deception, the action thriller that bought American actor Cuba Gooding Jr to work on the Gold Coast.
‘‘I haven’t seen it, but I look foward to it,’’ says Betts. ‘‘It’s not everyone who can say they worked alongside an Oscar-winning actor.’’
Betts, from Brisbane, is a Queensland theatre favourite who has performed in more than 100 professional plays and has a CV that includes films Crooked Business and Bait 3D, TV series Medivac and the recent Gold Coast filmed US drama Terra Nova and Granville train disaster telemovie Day of the Roses.
Television viewers, however, know him best as the star of the Budget ads. You know the ones. A young Frenchwoman sings ‘‘Boo-jay, boojay’’. Betts answers with his best Aussie twang: ‘‘That’s Budget, love.’’
‘‘We’ve been replaced by aliens recently, but you can’t blame them (the ad-makers). It makes people look,’’ Betts laughs.
‘‘Those ads have been running for three years. They just kept rolling out. I’d have been surprised if they’d gone on as they were for a fourth.’’
And such an ending is not so bad in the scheme of things, says Betts.
‘‘I’ve played a a few characters recently who meet grusome ends,’’ he says.
‘‘A dinosaur got me on Terra Nova – that’s par for the course for anyone who does something a bit sus – they’re all eaten by raptors.’’
‘‘A shark ate me in early Bait 3D. I was shot in the head in (Gold Coast lawyer) Chris Nyst’s Crooked Business. I played the mob boss.
Betts won’t tell us how it ends for his character in Absolute Deception. He doesn’t want to spoil viewers’ fun.
It went straight to DVD in the US, but Australian critics haven’t been too quick to pan it. Most like the twists and turns it serves up.
Absolute Deception was directed by Brian TrenchardSmith ( BMX Bandits) – who also helms the John Cusack film Hard Drive on the Gold Coast – and filmed on locations that include Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Sanctuary Cove.
Betts had just three days of filming on the movie but during that time was able to work alongside both film’s stars Gooding Jr and Emmanuelle Vaugier.
‘‘The name of the character escapes me, but talking about it now, it sounds like I play the part of supreme villain,’’ Betts quips of his character.
‘‘He was a sociopath, a psychopath, a multibillionaire under house arrest in a sensational retreat up in the mountains. ‘‘He’s accused of certain things, and accuses Cuba’s character, in turn, of trying to pin stuff on him. He says: ‘look mate, you’re batting above you pay grade, this is between me and the goverment men. If you think you’ve nailed me, you’re living in Dreamland’.
‘‘I supose there was a hint of Anthony Hopkins Silence of the Lambs’ character about him.
‘‘He loved to play with people’s minds. That’s what attracted me to the role.’’
Absolute Deception follows a widowed reporter (Vaugier) who enlists the help of an FBI agent (Gooding Jr) to investigate her late husband’s secrets, but two become the target of attackers.
Betts enjoyed improvised scenes with Gooding Jr, who won an Oscar for his role as loud-mouthed Rod Tidwell in 1996 hit Jerry Maguire.
The pair played with the scene ahead of filming. Betts laughs when he says the American conceded at the end of the scene: ‘‘Bastard, you got the last line in.’’
‘‘He was terrific to work with, terrific . . . a whole lot of fun.’’
Absolute Deception screens exclusively at Nerang Cineplex from tonight.
– LISA SIMMONS
Brisbane actor Chris Betts and Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier in a scene from locally filmed drama which premieres on the Gold Coast tonight.