Homegrown talent Xavier Samuel returns to the land of Oz with some mates for the follow-up to the smash hit A Few Best Men
Xavier Samuel is one of the busiest Aussie actors around, despite not being as well known as the likes of Nicole Kidman or that chiselled bloke who plays Wolverine.
Talking from Los Angeles where he spends half his time each year, Samuel is a star on the rise with an impressive resume. He’s appeared in the Twilight movies, Fury with Brad Pitt, Love and Friendship with Kate Beckinsale and a stack of Aussie films and TV shows, including last year’s Spin Out.
Now he’s appearing in the sequel to the 2012 comedy hit A Few Best Men, cleverly titled A Few Less Men as the storyline revolves around getting a dead friend back to the UK for a funeral.
Samuel reunited with Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop, plus writer Dean Craig (who also wrote Death at a Funeral), and was overjoyed to be making a film with people he considers close friends.
“It has definitely been a while, but we had so much fun making the first one I remember as we were shooting it we were thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to come up with an idea so we can all do this again?” Samuel says.
“We had a blast making A Few Less Men, and for me, it was great to see another part of Australia, with filming in Western Australia.
“It made such a pleasant change from filming in a studio in Sydney, plus for us it was like a big reunion.
“There’s some stunning parts of WA we had the pleasure of shooting in and the film reflects that.
“We went to so many locations it was like doing a tour of the state. We went to The Pinnacles a lot, which has white sandy deserts and incredible scenery.”
Making a movie on home soil was an added bonus for the 33-year-old Samuel, who splits his time between Los Angeles and his home in Adelaide. With many quality Australian movies out this year, he is excited about the way our industry sits at the moment.
“To be honest I don’t really have a preference what films I make, but I have to admit I do enjoy coming home and making Australian movies. They are all different experiences, but I’ve always had a great time doing films at home so hopefully I get to keep doing it,” Samuel says.
“There are a lot of different Aussie movies out there, great stories and crossing lots of genres … it’s an exciting time for Australian film.”
Like its predecessor, A Few Less Men is anything but politically correct. In a PC world, does Samuel think the movie hit a chord with people who are tired of safe humour?
“I think it’s probably down to the writer being politically incorrect. A Few Less Men has a very British sensibility about what is socially acceptable.
“I think the films do push the envelope a bit and take you to places you don’t expect, and I think there is some truth in the idea that people are tired of political correctness,” he says.
“I think people found the first movie refreshing. Here was this outlandish comedy having people like Olivia Newton-John in a different light, and it’s like a farce in many ways.
“There was that scene where we were retrieving drugs from a sheep that everyone remembers.”
Samuel plays the straight man in A Few Less Men, and while taking this role for him was a no-brainer, he is aware of taking roles that offer appeal each time. “I always want to be involved in films that push the envelope and venture into uncharted territory,” he says.
“That’s what interests audiences and keeps them in the seats. It’s always on my mind to not get typecast in any particular kind of role, it just makes life interesting if you can flex your muscles a bit. I don’t have any prerequisites for a role, as long as it’s a compelling story.”
A Few Less Men opens today.
Xavier Samuel (centre) is back on home turf in his new movie A Few Less Men.