Movies

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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - DAR­REN HALLESY

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.

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