MAGDA SZUBANSKI SIZZLES IN NEW FILM THE BBQ
She’s been invited to the barbecue, but just make sure you’ve put the steak knives where she can’t reach them. Now, it’s not our place to spread rumours, but there’s quite a disturbing scene in Magda Szubanski’s latest film, The BBQ, where she hurls a meat cleaver at lead actor Shane Jacobson’s character, Dazza.
Wild, unconfirmed, titillatingly salacious reports from on set have it that original cast member Hugh Jackman suffered a lifechanging facial wound during rehearsals while playing Dazza, and that his replacement, Chris Hemsworth, suffered no less than a limb amputation on the first day of filming.
Szubanski plays The Butcher in the film, but alas dear Magda, did you really butcher your cast members with dodgy knife-throwing?
“Ah yeah,” she says with a sinister little laugh when the accusation is jokingly levelled at her, “my circus skills aren’t what they should be”.
“But you know, sometimes there are casualties along the way when you’re learning a new craft. What can I say, you’ve got to suffer for your art. They (Jackman and Hemsworth) should just suck it up, quite frankly.”
The rumours are, of course, made up, but it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibility for the crazy, lovelorn character she plays to be getting in for her chop, so to speak.
In The BBQ, The Butcher is enlisted to train Dazza to prepare and cook the perfect steak for an international barbecue competition after he accidentally serves up dodgy barbecued prawns and poisons half of his neighbourhood – and his in-laws.
The Butcher is a tyrannical, Scottish redhead, and Szubanski revels in the role.
“Initially it was written for a man, then they decided to make it a female, and I’m kind of the go-to person whenever there’s a Scottish accent needed,” she says, “on account of ( Fast Forward character) wee Mary McGregor and my mum being Scottish.
“So, a Scottish accent, a red wig, and hey presto! You’ve got a character.”
It is Szubanski’s first film role since 2013’s Goddess with Ronan Keating and Laura Michelle Kelly (discounting the cameo in Ben Elton’s Three Summers).
She has been continuing her TV work with the zany Foxtel sketch comedy series Open Slather and also last year’s Network Ten drama series Sisters.
Her co-stars in The BBQ include Julia Zemiro ( RocKwiz), Brisbane actor John Stanton (a stalwart of 1970s cop shows like Matlock Police, Homicide and Division 4), and Nicholas Hammond (who played Friedrich von Trapp in The Sound of Music).
Also along for the ride is celebrity chef Manu Feildel, who draws on his heritage to play the villain of the piece, Andre Mont Blanc, a cliche in leathers, tatts and slicked-back hair who is Dazza’s arch rival in the cook-off.
“Manu plays the arrogant Frenchman like he’s born to it,” Szubanski says. “He plays it up.”
While she didn’t get any knife-throwing training, she did get some tutelage from a professional butcher on chopping and carving.
“A couple of hours – not like months or anything,” she says, adding that her “imaginary” co-stars, Jackman and Hemsworth, could have done with some training in “toughening up”.
“They shouldn’t have been such pussies.”
The BBQ opens in selected cinemas today
Hilarious Aussie duo Shane Jacobson and Magda Szubanski star in quirky new Aussie comedy The BBQ.